Folks here at RainyDayMagazine buy and sell stuff on EBay and Craigslist (Celestron, Meade) all the time. We love it because we get to buy things at a great price. Based on our past seven years of buying and selling on both forums, we have noticed three distinct differences between EBayers and Craigslister.
1. EBayers don't like to meet face-to-face, Craigslisters do.
Even if the EBay listing is in the same town, most EBayers will not want successful bidders to come by to pick up the item. This is understandable as you never know who may show up at the door (porno movie plots notwithstanding). Craigslisters love it. Some Craigslisters will actually get so "pissed-off" if you don't want to interact "live" that they would REFUSE to sell you the item (see last point below)!
2. EBayers love Paypal, Craigslisters want cash.
The only safe way to do transaction on EBay is to use PayPal. Accepting a personal check is just crazy, banks checks are easily forged, and US Postal Money Orders are a hassle. Craigslist deals should be "cash on pick-up" only. Any other way is just silly. You already have to interact in real-time, use real money.
3. EBayers can be scam-artists, Craigslisters can be touchy.
It is much easier to be cheated when you can't touch the goods or see the other party face-to-face. This is definitely true for items which may be knock-offs or fakes (Rolexes, diamonds, etc...). Craigslisters are by-and-large very honest, but can sometimes be a bit odd. Take "WonderWoman" in the email above for instance. She actually got so annoyed with us because we didn't CALL her instead of emailing that she has decided not to sell us her boxed set of Indiana Jones DVDs. Well, that is fine by us because anyone who "doesn't drive and don't come into Boston...ever" frankly kind of scares us.
Our EBay and Craigslist experieces has taught us two things:
- There are great bargains on EBay (use PayPal) and Craigslist (bring cash).
- There is always another seller selling exactly what you want.
BTW, we did manage to find another seller in Boston who had BOTH the Indiana Jones AND Jurassic Park boxed sets for sale at half the price being asked by WonderWoman. We are going to meet Alex tonight and close the deal... in Newton :-) [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau