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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Craiglist Advice

Greetings fellow twangers,

I would like to seek advice on sellings items ( guitars,pedals etc) on Craiglist. I want to sell some gear ( to get more gear of course ) and was wondering is it better to meet people to sell gear or have them come over to the house ?

When I have bought items I have done both. The only thing I have sold on CL is concert tickets. I have met folks when I have done that. How do you address the "try it out" if it is a guitar or amp ?

I have sold some gear on eBay, but that is shipped.

Interested to hear others experience. Do not want to have someone over that might scope the place out.

Thanks !

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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just pick a spot like a convenience store on a main road with an outdoor outlet. I let very few strangers in my apt. (Cable or phone guy).
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Old September 4th, 2013, 01:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i gave up on delivery services for craigslist. i'd rather have a complete stranger in my house than drive around the boonies and find out i got a wrong address or whatever. on craigslist, the seller is doing you a favor. he's got goods cheaper than ebay and without the taxes or waiting for shipping... i think its the buyers responsibility to go hunt down the seller. i've been on both sides of this coin more times than i dare count... and that's the way i operate anyways...

a couple things to keep in mind:
1. don't sell your peavey bandit amp and let him play through it with your vintage tele. likewise, don't sell them a squier and let them hear it through your brand new dr z. basically, don't show off all the nice crap you own and tempt him to come back and rob you blind later
2. keep it brief... have an out. i always say i'm on my way to work to keep the visits short. you have no idea how long-winded these guys can be until you're stuck in a room with them reminiscing about the good old days.
3. pad your price enough to work with them... but not so much that they could get it on ebay at the same price. craigslist is for bargain hunters... and they want to feel like they ripped you off. if you add $20 to your listing price... then moan and groan when they ask for $20 off, everybody is happy.
4. this is the main one... be patient. it's a smaller audience... so less people see your ad. less people will respond to your ad too. and god knows you'll get low ballers. i'm sure you would like my fender twin for $400. if you're patient, though, somebody will come along and offer a fair price and not be a douche bag about it

all in all, i love craigslist for buying and selling... and would recommend it to anybody. sure beats the ebay fees and the hassles/costs of shipping! good luck!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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joeford, thanks...i agree FeeBay is a pain...especially with pay pal they take about 10 % between the two, would rather have the $... i would keep all my good stuff upstairs...i live in the boonies..my place isn't easy to find if unfamiliar with the area....i have an uneasy feeling about a stranger coming over, as pointed out by Octave Doctor

easy if selling a guitar by bringing a microcube or similar for meeting someone...
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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1. Put nice pictures (none of the out-of-focused stuff)
2. Put your ideal price x 10 or 15%
3. Put "if this ad is still up, it's available"
4. Put "cash only, no shipping, no spam"
5. Put "e-mail me w/ a phone number"
6. Put the history of the gear along with the specs (being the first or second owner, etc.)
7. Try to meet in a public place
8. If the gear must be tested, try to setup stuff in the garage
9. Renew your ad whenever possible.


That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think Joe Ford hit a home run with those suggestions and all of them fit things that go on when you sell over CL. I'll just add my own formula for it.

In my case if they want it they need to bring cash and come get it. If it's a piece of gear they're welcome to try it briefly to be sure it's what I represented it to be but not beyond 5 minutes worth or so. I'm not a music store open for business 12 hours a day. If I'm buying I'm considerate and expect to do the same with the seller.

My building is secure and neighbors are close at hand so unless someone seems very sketchy over the phone they need to come over to my place. I'm not hauling gear to some neutral meeting place. If I can I may have a friend or neighbor "visit" or "drop by" while the buyer is here. That serves a dual purpose of cutting down on any long term conversations and any haggling is more limited in time and amount. If we can't agree we can't and we both move on. They won't stand around making stupid remarks or get upset when you won't accept their offer if there's another party nearby.

