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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Is This A Common Craigslist Scam?

    I found a particular pair of stereo speakers on Craigslist that I had been looking for, at an attractive (firm/no haggle) price. The seller had also listed several other stereo components in the same ad, selling individually.

    I contacted the seller via Craigslist on a Friday and he called me the next day. He said he would check with his wife's schedule re: when I could visit to buy the speakers. I expected a same-day phone call but that didn't happen. He didn't contact me on Sunday either.

    On Monday, the ad is removed and I still hadn't heard from him. I contact him via craigslist again and ask if the speakers are still available and that I understand if circumstances cancelled the ad.

    He replied on Tuesday, not explaining why the ad was pulled, but agreeing to meet on Wednesday evening.

    Now, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking the pulling of the ad was deliberate so there would be no record of the asking price of the speakers. They were roughly $100-$200 below what I'd expect to pay for these speakers used. Then, when I show up to buy the speakers, I expect him to say the price was higher than I saw in the ad, but I'd have no proof. Preparing for this scenario, I was prepared to politely walk away.

    Sure enough, that's what happened. I show up and mention the ad disappearing, and he said he had "second thoughts" about selling the equipment. Then when it came to time to exchange cash, I deliberately mentioned the price BEFORE HE DOES and he said, "No; the price is ($100 higher).

    I immediately declined the deal and suggested he check his ad (Ads on Craigslist are still be available on an individual's account log even after deletion; mine are.) He mentioned something about not wearing his glasses when creating the ad and quickly offered to take the price I saw on the ad. Had I been wrong, I would have paid the higher price.

    So was he trying to bait and switch me on price? Is this a common craigslist scam?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: burgrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I'm not familiar with this, but what a waste of your time. Maybe next time when you arrange to meet, re-confirm the price? Also print out the ad so you have proof.
    In general, I've had good luck with Craigslist, but it can be a freakshow.
    I am about to sell my car (Acura TL, $8k range) and I'm worried about dealing with potential idiots.

  3. #3
    a real member's member
    Reputation: blackfrancois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    So was he trying to bait and switch me on price?
    sounds like it.

    Is this a common craigslist scam?
    not as far as i'm aware. i've bought dozens of bikes and bike parts and never run into this kind of thing. maybe cycling folks are better than most.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: jason124's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    +1 on burgrat's suggestion.

    Haven't ran into this yet, but definitely worth printing or even taking a screen shot of the ad before heading over for future transactions.

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