How to Safely Buy and Sell on Craigslist

Craigslist took the basic idea and expanded the classified ad on a website. Now it has become a community and e-commerce has changed forever.

Advertisements published in newspapers and magazines, Craigslist reminds people who have no control over the ads published on the site. With the number of visitors the site receives each day, it is particularly difficult to verify that all transactions are legitimate.

There have been cases where fraudsters have infiltrated the Craigslist community. These people have used the old check-sending scam to pay for items. In fact, the checks were often more than the price the seller was asking for. After the item in question was sent to the buyer, the cheques were bounced.

Here are some simple tips to help keep you safe while on sale on Craigslist.

Check out the terms of use. If you’re new to Craigslist, make sure you know what you can and cannot sell on the site. Although there are many bizarre and quirky items for sale on Craigslist, posting ads for illegal items is always prohibited. Even as a joke, this can cause your account to be suspended, and cause the police to take an interest in you.

Be honest in describing the item for sale. Send your photos, specifications and dimensions if necessary. Some buyers become irritable if they can’t understand the type of product you are selling. This also protects you, since you are ahead of the game.

No personal information. Do not send personal information. This includes e-mail addresses, phone numbers, home and work locations. If you want to add a phone number so that they can contact you, use a confidential number. Others may try to trace your home by number.

Deal locally. It is easier to deal with people in the same area. Communicating with people who are further away is more risky. For one thing, you cannot meet in person to do business face-to-face. Most scammers on Craigslist seem to live off the grid so they will not need to meet with you. This way, they can come up with several ways to perpetuate a fraud when you try to buy your own item.

No shipping costs or wiring of money. If the buyer starts charging extra for several reasons, this can be a sign of a scam. Refuse to pay fees that are unfamiliar with.

Be careful when meeting. Try not to meet the prospective homebuyer. It is best to meet in a busy neighborhood during the day. If it can’t be avoided, don’t allow the prospective homebuyer to see you when you are alone.

Payment in advance. Before sending the item to the person who bought it, make sure you have received payment. It is best to exchange money for the product in person. This way it is not possible for the buyer to say that the payment is forthcoming or has been lost in the mail.

Transact in cash. The safest way is to deal in cash. Even bank transfers and money orders can be problematic.

 How to sell products on Craigslist 

Craigslist is very popular among Internet users across the country. This diverse website can be used to buy and sell products for free. Here’s how to determine if Craigslist is a good place to sell your products, and how to post a free classified ad on the site:

 Determining if Craigslist is available in your town or city

1 – Go to the Craigslist website.

2 – Find your status or location on the right side of the Craigslist page. Click the link.

3 – Now look at your city. Click on your city or the city closest to your location.

4 – If your city is ranked, which is a good indicator that Craigslist is being used in your area. If your city is not listed, you may have trouble finding buyers for your items.

Determining if what you are selling is usually sold on Craigslist

5 – Access your city on Craigslist.

6 – Look for the “Search Craigslist” area on the right hand side of the page.

7 – Click on the drop-down arrow below the search box and choose the appropriate category.

8 – Type the item you intend to sell into the search box. Click on the arrow to go to the next step. Make sure that “For Sale” has been chosen from the drop-down list.

9 – Enter a minimum and maximum price. Once you have determined if what you are selling is usually sold on Craigslist, return to the city page.

Place your ad on Craigslist

10 – Click on “Publish an ad” and choose which category and sub-category corresponds to what you are selling. Now you will create your ad.

11 – Enter a title and a description of your services or a subject and provide an email address. Click on “Continue”.

12 – Enter the verification word and click “Continue” or choose “Edit” to resolve any problems with the item.

13 – Accept or decline the terms of use. You will receive a link to your email giving you the choice to publish, modify or delete your ad.

14 – Post another ad or return to the home page.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your ad short and to the point. Only include important information.
  • Make sure that your ad attracts the attention of the readers.
  • Do not post personal information. After all, you don’t know who’s watching the ad.

How to Get the Most Success from Craigslist

Before doing any buying or selling on the Craigslist platform, make sure you follow each of the guidelines laid out in the article above. By doing so, you will set yourself up for more success and much safer transactions.

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