Scams on Craigslist

The topic of Craigslist advertising has come in different discussions over the past few months. A marketing consultant suggested that I need to do it for our marina business. One accountant even suggested last week that he was getting work through Craigslist. I am skeptical since almost all of my past Craigslist experience involves scammers in one form or another.

We recall one incident a few years ago there two gangsters from Philadelphia showed up at our remote South Jersey shore house in a new black Cadillac SUV presumably to buy a leather sofa as we had discussed. But once they arrived and wouldn’t leave unless I sold it at a price only a small fraction of what it was listed. We are many miles from police or help from neighbors and we were scared. I sold the sofa for $50 just to get rid of them.

Then there was the time I tried to sell my motorcycle and got lots of response. But every young guy who showed up seemed legitimate and likable but had less than $100 in his pocket and pleaded with me to sell the bike for far less than it was worth. After a few weeks of this, I grew weary with the game and dropped the price dramatically just to get the deal done. The buyers’ strategy worked but at my expense.

Yesterday I placed an advertisement for boat slip rentals. I hope to emphasize that we are less expensive that other New Jersey docking areas and this low cost approach seems like a good match for a Craigslist audience. The first Sunday in May seemed like the perfect time to place the ad. But by the end of the day the only response was from a scammer in Mexico. I almost fell for his pitch for the landline phone number until I found that his area code was not used in the U.S. and other reported scams coming from text numbers with that area code.

I suppose that I have two choices if I want to continue exploring the use of Craigslist advertising for business: 1) learn more about Craigslist advertising, or 2) outsource the project to someone who specializes in this. I’m leaning toward the second.



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