Craigslist now charging to sell cars & Facebook Marketplace Issues

I haven’t been involved in the sale sites too much lately but found out about this recently.

I am not sure it will be a bad thing either as it may cut out a lot of the total junk, crazies, scams, etc.

I used to think CL was just a complete mess and then Facebook Marketplace came along. The shear stupidity of people on that is unbelievable and it seems they like the waste time for sport and enjoyment. I really hate the automated responses where all you do is click a button and send a message like “Is this available?”, “Interested”, and so on. I get these messages and then respond to have them call me and provide a phone number. They either never respond/call or start asking questions. The ones who ask questions are never serious so I would just tell them my phone number and to call. They would never call and keep asking. I finally started listing in my ads to read the entire thing. I would say CALLS ONLY and provide my number several times and still get these messages. I finally put that I would block any incoming messages from users and that I only accepted calls.

I think a lot of these messages are idiots but also scammers “phishing” to see if a live person responds. I posted a notice that something being sold on a local site was a scammer. It had nothing for sale and was just information. I got all kinds of responses so must assume they were some type of scam bot.

I also get the typical scams where they want to send a cashier’s check and use a “3rd party shipper”, whatever that means. Those are always scams so I don’t even bother looking into it more. I am curious about the shipper though. I think someone told me nothing is ever shipped. It is all about getting them on the payment.

One of my buddies tried selling his car online. It was so frustrating for him that he simply took the cash offer from CarMax and sold it to them for about half of what he should have gotten according to KBB. He was so sick of all the nonsense and scams.

The same thing happened to me with a riding mower I had for sale. It was a parts or repair unit and I didn’t need it and wasn’t going to fix it and wasn’t going to take the time to part it out and eBay it. I put it up on FB for a decent price and all I got were crap responses. I ended up cutting it apart and hauling it to the scrap yard. I was so sick of messing with this.

I have a few more mowers that I will list when I get time and suspect they will meet the same fate.

I’ve bought cars, bicycles, mowers, furniture, etcetera on Craigslist. At one time I enjoyed browsing the cars there, but it is so full of car dealer sales now (They’ve taken it over), that I’m not the least bit interested in, that I have about given it up for car shopping. It’s trashed for me.

A five dollar fee to non-dealers should just about finish it off…

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That makes sense as well.

Another big issue is that it may send a lot more “parts or repair” cars to the junk heap that a car enthusiast would have wanted and purchased.

Another thing I like about CL compared to FB is you can turn off e-mail responses and only accept phone calls. I also spell out some of the numbers so that automated bots have a harder time collecting my number. All the e-mails I would get were either scams or time wasters. It seems that requiring a phone call prequalifies people as being more interested. I USED to say it also eliminated scammers but they seem to have overcome their fear of actually calling people these days once they realized just how well that worked. Scams are about the biggest thing going right now from what I am seeing in my line of work.

This is the nonsense that has made me frustrated with FB. Apparently a lot of both the good and bad people who used to use CL are moving over to FB.

One nice thing about CL is that you don’t have to be a “member” to shop there. I don’t use Facebook - I’m not a huge fan of spy programs disguised as socialization hangouts, and after they pulled their little stunt where they conducted a psychological study on unaware members to see if they could influence them into sinking into depression, I certainly wasn’t going to reward them by signing up for an account.

I’m all for the $5 listing fee. In addition to the dealership spam mentioned above, seems like half the car ads on CL are scams. They offer stupid crap like a 2019 TLX for $5,000 in the hopes that they can sucker someone into falling for a cashier’s check scam. Be nice if that stuff were winnowed out.


That was my feeling. The $5 fee may weed out a lot of the scams and nonsense. Sure, it won’t be perfect but it would be nice to clean up some of that mess. I wonder if that was their main motivation over the money for doing this. The new car for $5000 is a classic scam. I saw a John Deere Gator for $800 a month ago on FB. I didn’t even respond as the ad was a day old and I figured it was long gone at that price. It showed up again a month later and began to wonder. I looked up the listed e-mail address and the same ad showed up on FB Marketplace sites all over the country so I knew it was a scam at that time.

