On using craigslist – rude or not

Craigslist is is like the classifieds in the news papper, but for free.

Becky and I have been looking for a car for a few weeks, we have been to a dealer and we have been looking online.

We want something with:

  • comfortable seats
  • cruise control
  • better than 30 mpg
  • a roof rack
  • a place for a hitch
  • a little bit on the heavy side so that it has some good handling

We are thinking that something like a Cross-over or a smaller SUV might work… We would have enjoyed the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, but the head rests were a pain.

I sold my car (Black Honda Accord) a few months back.

Hugh's Honda Front

Hugh's Honda Front

When I did, I took the car to a shop and the purchaser paid for an inspection on the car. I let them take it out for a test drive; made the VIN number available to the potential purchasers. (And the final purchaser was not first inquirer. I went through the process with one other person before them.) I would expect someone who is selling their car to show me the same courtesy. I as a buyer do not know how many hits have been on that particular listing.

Following some good sound financial management principles one should not spend before they know what they are getting. And the purchaser should not have to pay for the car before they test drive it.

If one is selling a car, as a buyer I expect to be able to test drive the car, research the car on CarFax, and take it to a shop and get a second opinion on the condition of the car. Additionally, when I buy a car, private party, I expect that any maintenance records would be turned over at the time of purchase as well.

With craigslist there must be a lot of very impolite people who try and take advantage of sellers. 2/3rds of the interactions I have had with people on the north side of Dallas, the sellers have been very distrusting of the buyers. This could be a result of the difference in economic zones between North and South Dallas, this could also just be some rude people selling items in North Dallas.

As Becky and I were looking on craigslist we found this listing: http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2702863575.html So, I contacted the guy at Becky’s request. The following conversation ensued.Special thanks to Nicolas Gallagher[ref 1] for the CSS for the speech bubbles. And to DiskAid for the ability to pull text messages off the iPhone.[ref 2]

Mazda3 listing on craigslist

I called him and talked to him a bit about the car and asked for him to text me the vin number. (My texts are shown in blue and his in orange.)

Received on 11/15/2011 20:05:00



2 things: 1.Can you double check the vin you sent me. I think there is an error in it. 2. When might be a good time to look at the car?

I dont save outgoing txts whats issue? i will meet when u are ready to buy netime (must bring money if u wanna drive though) too many tire kickers :)

The vin you sent was 18 digits and vins are, from what I can tell supposed to be 17. Here is what you sent me Jm1bk1436411655841


—– Next Day
Received on 11/16/2011 13:31:06

U decide if you want the mazda

I did not decide if want the Mazda. I did decide that I want to look at it and sit I the seats and test drive it. If I still want it at that point, and the value to cost ratio is still in my favor. I would choose to do business with you. You sound like you know cars. I don’t buy things to see if I like them. I know I like them. Then I buy them. I also sleep on financial decisions. I don’t rush. Still interested in selling me your car?

In ur favor?

If I am still convinced, that the price fits the goods. Remember I have not even seen the car yet.

Hah i know what the rest are going for mines hands down best buy on the market and i know none drive like this one…. ive had four of these

I am interested in touching the car. I believe you. Do you do your own work or have someone else do it?

I had a shop do it and i can show it but seems like id be wasting my time showing a car to someone who says flat out im not buying it but want to see it

I did not say I am not buying it. If I have to drive. 30 min. One way. Your time is not the only one waisted.

No no no just saying like 2 out of 100 ppl look at a car and come back later to buy it nobody thinks about a purchase while they sleep..thats just an excuse of w [sic]

If u like a car pull the trigger …. tell ya what ill show it any time but i hate when ppl say they want to thnk abou it that really mns no.

So if u like it think about what its worth before coming so u can make a decision then and there and wont have to say “thnk bout it” u can just say yes or no :)

Whats ur email ill send u ton of pics so u can see it

Ok. That request makes sense. Hugh[at]thejourneyler.org

Needless to say, we did not buy the car.


  1. Nicolas Gallagher. 5 MARCH 2010. Pure CSS speech bubbles http://nicolasgallagher.com/pure-css-speech-bubbles/. [Accessed: 29 January 2011] [Link]
  2. Hugh Paterson III. 10 December 2011. Pulling text messages off of iPhones. TheJourneyler.org. http://hugh.thejourneyler.org/2011/pulling-text-messages-off-of-iphones/ [Accessed: 29 January 2012] [Link]

2 thoughts on “On using craigslist – rude or not

  1. He came across very scattered, but it seemed like he just didn’t know how to express himself concisely and well. As a person who’s sold things on craigslist, including cars, I do understand his frustration with people who just look and never come back. I’ve also bought cars from craigslist, and the decision and buy always happened during that first meeting. I think what he really might have been saying was that he won’t let someone “think about it” and still expect him to hold the car or keep trying to communicate. Many buyers on craigslist want to “think about it”… want to come back later… want you to “hold the car” while they go do this that and the other thing. CL is first come first serve, period. With his atrocious expression, I hate to say it, but I actually do understand his frustration with buyers who aren’t willing to just seal the deal… or just say no.

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