Whenever you place and ad it's almost inevitable that the first responders will be the low ballers most of whom are resellers looking to get it at a used wholesale price. They usually come equipped with some story or another as an excuse why they can't meet your price and some are pretty amusing. So politely, or not so politely, blow them off and be patient. The right buyer always comes along eventually if your asking price is fair.

If you're firm on your price state it in the ad and if not then as Joe Ford suggests pad it by some amount you'd be willing to discount it to sell it now. If they ask for your bottom line over the phone or an email dodge the question. You only give that up when they're standing there with cash ready to buy if you can come to terms. If your shopping for a used car you can't call all the dealerships in town asking for their bottom line on a car you saw on their lot. You have to be a buyer to get that and you can't be one in less you're standing in the company of the seller.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks to all for the input....
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've sold lots of stuff on CL, and they've all come to my house. I've never had a problem. But then, this is Canada.

If you're selling an amp, tell the buyer to bring his own guitar. If you're selling a guitar, tell him to bring his own amp. That way, the buyer will know what it sounds like with his own gear.
On the other hand, if you're getting an amazing sound with your own guitar and amp, maybe let the buyer hear that. It could convince him to buy it.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've sold lots of stuff on CL, and they've all come to my house. I've never had a problem. But then, this is Canada.

If you're selling an amp, tell the buyer to bring his own guitar. If you're selling a guitar, tell him to bring his own amp. That way, the buyer will know what it sounds like with his own gear.
On the other hand, if you're getting an amazing sound with your own guitar and amp, maybe let the buyer hear that. It could convince him to buy it.
I've been to houses in sketchy neighborhoods, totally awesome people. I've had people to the house and they were nice too. Talk to them on the telephone, you'll hear it if it is weird.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The one piece of advice that I have is to be brutally honest in your description. If it's scratched, say it's scratched. If anything is broken, say it's broken. If they need a truck to move it, say they need a truck. There should be no surprises for the buyer.

You'll get more serious buyers this way, and it could save you a lot of time in the end because you don't have to answer any questions or deal with buyers looking for flaws to ding your price. Ideally, the buyer shows up, sees it is exactly what you described, hands you the cash, and is gone. I've done a lot of transactions like this, and they are almost always hassle free.

About the truck thing, I sold some large furniture one time. I included pictures showing the scale, and measurements, and said they were large pieces. The buyer showed up in a small Nissan hatchback. Somehow we managed to get about half of the pieces in the car, and the other half hung out the back. So now I say explicitly "YOU WILL NEED A TRUCK" for stuff like that. Leave nothing to chance.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for starting this thread Tele Ted.

I am in the same situation...wanting to sell stuff, but always wary of strangers agendas.

My biggest fear is counterfeit money...I would never be able to tell a real $20 or $100 bill from a fake if my life depended on it. Maybe requesting payment by US Postal money order is the way to go. A US Postal money order can't have a stop payment on it and I think there is a telephone number you can call to verify it is real before accepting it.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Definitely talk tone..(email or phone)... If he doesnt know tone, sounds, guitars, amps....there could be issue.....just a fisher or a scammer...
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Learn from professionals. Put up GOOD pics, not too many, not too few. I usually put up four. Make sure they are all different pics, but have them show a feature to good advantage. Use a good camera in natural light, taking pics in good light but in the shade brings out the colors of your item. If you don't have a decent shaded area, take the pics late or early in the day for the same effect.

Don't write a lengthy ad, if done properly the pics will sell the "item."

I've both met people at an agreed location, and had them come to my home. If I have someone come to my home, I either show them the item being sold in the garage, or put everything else in the way of instruments out of the room behind a closed door. Never leave anyone alone in any room in your house for any reason.

The only problems I've had are snide emails from chiselers. I just don't respond if I see that happening. If you talk to them on the phone, you can usually get a feeling for how they are. MOST people are pretty decent.

