Craigslist is the catch-all of things for sale, services offered, jobs posted, rooms available, and even relationships wanted. Many car buyers and sellers have used it successfully. Will I sell my vehicle on Craigslist? I’m deciding. Here’s why.
Since Craigslist is a free platform, scammers lurk there too. And scam they do. Every money instrument has become their tool at some point–counterfeit money orders, counterfeit checks, PayPal scams, Western Union scams, and even fake cash. Car sellers tend to get at least one suspicious response to their Craigslist listings. So how is a person supposed to get their money? Craigslist and most other gurus recommend a cash-only policy for all Craigslist sales. They also recommend only dealing with local people (i.e. people who can actually meet with you in person for the transaction). For a large ticket item like a car, it’s best to handle the payment in cash at a bank, where the bank can immediately verify that it’s real money. If I decide to sell my vehicle on Craigslist, that is likely what I will do.
Some vehicle sales have brought home large chunks of cash. Other vehicles have gone missing–and sometimes, their owners have gone missing too. Youa Ty Lor posted a Craigslist ad to sell his car. A man by the name of Dao Xiong responded to the ad. On the test drive, Xiong shot Lor and threw him into a ditch and took off with the car. Lor was found and taken to the hospital, but died from his injuries. To date, 101 murders have been linked with Craigslist. If the person responding to your ad sounds suspicious, trust your gut feeling. Whenever possible, meet in a well-lit, neutral location that’s equipped with security cameras. Some people even meet at a police station.
Because Craigslist is set up by region, your reach extends only to the people in your area. And Craigslist does not allow you to post your ad in multiple regions. If you feel too limited by that (for example, if you’re trying to sell a large Dodge truck in a Prius world), you can list your vehicle on an online marketplace, such as eBay Motors, Auto trader, or Cars.com. Auto Tempest is said to cover multiple car-selling sites and to offer Craigslist aggregation. However, if you sell your car to someone a distance away, the transaction may not happen in person. They may decide to have the car shipped to them instead of coming to pick it up.
When you sell through Craigslist, you are responsible for your own protection. If you sell through a reputable online marketplace, such as eBay or Autotrader, they will have established more secure ways for car transactions to take place. However, even those sites have had problems with scams. If you really want to be safe, there is really only one other option for you–a cash-for-car company. These types of dealers do not require you to buy a car from them in order to qualify for a trade-in. No, they make it painless and easy–they give you cash in exchange for your car.
Should I sell my vehicle on Craigslist? It depends. If you’re in doubt, you can always call up a local cash-for-car company. Then, you don’t need to deal with the crazy people that might be lurking on Craigslist.