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Thread: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

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    Default Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    greetings! I recently found a website that allows you to search all of Craigslist from a single location, and i found someone who has an item that i want (Eastman 605 archtop guitar) the seller is in Antioch and I am in Port Richey Florida. Neither of us have any experience buying/selling long distance and are both wary of the process. We have sent a few E-mails back and forth and he seems to be on the up and up...my question to you good folks at the Cafe is this:Is there a third party company out there that can help us complete our transaction, and that will make us both feel comfortable about our interests ie. his beautiful instrument and my $850? thank you all.....cheffy
    Patrick J. Kelly

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    You guys could coordinate an auction on e-bay with a buy it now price of what you agreed to. Then make the payment via paypal. He'll lose the paypal fee (or you'll pay it) for that added bit of security. Requires a bit more work on each of your parts but there are some protections for each of you via e-bay and pay-pal.

    Other than that idea (which I've never tried), it may just have to be a leap of faith.

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    Registered User OKMike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Cheffy,

    Do you mind sharing the search website you found?

    thanks

    Mike

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    Registered User ApK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Perhaps one of you could find a local dealer to facilitate the sale for a small fee?

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Quote Originally Posted by OKMike View Post
    Do you mind sharing the search website you found?
    30 secs of Googling turned up this. There may be others.
    http://www.searchallcraigs.com/

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    Marbhna Luimni Eddie Sheehy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Just use Paypal for the transaction. Both of you will need paypal accounts and both of you will be protected to a degree. Worth the Paypal fee for peace of mind. Same goes for Ebay auctions, if the seller does not accept Paypal and you pay by check or M.O., you have no protection if you receive shoddy goods... Ebay will huff and puff but ignore you.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Establish contact by phone if you possibly can. Chat the person up, try to get a feel for who he is.

    I've had a Craigslist seller list the item on eBay for me; I've done other transactions by money order or PayPal. I did get ripped off once -- I sent $75 for a MandoBird that never came. In retrospect, it was a too-good-to-be-true price, and the one time I did talk to the seller on the phone, she sounded very young and not entirely with it. I should have been more cautious.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    escrow.com...tho I have never used it I have heard good things.

    I found a great deal on an Italian bowlback mandola in the Seattle area and luckily i have an instrument-savvy friend out there who was willing to look at it for me.

    Generally I use craigslist to buy and sell locally but one day I probably will buy off it... this is a good thread for that.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Craigslist is "supposed" to be a local service, though I think most of us know it is often used differently. You used a search technique to hunt down from a distance, a specific instrument listed on a local classified ads site. There is no reason why the person advertising the instrument for sale on their local Craigslist would be any more or less trustworthy than someone on mandolin cafe, or ebay, or the newspaper.

    I've listed instruments for sale on Craigslist, and sold a few, and what I have learned by doing so is that most of the inquiries I received are A) NOT local (it is easy to do broad Craigslist searches), and B) not serious. Some were obvious scams. So a local seller may not be super eager to deal with an out-of-town buyer, or pack/ship the instrument, while the buyer has to worry about how safe it is to send money. These things can always be tricky, or they can be very smooth and easy and you come away feeling good about. A series of emails, and a couple phone calls are a good idea. Even though it is no guarantee, I like to draft, or request from the seller, a written agreement that summarizes the deal between us, the price, the agreement about returns, etc. Investing a little more time and detail in the deal increases the liklihood it will come out well. Someone shady is not as likely to follow through with those things.
    Jeff Rohrbough
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    Marbhna Luimni Eddie Sheehy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Very good advice Jeff....

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Hi again wow...thanks alot for the suggestions i appreciate the input...my first step now is to direct the seller to this board so he can see the advise as well, i wont have the cash until closer to Christmas so, as long as someone local to him dosent grab it first i have time to build a little more trust via e-mails, phone etc. By the way, i am a mando player too and have been coming to this site for over a year now, drooling over the classifieds,taking advantage of the instructional resourses and laughing with you on the boards. My Thanks to a great bunch of people! Cheffy
    Patrick J. Kelly

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    I was contacted recently from someone in Austin, TX and my item was listed in Pittsburgh's craigslist. I received a legit money order and sent the item. Another buyer from Pittsburgh sent me a money order to send the item as I was about 60 miles from him. Both purchasers were happy with the items and I was good with the money orders. Up till recently I wouldn't have considered it but I guess they are taking the bigger risk. I know I'm honest and I guess they are gambling that I am. I still prefer for folks to see, look, touch, etc. prior to commiting to a purchase but I guess that's not always convenient.
    Cabin Fever String Band, National Pike Pickers

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    30 secs of Googling turned up this. There may be others.
    http://www.searchallcraigs.com/
    That site's alright, but doesn't really give you results in any logical order. My favorite is CraigsHelper: www.craigshelper.com You enter your zip and how far you're willing to go and you get results for all of the corresponding cities in an up-to-date order.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Major problem with Craig's Helper: It gives you results for every city in your search range, even if it doesn't find what you're looking for. So you can have page after page of empty results before you find the object of your search. I only want to see search results if they're actually fruitful.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Mandolins inspire WindinBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Ebay is medium level risk, Craigs list is risky unless you can pick up in person.

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Nothing beats being able to look and handle the instrument. If the location is within a reasonable drive (4-5hours) take a road trip after making sure this is what you might want. I had a bad experience with a guitar and told myself I would have to see it before I bought it.

    Please note I have had excellant experiences buying items from sponsors of this board. But these are board sponsors not Craigslist or eBay.

    Good luck!!!!

    Weagle

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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Ebay is medium level risk, Craigs list is risky unless you can pick up in person.
    Nothing beats being able to look and handle the instrument. If the location is within a reasonable drive (4-5hours) take a road trip after making sure this is what you might want. I had a bad experience with a guitar and told myself I would have to see it before I bought it.
    Please note I have had excellant experiences buying items from sponsors of this board. But these are board sponsors not Craigslist or eBay.

    Good luck!!!!
    Craigslist is not, and shouldn't be, imo, any riskier. People who list stuff for sale on Craigslist plan on interested sellers coming too see and handle the item first. That's the point. The risk comes from (intentionally) bypassing the local/community listings and searching over a broad area. I list things for sale on Craigslist. I'm just as trustworthy as a Craigslist seller as I am here.
    Jeff Rohrbough
    "Listen louder, play softer"

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    Registered User ApK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying an instrument from Craigslist

    Quote Originally Posted by acousticphd View Post
    Craigslist is not, and shouldn't be, imo, any riskier. People who list stuff for sale on Craigslist plan on interested sellers coming too see and handle the item first. That's the point. The risk comes from (intentionally) bypassing the local/community listings and searching over a broad area. I list things for sale on Craigslist. I'm just as trustworthy as a Craigslist seller as I am here.
    Craigslist is no more or less risky than any free classified ad.

    eBay has some additional protections concerning fraud and payment, so I see it as a bit less risky.
    The protections help make up for the non-local/sight-unseen element, plus there's no risk of getting mugged or robbed by a phony craigslister (ok, that's mostly a joke. It's rare but it's happened.)

    ApK

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