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In order to downsize as much as possible prior to the end of the move, I’ve been posting as much stuff on Craigslist as I can. While this is an amazing tool, it is also greatly frustrating. I’m always amazed that people seem to fall into categories and are really pretty predictable. You can often tell from the start what you are looking at. I’ve found that one thing that filters people is to allow email questions only. For some reason that is hard for an “email guy” to understand, typing an email seems quite a lot more difficult than picking up the phone, thus pre-weeding those who call about everything that is even remotely interesting to them or possibly a neighbor, friend, long-lost cousin, or co-worker.
This seems to be the grouping that I’ve deduced so far:
The Tire Kicker
This guy really has no interest in anything anyone has, but loves to look at stuff. He’s the one that comes by and says “Boy I love them Chevy trucks. Too bad I don’t have any money. Looked at one the other day that had…”
This guy would love what you have, but for one small problem. “I’m only 300 miles away, but I’m still considering your $15 item”. Or maybe “Oh, I’d love to buy that tractor if I didn’t live in town in a small apartment”. Umm, OK, thanks for getting in touch.
This guy always amazes me. They come in multiple levels – the basic level is more understandable, yet still very annoying. He’ll go ahead and set up an appointment for a certain time on a certain day only to blow you off completely. OK, maybe he forgot. However, it’s the next level that blows me away. He’ll go ahead and schedule another time, making no comment whatsoever about the fact that he completely ignored his last appointment. I’ve consistently had people do this two or three times for a listing. Why even bother, people!?
This guy always makes me grin a bit. He’s the one that will fire off 17 email messages with questions, all in the span of 3 minutes. Often, I’ll find that I just finished answering the first question, only to have received 11 more in the time it took me to respond. Of course, they are quite often very short questions: “what is that white spot in the picture?” “When are you available?” “I was thinking Tuesday.” “At 4”. “pm”. It is best to just let these marinade a bit before responding. This guy usually turns out to be OK though.
The Email Flake/Tire Kicker
This one could be chalked up to email harvesting, but often looks quite legit. I’m a bit picky about email. If they haven’t bothered to set up a legit looking return name/address in the header, I’m probably going to ignore it. Anyway, this is the guy that asks a bunch of questions over email and then disappears without a trace. “Oh, this is just what I’ve been looking for! I’m dying to have a model xyz, can I come out tomorrow?” And then nothing. Maybe their SPAM filter is catching the replies. Hard to guess. However, many of these people ask multiple questions, so hard to say.
This guy is the one who comes out, looks, then says I’ll call you later. Often he will call, maybe waffle a bit, possibly call back. I normally see this guy leave and figure he had no interest, because normally he plays his cards very close to his chest. If he’s a level 2 indecisive, he’ll go ahead and call back, make an offer, and set a time to pay. After some time goes by, he’ll then call back and either cancel or see if he can make a new offer. This is the guy that says “I know I just offered $500, but I found out that the earth isn’t the center of the universe and that makes me think I need to offer less, so will you take $27?” I sort of understand this guy because I’m a bit indecisive, but once I give my word, I’ll stick to it. We all know that giving one’s word is pretty much meaningless any more and that is just sad.
This guy often turns out to be the honest guy, but he still amuses me. He’s the one that will call or email daily just to check if the item might be sold or if the first guy in line didn’t show up. I actually quite appreciate these guys, but it is so different from how I behave that I’m always a bit amazed.
The Honest Guy
There is one of these for every 7634 Craigslist users. It is your job to wade through all the other guys to find this one and sell your item. Good luck! You’re going to need it!
Computer engineer turned full time farmer, grazier, builder, permaculturist and volunteer fire fighter. We left corporate America to live a simple, self-sufficient life in the Ozarks. Read more