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Buying from Craigslist out of home area?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marley's Ghost, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Not sure if this is the right forum..but

    Has anyone bought a bass on Craigslist from out of state and had it shipped to them? Is there a fairly foolproof way to convince the seller you are not scamming them and pull this off without getting ripped off?
  2. Don't ever do it.

    My wife works as a bank manager and has had many many people say they got ripped off by this.
  3. Sure - have them send you the bass first to prove they're legit. ;)
  4. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Not a good idea at all. I would avoid doing that at almost all cost...
  5. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I've bought a couple different things that way with no problem. I always get an address and phone number and verify it before sending any money. Maybe I've just been lucky but you can minimize your risk if you do a little homework and actually speak to the person first.
  6. mason326


    Aug 2, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    I just did it, and really scored on a Gibson Explorer. I am super anal though, I send like three trillion e-mails and questions, ask for extra pictures, CALL them to make sure they exist, and pay through paypal and write what the payment is for so I can file suit IF someone screws me over.
  7. I personally would not and have not done it, but my best friend who lives in Tenn. (also a member here) bought a 55-01 from a guy in Seattle via Craigslist. It went fine.

    Again, I don't have the cajones to deal across state lines on Craigslist. I still get nervous dealing on Ebay.
  8. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I seem to recall that there is a way to ship COD where the buyer pays the delivery person with certified check or money order before he will leave the bass. Think it might have been FedEx.
  9. IIRC, I read something similar, where the seller calls the buyer while at FedEx or UPS or shipper of choice. The buyer pays for the shipping over the phone via the FedEx clerk. Clerk verifies that he has package in hand. Then clerk processes shipping for said package.
  10. Goodlawdy


    Mar 27, 2008
    I posted the exact same question a few months back and got some great responses. With a few questions to the seller and checking up quickly, you can minimize your risk. I ended up rolling the dice and won.
    I asked the seller their address. I did a reverse address > phone number look up and that checked out. This worked since they had a landline.

    I asked them where they got the bass and they said such & such music there in town, where they'd also just had it restrung & set up. I asked them the name of the person that did the setup. As soon as I got that info I hung up and looked up that music store, called and talked to that person, who said he knew the bass & the seller and that "she's good people, man".

    I told her that when I saw a tracking number on ups.com, I would mail her check. This obviously put her far more at risk than me, but she did it, and when I saw the tracking number I held up my end of the bargain.
    I'm not recommending this. I only did it because, I'm a fool, and after talking with the seller a few times, I just went with my gut.
    The other option is to talk them into sending it c.o.d., but that apparently costs a whole lot.
  11. You could do a COD where the shipper specifies cash payment, meaning the receiver has to pay cash at the Post Office/FedEx depot before they are allowed to touch the item, but most folks selling on CL seem to want someone to come over with a fistful of cash and drag away whatever the item is.

    I've heard too many stories of people being ripped off after sending money through the mail in response to CL ads. It's nothing that couldn't happen in another type of sale -- a relative of mine paid handsomely for a brick inside a camcorder box they had bought on the street in NYC -- but I have no interest in becoming a statistic.
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    All the above points a good ones OMO.

    The relative anominity of CL scares me. On eBay, there is too much for someone to lose. If the seller has a ton of transactions and good feedback, you are almost guaranteed to NOT get screwed. If they screw you, they could lose their ability to sell, etc. Even at TB, if someone has thousands of posts and good transactions, you likely aren't going to get ripped off. Dealing with someone on a cell phone and not local on Craigslist?? I dunno.....
  13. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I actually bought a Brian Moore Midi capable guitar from a guy in Oregon and I'm in Nashville. We talked. I waffled... the guy actually ended up sending me the guitar to check out before I even payed him. Then he said "I don't want to mess with paypal or money orders or such, just send me a check. I trust ya."

    I was astonished, but promptly over-nighted him a check. I also have to say that I've made it a point to pay-it-forward for that trusting move he made. I've yet to be taken advantage of... yet.

    There are still good people out there. Unfortunately you never hear about them. The media's gets way more attention out of focusing on the bad.
  14. Thats a really, really crummy idea: don't even consider doing a deal like that..eBay is bad enough 'sight unseen' deals.. wait for something legit in your immediate area.
  15. afireinside


    Jan 3, 2008
    Be leery I did it through Paypal for SOME security. A million emails, phone calls ect. I found 2 steve harris p basses awhile in another state but they were sold before I could even call......
  16. I've done a ton of online transactions over the years. There's no safe way to do it. There are ways to minimize problems, but nothing that is 100% safe.

    With COD, there are two issues that would be bad:
    -Sender sends package, buyer doesn't exist or refuses package. Sender has to pay for shipping and eventually gets the item back.
    -Sender send a box of bricks. Buyer accepts the package and pays the COD b/c you can't open the package and inspect it before you accept it.

    Just try to think ahead of possible problems, and ways to avoid them. Getting a phone number, and actually calling is a very good idea. Also verifying their home address. Just helps in case there are problems later. (they could be living in an apt, and moving next week - but still, at least you would have a starting point to track them down)
  17. I did once, a few weeks ago. After numerous emails AND phone calls, I felt the seller was honest enough. I managed to persuade him to open a Paypal account just for this one transaction. I would never send a MO or check, tho.

    You don't have to convince the seller you're not scamming them, they get the money before they ship. You have to hope they actually DO ship once you pay them, that's the risk YOU take.
  18. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    I did it on a polytone mini brute ($25!!). they didn't want to ship, so I had them drop it off at kinkos and they packed it and charged it to my account. If it had been an expensive item though I probably wouldn't have chanced it.
  19. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Just be smart about it. Get a name address, phone. Maybe I've been lucky. Bought more than a few things off Craigslist out of town, most recently a mandolin from North Carolina. Best to pay via paypal so you have some possibility of getting at least a portion of your money back.
  20. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    I bought my F-1X through craigslist out of state. The guy was totally cool. I e-mailed and spoke via telephone. I paid with a postal money. Transaction was fine. I also used the telephone lookup to verify his information.

    You just have to be smart. If the deal seems too good most times it is.

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