I’m Afraid to Sell on Craig’s List


A few weeks ago I listed an old tv armoire on our local Craig’s List.  It didn’t bring any interest at $125, so I dropped the price to $100.  After a few days of no interest, I deleted the listing.  A couple days later, I relisted the item at $75.  I received a few emails, and one was from a woman who wanted to know if I still had the item.  I told her I did and she emailed me back that evening apologizing for the late response, and would I hold the item until her friend can help her come pick it up.  She also gave me her phone number in the email and asked me for my address.  She then told me that I didn’t need to be afraid because she is a 40 year old Japanese woman.

That kind of weirded me out.  I guess her saying that I shouldn’t be afraid has made me afraid!  Is it normal that someone would say something like that?

Whenever I have sold something on Craig’s List in the past, I have made it a point to meet someone at a public area near the interstate exit we live a few miles from.  I list my items so they say a vague area (like South End) instead of our neighborhood.  I guess with the creeps and weirdos out there I am afraid for someone to get too much information from me (full name, address, where I work, etc.)

I have never sold any furniture on Craig’s List.  I know that extra $75 would be nice to have instead of having to donate the item.  On one hand, I feel ridiculous for freaking out and worrying about this person knowing where I live, etc.  Maybe I am overreacting.

Do you think I am overreacting?  Should I tell this woman where I live and to come over and get the tv armoire?

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14 thoughts on “I’m Afraid to Sell on Craig’s List

  1. Jenny says:

    I don’t like strangers coming to my house, either. We have salespeople come by a lot when I’m home alone with the kids and I don’t answer the door. I would make sure your husband is going to be home at the time you tell her to come!


  2. Mike - Saving Money Today says:

    There’s probably nothing to worry about but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. I wouldn’t want people coming to my house either, especially if my wife was home alone with the kids. There are too many weirdos out there.

    But I am about to put a car up on Craigslist so I guess I’ll have to decide whether to have someone come to my house or meet at a public place.


  3. MM says:

    You’re definitely overreacting. Plenty of people have wandered through my house, picking up things I posted on Craigslist and I am still alive and well.

    I don’t see what’s wrong with a woman being at home on her own for a CL pickup? The world really isn’t that bad… most times, my husband doesn’t realize I’ve posted something online until it’s missing.


  4. Mysti says:

    I have sold tons on Craigslist, and never had a problem. Furniture would be hard to do in a public location. If you really are uncomfortable, just make sure your husband, or at least a male in some capacity (brother, friend) is there with you.

    Congrats on selling your item!


  5. Car Negotiation Coach says:

    Mrs. Money, I’d just make sure you have someone there with you when you plan to have a 3rd party come by…..and hide anything valuable on the off chance they are “scoping out” the place.

    Btw- This sounds like a new business idea to me. Renting out “temps” with references that will come by your house and stand next to you for any Craigslist showings!


  6. Jin6655321 says:

    Not to scare you but are you familiar with the Craigslist ring killer case? This dude allowed strangers from Craigslist into his house (they said they wanted to negotiate the price of the ring). Instead they barged in and beat up his family while robbing the place. While trying to protect his son, the father was killed.


    So, just saying, having a dude in the house isn’t a deterrent.

    I’m sure vast majority of the ppl on Craigslist are totally legit. And, you can always meet them with the furniture outside of your house, during broad daylight, on a weekend, when most of your neighbors are around. But, if you’re getting a weird vibe, I say go with your gut and don’t do it.


  7. Funny about Money says:

    Hm. I might insist on meeting her first, off-site. Probably she made that remark because she feels uncomfortable dealing with strangers herself. I’ve bought things from Craig’s List, and I will say I don’t like going to unknown people’s houses any more than I would want them coming to my house.

    One possibility might be to have some large male pals dolly the armoire out into the driveway (assuming you live in a house, eh?), and then just not let her into the house at all. Maybe you could arrange to have a few neighbors watching her arrival, if that’s feasible. They’d notice if five thugs piled out of her car and barged into your house. Seems a little paranoid, though.

    Do you live in a state where citizens can own guns? If so, not only would I have a male friend present, I’d see that he was armed with a concealed pistol (and competent to use it), and I would not worry about the legality of a concealed carry. That would obviate whatever concerns Jin6655321’s report arouses.


  8. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    I know I should be more cautious, but I’m not. We’ve sold 6 things on Craigslist and have Freecycled another 5 or so. I weed out really weird people via email and phone and then give my address to the one person I chose to pick it up. I’ve never had a problem.

    Sometimes my hubby is home and sometimes he isn’t…I really don’t think about it much. If I ever get attacked, I’ll rip at fleshy parts…maybe take a self-defense class too so you know where to aim. 🙂


  9. Jessica says:

    It is a scam. In fact, it is a common scam. I learned about it when I was trying to sell furniture almost 4 years ago, and was just reminded of the scam when another blogger posted her tips about craigslist. (http://www.freefuninaustin.com/2010/07/craigslist-101.html)

    It is sad that we have to be so careful and even more upsetting that if there is a genuine case of someone sending another person, we will have to ignore them.

    That being said, I heart Craigslist. I do not have to set up a garage sale all day long and can make a little money off of my stuff. It also provides a place for me to check the going price before posting. Sometimes, I can make a little money because they are selling for more than I anticipated. Other times, I have ended up donating or repurposing things because I have learned that it would not be worth the effort or time.


  10. Karen says:

    I second the suggestion to haul it out to the driveway if possible. Definitely have your husband there at the very least, if not some of his buddies too, and set the appointment during daylight.

    Craigslist skeeves me out, too, but I’m usually okay with meeting someone at a coffeeshop or something to do a small transaction. I think you’re right to be uncomfortable letting a stranger into your house. Thinking back, I used to buy furniture off my college campus’s online classifieds all the time, and I went into a bunch of houses to look at furniture by myself. Doh. It was always fine, but it was pretty stupid of me.

    You can’t be too careful, and if your gut is telling you that this is weird, then it can’t hurt to be extra cautious!


  11. Frugal Babe says:

    I’ve sold and given away lots of stuff on Craigslist, and we’ve also bought lots of stuff that way too. We’ve never had a problem, and we always let the people come to our house. We sold a dresser and a desk this summer, and in both cases we moved the furniture out to the driveway before the buyers got here. For other, smaller stuff, I usually let the people come into our entryway. I have occasionally picked up things from someone’s house by myself, but most of the time, my husband goes with me.
    I agree that you should go with your gut, but I have never had any issues with Craigslist.


  12. Rhonda says:

    I have sold many items on craigslist. I almost always put the item on the front porch before they get there. If it’s large I’ll put it in the yard. I have the blinds open so I can see them coming and walk out on the porch before they get to the door. If it is a man I usually let my husband deal with them. If it is a woman, I will deal with them. A few times I have gotten a weird vibe from someone and either ignored them or insisted in meeting them in a public place in daylight.
    I wrote a blog article on selling on craigslist here:


  13. youngandthrifty says:

    I would be afraid too =) That’s nice that she told you who she would be, or who you should expect.

    I’ve been trying to sell a few things on craigslist too, but ALL of the requests that i have gotten were really fishy.

    They asked to pay me via paypal… now THATs fishy. There are scams where they get your paypal account, hack into it to find your creditcard and banking information.

    Craigslist is great for meeting people in person though (in public places).


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