by Murilee Martin, Jan 6th 2016
Buying Or Selling, Cars Or Parts, We've All Had Bad Craigslist Experiences
You can find some great stuff on Craigslist, but you can also get scammed or be driven crazy by incomprehensible buyers and/or sellers. I've bought and sold plenty of cars and car parts on Craigslist, going back to its earliest San Francisco-only days of the middle 1990s, and I have experienced the 90 percent of buyers who never show up to see the car, the buyers who see the words "MANUAL TRANSMISSION! NOT AN AUTOMATIC! THREE PEDALS ON THE FLOOR!" in my listing and still get enraged when they discover that the car is not an automatic, the finger-over-the-license-plate blurry photos, everything.
Recently, a friend of mine with a gigantic hoard of engines in his garage decided that he would clear space by unloading a few of them. He took a deep breath, listed them on Craigslist, and began the inevitable process of fending off the flakes and snakes. Guys offered to trade weed, boats, guns, ore (really, ore, as in a truckload of alleged gold ore dumped in his driveway), other engines, anything but cash. Finally, a legit-seeming buyer bit on a good-running Ford 351W V8 engine, pulled from a van that ran fine. He bought it, took it home... and then disassembled it down to the tiniest components, at which point he demanded that my friend give him his money back and let him keep the engine, because the bearings did not look brand-new and the valves had some carbon (see photo, above). It got ugly... but you probably have stories even more head-clutching. Let's hear them!
Question Of The Day: Worst Craigslist nightmare?