Since moving from our acreage we have been on a continuous quest to reduce the amount of stuff that we have, partly because what we keep we need to store and partly because we have been driving toward simplifying life. To get rid of our stuff we have used a combination of goodwill, a garage sale and Kijiji.com
In terms of hassle, I would say the garage sale is the highest and goodwill the lowest – in theory. Kijiji quickly rises to the top of hassle list when you include the fact that Kijiji is used by online scammers.
The mustang we sold was preyed upon by at least two different scams, both twice as we took down the ad and re-posted to get it to the top of the list. The first involved a paypal look-a-like email that showed that payment had been received for the car plus $950. The extra $950 was to be wired via Western Union to China so the “buyer” could pay an agent to come and pick up the car. Logon to paypal, no money.
What made the whole scheme comical is that the “buyer” in his first email said he was in Northern Alberta where satellite connections were not reliable so there was no way to talk to him, only email. His second email would explain that had added $950 to the asking price because he needed me to wire the money to pay the agent because he was on an oil platform in the ocean and had no access to a bank to pay his agent.
He’s in northern Alberta, where Sat phones don’t work, on the ocean, with no access to a bank, buying a car sight unseen for the asking price and hiring an agent to pickup the car for him. It must work because I got two copies of this email chain one with the name Peter and the other Marcus for two different postings of the same car. To the second set of emails I sent the first set…
The other scam involved paying a $500 finders fee to a company based in the US in advance of an actual sale. They had a pretty good looking website and used a combination of emails and at least two different people who called me. What set the alarm off was they would ask for a credit card number on the first call after claiming they already had a buyer for the car above asking price. At the very end they even tried to pressure sell their service which of course did not further their cause.
Even when dealing with legit people we had a few challenges. One was related to what happens to deposit if you back out of a purchase at the last minute, after we have turned down other offers. The other was how to protect both people when the transfer of funds is under way. The person who ended up buying the Mustang wanted to do the transaction at 8:00 pm on Friday with a bank draft. You can only determine if a bank draft is legit if you are at a bank and that bank can verify via fax to the issuing bank, not on the phone which would be convenient and useful. Then he said he would be able to get cash on Friday night which seemed weird because I know that I would have trouble finding over $10,000 cash on a Friday night. Needless to say, the transaction didn’t occur until Saturday.
Another lesson I learned is that it doesn’t matter what a potential buyer looks like, any one of them might be the buyer. On the tent trailer the people that finally bought it looked like tire kickers to me but in the end had cash and paid right after I had showed them it. People who in my mind looked like buyers ended up skipping the pickup time without any notice.
Despite this we did manage to sell a Ford Mustang , a couch, toys, tent trailer, utility trailer, tools and find renters for the house. You just need to be careful when you deal with people, be clear with them about what a deposit means, not judge a potential buyer by looks and when taking payment protect yourself. Thanks kijiji.