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Monday, August 29, 2011

Run Over By Craigslist

As part of our preparations to get ready for our full time life on the road, downsizing has been the mantra around our abode.  One item that had to go was my 2008 Honda Civic, the car I used to do my daily 330 mile commute in.

Honda makes a great car and the Civic was no exception.  It ran and ran and never let me down.  I'd head out on the highway, set the cruise control at 76 miles an hour and zip back and forth to work.  After three years, the little car had 154,000 miles on it, but still ran like a top.

Unfortunately, with that kind of mileage, the blue book value is kind of low.  I figured what-the-heck, I'd add a $1000 to the listed value.

Never having used Craigslist before, I was a little nervous about trying it.  My daughter, Heather, is a Craigslist wonder, selling all kinds of unneeded stuff on it with great results.  When I asked her how to use it, she said it's so easy, it's idiot proof.  That sounded like it was right up my alley,  I've been know to resemble an idiot from time to time.

I snapped a few pictures from different angles and then, with sweaty palms, Goggled Craigslist.  I followed the directions and after about twenty minutes, with three aborted attempts and two edits behind me, I got the car on Craigslist.  Note to self:  It helps to sell something if you put contact information with your ad (Duh!).

Within a minute, my cell phone rang.  It was a guy calling about the car, before I could tell him about the car, my phone beeped indicating another call.  Putting the first caller on hold I took the second call and just a few words in, the phone beeped again.  Another call.  Getting back to the first caller I got more calls and then the text messages started coming in.  The first caller said he'd be there in 15 minutes, the second caller said 10 minutes, the third was on his way in twenty minutes, and the phone kept on ringing and receiving texts.  It started to resemble the famous Running with the Bulls in Spain.

Some of the calls I had to laugh at, one guy texted me an offer two thousand dollars less than my asking price.  I texted back the listed price.  He kept trying, offering more increases by $500 increments.  All the time I was still was still getting calls, some were hilarious.  "I'll give you double your price if you'll hold the car for me until next month", or "Will you finance the car?"

The phone rang and rang and was still ringing when the first buyer showed up, as well as the second and the third.  They were circling the car like buzzards over a roadkill, and giving each other the stink eye.

I did the right thing, the old "First Come, First Served" model.  I sold the car to Bob, the first caller.  He coughed up the asking price in nice, crisp $100 bills.  I tried to sign the title over to him as the phone kept on ringing.  I finally shut it off so I could count the money and affix my John Hancock in the right place on the title.

As the car drove away to its new home and the other two buyers dejectedly walked to their cars, mumbling under their breath, I ran inside and quickly took my ad off of Craigslist.  I pulled out my phone and turned it back on, finding 15 missed more calls and 5 more texts.  I scrolled through the texts and had to laugh at the messages, some ridiculous, others almost pleading.  I couldn't believe, when I looked at my watch was that only a half hour had passed.

Maybe I should list our house on Craigslist, if this is the kind of results you can get, the house would be sold already!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. With traffic like that you should have had them bidding against each other or listed it for $3K over the blue book. Hondas last forever. We had an accord that went to 320K. Yours was hardly broken in.

  2. Wow, that car did more miles every day than we do on travel days in the motorhome:)

    Great you sold it so fast, I am not sure I want that many phone calls on something I have for sale.

  3. Hily cow! That was fast. Good for you!

  4. Haha, I was saying the exact thing about you listing the house on CL, then I see you said that at the end of your post. Good for you!

  5. That's alot of miles but it's a good car that sold fast. Our Miata sold fast on Craigslist too. I hope our furniture does too once we finally sell the house.

  6. thanks for the laugh about your craigs list experience! glad that you had some great luck!!! if only the house would go that fast!!!
    and by the is idiot proof but you are far from one!!

  7. Great that it went so fast, I have my Dad's VW on Craigslist and it seems that all I get are the scam guys. I've had a couple of doctors, a marine biologist and a petroleum engineer all send me offers that match or exceed my ask but they all have some strange reason why they can't talk to me in person, and when I mention that it is a cash deal, no pay pal, no cheques they get defensive and proceed to tell me that they are somewhere far away where e-payments are the only possible way. I usually tell them that I am sorry but I need to see who is taking the car, and more importantly the colour of their money, as I need to see it gets a good home.

  8. Does it make you wonder if you sold it way too low?

    We've sold lots of stuff on CL and never negotiate with anyone if they haven't seen the merchandise first. There are a lot of scammers there but many more honest folks too. It's a great tool!

  9. Congratulations on the sale of your car. We too used Craigslist to downsize when we sold the house and moved into the condo. Will use it again when we're ready to downsize to move into the RV. We'll probably be selling my hybrid Highlander when we get on the road since it can't be towed; maybe we should consider Craigslist for that too :-)))

  10. We used CL to rid ourselves of all the stuff too. It was amazing what went quickly and what did not. Many times just the opposite of what we thought would happen. It can become a feeding frenzy quickly :)

    Maybe you should list your house on Craigslist. Your Realtor needs some help :)

  11. All of our stuff was done on CL. We had people roaming around for several items and they'd raise the price bidding against each other. The condo was put on CL, but we had the contact number going to the Realtor which did the showing.

    We had a few of JB's problems too with the scam. Have to watch for that, only have them PICK up stuff don't send it. I'm so glad you sold the car so fast, that was a great car with low milieage.

  12. It seems to us you have the hang of this Craigslist thing;o))

    Give the house a shot...if it works, we will pay you a commission to sell ours on Craigslist;o)))

    We just might check with our realtor and see if he has ever used Craigslist!!

  13. Hey, we're looking for a new toad and I understand you can tow a civic. :-D