Craigslist is known worldwide for their classifieds for just about anything – from toys to furniture. With a few simple clicks and an email address, anyone can post wanted and ‘for sale’ items. However, everyone needs to be aware and distinguish valid and scam posts in Craigslist.
Search and browse within your own city or state limits. This will give you and the seller the opportunity to meet in person.
Try all attempts to exchange in person instead of mailing money. Unlike E-Bay, Craigslist is not responsible of transaction mishaps. This means, if you send money to someone, you can’t report it to Craigslist if you don’t receive the item that you were paying for. Any reference to Craigslist that says “buyer protection” or “certified seller” is bogus.
Insist on cash. Fake checks and money orders are common, and banks will hold you – not the seller – responsible. Never wire money to anyone under any circumstances. Most payments made by wire transfer are fraudulent.
Prioritize posts with pictures over text-only posts. If you are interested in a non-image post or would like more details, contact the poster but do not make any offers until you are fully satisfied. If they don’t get back to you, look for something else.
Have some knowledge of what the item’s average price is. This is more common for renting an apartment or buying a car over Craigslist. If you’re not sure, browse through newspaper classifieds, other Craigslist posts, use the Kelley Blue Book for vehicles, or ask friends for a reasonable price range for that specific item.