I was first introduced to Craigslist about seven years ago by my good friend Julie. She had been talking about this amazing website where you could get almost anything you wanted, but I didn’t quite understand the absolute power of the site, so I sort of shrugged it off and put it in the back of my mind. At the time, I was intently focused on driving Alfonzo T-Shirts & Designs off a cliff, and was doing so quite successfully, so I couldn’t be bothered with another trendy website. It wasn’t until a few months later that I first discovered the “free” section and within a week, my garage was filled with 700 records, a Nordic Trak ski machine, two “slightly used” leather chairs, and a box full of women’s v-neck shirts with a tiny pocket on the left chest. Needless to say, I immediately discovered that just because the stuff is free online doesn’t mean you HAVE to take it, 2004 Rob! There is a reason someone gave away her precious wardrobe of classic Kohl’s specials, and it is not so you can flip them and make a huge profit. I promise!
Over the years, since then, I have dealt with Craigslist a lot and not just for the free stuff or the “casual encounters” section, either. I’ve bought countless TVs, DVD players, video game systems, laptops..You name it, I’ve probably bought it. I also sold, gave away, or bartered 99% of said merchandise on Craigslist along with most of the crap I find in storage units and what I buy at garage sales. I’ve hired overpaid workers to help me finish large jobs, answered gigs for beer money, and I even got my Jack Russell of terror from the “pets” section. The majority of the customers who have utilized the service of Centex Moves* have come from my ads, and I even sought out technical advice from computer nerds. This truly is more than just another “trendy website”; it’s a source for everything you could ever want or need.
While Craigslist is an incredible outlet to satisfy the needs of a natural born hustler like myself, it’s not always cupcakes and cartwheels, my friend (yea, I just made that up…feel free to use it). There’s some pretty scary stuff out there, and you really need to be mindful of who you’re dealing with. You might come across someone who is just crazy enough to follow the advice they see on Life of Rob. (Of course the likelihood of that happening is pretty much slim to none, since I’m no more popular than an ad trying to push gay pride t-shirts on a group of Texas Republicans).
Whatever. I still have you, my loyal readers. And because I love you, I now offer you the top ten list of ways to have fun with the people you are dealing with on Craigslist. Or get you arrested. Just don’t call me to bail you out.
1. When you show up to sell something to a potential buyer, look around nervously and sweat profusely when you’re making the deal. Also, scratch your face and arms a lot and then ask the buyer if he knows where you can score some good stuff.
2. Check to see if you’re potential buyer is on Facebook and if her pictures are public. If so, print them all out and put them in a shrine in your living for her to see when she gets to your house. She’ll think it’s really sweet.
3. Make a deal to sell something for a really good price, and then when the buyer shows up at your house, act like you don’t understand why he’s there and get really angry when he tries to explain he just answered a craigslist ad. Pull out a knife to make things really interesting.
4. When you arrive to meet a guy, and he has his wife or girlfriend with him, try to make a deal to “borrow” her for a couple of hours. Ask if she is for rent and how much per hour.
5. Answer any ads you see from someone selling a shovel and/or a wheelbarrow, and make a deal. When you show up at the seller’s house, have a really wild look on your face and cover yourself with dirt and fake blood. Tell them you’re in a hurry and need to get this done quickly and then make them promise they never saw you.
6. Answer an ad offering a free dog and show up in a food truck. Inspect the dog thoroughly and comment on how fat it is. Tell the owner this dog will work out great, and if children are present, wink at them and tell them the dog will be in good hands with you.
7. Make a deal to purchase a video camera and ask a bunch of random questions like, “How hard is it to conceal”, “Does it work well in low lighting”, or “is it good at focusing when pressed against a window, especially if the blinds are mostly shut”.
8. Show up at either the buyer or seller’s house in a suit carrying a briefcase and tell them you have an AWESOME opportunity for them. Make sure to let them know they look like a brilliant entrepreneur and then make them sit through an entire presentation on how your global Fortune 500 Company can make them independently wealthy in 3 years.
9. When making arrangements to meet somewhere, ask if the location is anywhere near a high school and explain that you’re not allowed within 1,000 feet. It’s funnier if you’re making arrangements to buy Hannah Montana: The Complete Second Series.
OK I actually just ran out of ideas and I can’t think of a really good #10, so I’m leaving it to you, my devoted followers. Leave me a comment with your suggestion, and I will publically recognize the best answer. Plus, the “winner” will receive a mystery item from one of the boxes o’ crap my wife is sick of looking at treasure I have accumulated in the garage. Probably something from the last storage locker I bought. I promise it’ll be cool!
*Back to the Centex Moves mention. Due to the overwhelming success of one of my previous posts, “10 Ways to Lose Repeat business”, many (2) of you have asked if I really did do all of that stuff and suggested that, if so, I really need to live my life in a bubble. The answer is no…of course not. I did wreck my truck, but my trailer was empty. Also, I wasn’t really trying to take a picture of the girl in the Old Navy sweatshirt. I mean there was no girl! *sigh* Never mind.
On a side note, I’m actually pretty good at customer service and have received a handful of emails praising me for my professionalism. So there!