Updated: Oct 9, 2021
PSA: Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook marketplace...there are lots of ways to spot a great deal or sell items. Let's talk about being a smart seller and how to avoid scams.
I was contacted by no less than ten people last week. (I stopped counting at that point). The all wanted to know if I had offered to purchase something from them on Craigslist. The answer was always NO.
There were three elements that tipped off these sellers that there was something fishy going on.
1. Offering to pay by cashiers check. There are fake cashiers checks and your bank will hold you liable for the difference plus a bad check fee. Only accept cash (and credit/debit if you can).
2. Offering more money than asked for to cover additional shipping. No one that is legitimate is going to offer you $50 extra just to ease your pain and suffering. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
3. Saying that they don't check their Craigslist email and to email or text to another location. Craigslist list gives you a double blind email relay. It disguises your email and the senders for privacy. It still gets sent to their regular email accounts. Someone wanting to get around the recording system that is designed to protect you is a big red flag. Usually they provide an
alternate email that looks legit...yesterday's scams were some version of Bradley.ButterflyLadyDesigns.firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is what lead the sellers to look me up to verify the purchase.
4. I'm out of town but my uncle will stop by to pick it up or will arrange for a shipping company to pick it up. Always be wary when someone wants to avoid meeting in person. Especially when paired with the cashiers check offer.
Stay cool this summer and be a safe seller.