What not to buy or to be worried about on Craigslist:
- Furniture: Can be a big risk, especially anything with stuffing or cloth due to stains, pet allergens, and even bed bugs and/or rats. I read an article about a person who bought a couch that had a cat in it! Buyer beware. You can get a great deal on furniture, but be very selective as a buyer. If you are trying to sell furniture, be truthful. Buyers also like to see statements like “From a Pet-Free and Smoke-Free Home.”
- Phones: The safest way to buy a phone on Craigslist is to ask the seller to meet you at the carrier to complete the phone’s transfer. This ensures a clean and transferable “ESN” (Serial Number). If a phone is reported as stolen or if the bill hasn’t been paid, the phone might have a “Bad ESN” and/or cannot be transferred. Some people like to call these ESN’s in to a carriers support phone number, but they can be “clean ESN’s” but still not transferable due to an outstanding bill. Some people will sell their phones knowing that they have outstanding bills – and leave the buyer with a non-transferable phone that later will become a “Bad ESN” due to mounting overdue payments.
- Cars: Where to begin. There can be title issues, mechanical issues, state law issues, and a lot more. In many states people are technically illegally selling cars because they have sold enough cars to require a auto trader license that they do not possess (Some states are as low as only 3 cars per year). You need to read up and get a mechanic involved. Also think about this, if someone has 160,000 miles on a car and suddenly decides to give up a car they have been driving for over a decade – there is a very decent chance something is wrong with that car. Also KBB (Kelley Blue Book) values are absolute garbage.
- Real Estate: Similar to cars – there are so many moving legal factors involved with real estate, it is best to get a lawyer involved in any situation. Real Estate especially due to potential tax leans and code violations.
- “Too good to be true”deals might be stolen. You see a $500 iPhone on Craigslist for $200? Its probably stolen. Use basic reasoning to avoid problems. Avoid posts that make it apparent to the average person that it is stolen. Things like “must sell NOW” are usually redflags.
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