If you want to get a decent price, and you're selling a decent product, above all be patient. I have almost caved a time or two just because I became impatient. All of the stuff I've ever sold has been GOOD stuff, when I feel I'm getting too involved in selling, and not involved enough in getting my price, I pull the ad, and just wait a while and put it back in. So far, that has worked every time.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by emu! View Post
Thanks for starting this thread Tele Ted.

I am in the same situation...wanting to sell stuff, but always wary of strangers agendas.

My biggest fear is counterfeit money...I would never be able to tell a real $20 or $100 bill from a fake if my life depended on it. Maybe requesting payment by US Postal money order is the way to go. A US Postal money order can't have a stop payment on it and I think there is a telephone number you can call to verify it is real before accepting it.
Just checked a $10 bill...
There is a thin strip inside the bill between the president and the seal you can see if you hold it up to a light.

It says USA, the denomination of the bill (in this case TEN) and then has a tiny American flag with the denomination number in the star field of the flag.

Pretty hard to fake that!

You can also inspect the "paper" for the red and blue fibers that should be in it, and if you swipe it hard on a piece of non coated paper like regular printer paper, with your finger pushing it down firmly, some of the green ink should smear off.

These are several ways I was taught without needing that little pen and a blacklight to verify authenticity.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by emu! View Post
Thanks for starting this thread Tele Ted.

I am in the same situation...wanting to sell stuff, but always wary of strangers agendas.

My biggest fear is counterfeit money...I would never be able to tell a real $20 or $100 bill from a fake if my life depended on it. Maybe requesting payment by US Postal money order is the way to go. A US Postal money order can't have a stop payment on it and I think there is a telephone number you can call to verify it is real before accepting it.
Take a look at this not perfect but it catches most currency fakes. We used 'em at my place of business for years.

http://www.staples.com/Dri-Mark-Coun...product_450130

Requires study, I'm not sure where you are, but this works here in the US pretty good. Should be something similar for any country if you search for it. Unless of course you live in Alabama?

http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've done it all, bought/sold/traded, at my home, at park n ride, Starbucks, their home, the office, a park, retail parking lot, a hotel lobby, a general aviation airstrip(the guy flew in). I've driven an hour and I've had people drive two hours. Money has ranged from $15-$3,500.

I have only had one problem in over ten years and probably 30+ transactions. My first attempted purchase I drove an hour to buy a nice strat that ended up being a POS. I learned to be more clear in my communication.

The one thing I've changed over the years is I now put my phone number in the ad and will only take voice calls, no email or text. This seems to have eliminated the scammers/time wasters.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You need to give a very accurate description of what you are selling. Don't go into a long winded story of why your selling it. Nobody cares.

Describe what it is, what it does, what condition it is in and if the product has a website, just and cut & paste the product description from there.

Take the time and take some decent pictures. Find a spot in your house with good lighting and a plain background. If you have an iPhone you can get some really good and detailed pictures. Take as many as you can and pick ones that come out the best and put up about 3 to 4 pictures.

Always ask for cash.

If other folks are selling a similar item, price your item accordingly. For example, if someone is selling a Boss Giga Delay for $150 price yours for $130.

Always try to have a place to meet that is not your house. Meet at a local convenience store with an outlet, or a bar, or a coffee shop.

If your selling a guitar the only thing the buyer wants to know is if everything works as it should. So, all you really need is a battery operated amp like a Micro Cube or smaller to try out the guitar.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I was selling an amp on CL and one guy who lived 5 hrs away wanted to meet up at a rest area halfway and see if we could find an outlet so he try out the amp. I passed on that one.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been to houses in sketchy neighborhoods, totally awesome people. I've had people to the house and they were nice too. Talk to them on the telephone, you'll hear it if it is weird.
That's pretty much where ALL the gear is in the Atlanta area. I use CL all the time and have gotten some insane deals there. I have an ac15 and a hard tail Strat on there as I type.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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IF you need an outlet in your car, get a cheap AC/DC converter that plugs into your cigarette lighter.

I never have people over to the house. I'm sure it would usually be fine. But it only has to be not fine once. And it's not worth the risk to me.
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