General Question

girlofscience's avatar

How should I go about buying a furniture set from this random person?

Asked by girlofscience (7550points) June 17th, 2008

My boyfriend and I were checking out some furniture sets on Craigslist. We’ll be renting the Uhaul the day before we move (June 28), and we were thinking of meeting up with someone from Craigslist to buy some cute furniture. We found a set we are really interested in, and we contacted the girl and said we’d be able to pick it up on June 27. In order to hold it for that long, she wants a deposit. Isn’t there something like “escrow” used for these purposes? Should I put the deposit in an escrow account where it’s dependent on her giving us the furniture on that date or something? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to handle this situation without coming off as “I don’t trust you” or something. ?

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It’s business. You are not supposed to trust her. Escrow sounds fine to me. She is not going to become a friend, remember.

Dog's avatar

The flake out ratio on Craigslist for folks looking to buy is very high. She is not out of line to ask for a deposit.

I would request a dated, written, signed deposit stating the amount of deposit given, date of pickup and the remaining amount due.

In the remote event she did undersell you and did not want to return the deposit you would be able to easily collect it in small claims court.

cheebdragon's avatar

Unless she’s selling the furniture because shes moving…...collects your $, sells the stuff to someone else and moves before you come pick it up…....

cheebdragon's avatar

How much of a deposit is she asking? I wouldn’t give her more than $20

susanc's avatar

Escrow is a legal process that costs money.
Instead, give her the deposit postdated to June 27. If you don’t show up, she keeps it. If you do show up, she keeps it and the rest of the payment.
If she tries to cash the check before June 27, your bank won’t honor it, so you’re covered. If they accidentally honor it, you can force them to pay that money back to you by threatening them with Small Claims Court. Your bank doesn’t want this to happen.
Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that Small Claims Court makes money owed to you “easy to collect”. You don’t know where this person is, where she works, where she may be moving to. You’d get a judgment in your favor
if she illegally kept your deposit but sold the stuff to someone else, but collection is a long, drawn-out, often fruitless process. Don’t even think about it.

judyprays's avatar

she’s a person with a similar taste in furniture as you. how bad could she be? if this was me, i’d ask if i could come over and see it first. i’d take my boyfriend, scope it AND her out.
you might not become besties, but chances are you’ll feel more comfortable with each other and can do it the old fashioned honor system way.
if she’s a wench, you can always still do the escrow, but why would you want to buy furniture from a wench?

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