General Question

kneesox's avatar

Need advice immediately on sale of item?

Asked by kneesox (1608points) 3 weeks ago

I posted a fairly expensive item ($700) on Craigslist and got a taker right away. He wants to send me a certified check and then make arrangements for pickup when it clears. Is this usual? I am balking at the idea of sending him my name, address, and phone, even though I would do that if he were coming to pick them up today.

His first message was under one name and his second (by gmail) was under another.

Anything about this sound off to you? I’m not an experienced seller and don’t know what might be routine and what’s not.

Thanks—need to know quick.

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15 Answers

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

It’s definitely a little weird. If you want accept the sale while still being extra safe, you can have the check sent to some other address (like work or a friend’s house) and then arrange the pickup for a public place in town (a popular place with good lighting). Of course, that assumes you have those options available.

kneesox's avatar

If he came to my house and handed me cash, that would feel ok. What is it about this that I don’t like?

How do I meet in a public place with something that I can’t move or carry?

I don’t know how I’d feel better going alone to a Target parking lot than having some guy come here to pick up. I’m new at this and suddenly creeped out.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

The two names thing is what makes it weird to me, though I don’t know how different they were. If I had to speculate, what’s weirding you out might be that he proposed a very specific and unexpected method for making the exchange. We’ve been programmed by evolution to be suspicious of things that are outside of our personal normal, even if they are no more dangerous than things that are within our personal normal.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

Just saw your edit. If it’s something you can’t move or carry, then you’ll have to get someone to help you move it or just reconcile yourself to giving him your address. But if you choose the former, you don’t have to go anywhere alone. No reasonable person should be upset about you showing up to an exchange with another person there. I’ve accompanied friends and family to places when they were meeting with strangers, and none of the strangers ever objected to my presence. If you can’t find a way to do this that makes you comfortable, though, you should just trust your instincts and pass.

kritiper's avatar

Conduct the transaction through PAYPAL. Or a money order.

janbb's avatar

If he’s sending you a certified check and waiting for it to clear, it seems pretty safe to me. You obviously do have to give him your address for the check (as you would if he were coming to the house with cash) but you don’t need to give him your phone number until the check is cleared and the pick up arranged. Then just have your son or another person with you at the house when they come to pick it up.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This sounds very fishy to me. I would insist on cash, Venmo, or PayPal.

kneesox's avatar

Thanks, all. I went with my gut and declined the transaction. You helped me decide to do that by reinforcing my own doubts.

The first name was an oddly spelled female name and the second was male. The phone number he gave is many states away. I’d rather donate the item somewhere and take the loss than get into something that feels funny.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Go with your gut instinct. Forget about it.

sorry's avatar

I’m friends with someone who does a lot of business on Ebay. She will not accept checks (cheques) of any kind. Even a certified check can be initially deposited to the beneficiary, but then can be reversed (with a fee, to boot) if the check is found to be altered or counterfeit. There ARE scams out there with counterfeit bank checks. Paypal only.

gondwanalon's avatar

Don’t deal with that turkey. It’s scam.
That happened to me. The check arrived but it was 10 times too much. The buyer told that that his secretary made a mistake but just cash the check anyway and give him back the extra money. I told the buyer that I tore the check up and he threw a fit. HA!

janbb's avatar

Everybody’s making sense here. Glad you decided it was fishy.

gorillapaws's avatar

There are scams where a check “clears” and then later gets reversed.

kneesox's avatar

Thanks again. How nice for once to be wiser without being sadder.

Another tipoff: the initial contact was very clumsy English, and the check offer was polished and precise.

janbb's avatar

@kneesox Off topic but I think we’re wrapped up with yours. I got an email from someone I haven’t been in touch with for years asking how I was doing and if I could do her a small favor. She was trying to buy a gift card for her niece and would I buy it and she would pay me back! I reported the email and said “Sorry, I can’t.”

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