I certainly am not a fan of FB and their data collection either. I also don’t like their political stance and obvious political bias. They have a huge double standard on enforcement of the rules. One of my buddies went hunting with his young daughter. It was her first time and she got a nice buck. She was all excited and he posted a nice picture of her with the deer, gun etc. on his Facebook page.

Some woman responded along the lines of “You inbred hick! I hope someone comes to your special needs daughters’ school and shoots the place up. You inbred hillbillies need to be sterilized.” He reported it to FB for violation of community standards and they responded that the woman had done nothing wrong and was not in violation of anything. Of course he reported it to local law enforcement who took more of an interest than FB.

I know people who have been thrown in “Facebook Jail” for much lesser offenses that didn’t jive with their stance. I mean if someone had said something racist or anti-gay, etc., FB would have definitely gone after them.

These reasons are one reason why I no longer advertise my company on FB. The other issue was that I got nothing but nonsense and I was paying good money to attract this crap.

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Craigslist used to give you the option of dealer only ads,private party, or both. Now it’s a free for all with dealers using $0 as the price to show up no matter how low you set the limit.

A friend was just venting his frustration at online selling because even though he listed the truck as having a blown motor people still call up to ask if it runs and other things that were in the ad.

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That is one of my biggest complaints as well. You list all the good and bad points about an item such as the blown engine in the truck example and people ask if it runs or if there is anything wrong with it.

Some of the prices are just insane as well. There was a 32 inch LCD no-name Wal-Mart TV for $400. I read the listing and it was like “The TV takes 5 minutes to warm up, then there are lines on the screen for about 10 minutes. It looks great as long as you leave it on and don’t turn it off.” My initial assumption was that this was a $100 TV new. I checked and it was $80. Somehow being used and having problems makes it worth as much as a decent Samsung of a much larger size???

I have recently gotten into kayaking and have picked up several. Used kayaks are usually as much or more than new and come with more drama. A lot are also big box store brands. These aren’t really bad for casual users but I am looking for something better. The only real deal I got on a used one was at a pawn shop on a nasty weather day in the middle of Feb. It had been there at least 5 months that I was aware of and they were ready to dump it, especially on a nasty day when no one would be thinking of actually using it.

Of course kayaks aren’t small so am looking at moving along one of the lesser ones. I think the MSRP was like $459 and I bought it at a sale. I have it listed at $200. People basically want me to give them the thing even though I have listed “PRICE IS FIRM - NO HAGGLING!” in the ad. I don’t need the money and don’t need the space that badly. My GF has also started to take a liking to this one and is using it instead of her’s so this is another disincentive to try to sell it quickly. If I really needed to get rid of it I would give it to a charity of a friend. If no one wanted it I would seriously take the sawzall, cut it into small pieces, and throw it in the household trash. Making a few bucks this way is more hassle than it is worth.

Someone told me “I will take it for $30 but only if you sell today and can come anytime.” just as I was writing this. My response was “LOL!” and that is it. The sheer stupidity is mind boggling!

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I have a friend who once owned an older BMW 7 series. He picked it up with some body and interior damage for CHEAP but it ran great. He also picked up an identical model in great cosmetic condition for next to nothing with a blown motor or transmission. He probably paid scrap price or even less for the donor car. He had a nice car in the end for cheap using parts from the scrap car.

Then there are the quirky cars like SAAB, etc. I have known people to pick them up for pennies on the dollar with some problem that may or may not have ended up being anything major. One guy got one for like $500 and it was a simple sensor that was a known problem on that model.

This is a big negative I can see coming from CL charging to list cars. People may no longer bother to list “parts cars” if they think it might not sell, removing these from the pool of available vehicles.

How about all the cars for sale that don’t really have anything wrong with them except there is no title? These always get me. I suspect most are owned by a person who did a payday loan type deal with the title and didn’t pay it back.

Some are super cheap and would make great farm rigs, mud toys, or parts donors but this seems like the waste of many good cars.

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One I found awhile back was one of those “if it seems to good to be true” ad’s for a Quadrasteer chevy pickup that naturally at the the end of the ad the seller says he just bought it and can’t get the title for it.

My dad sold his old 16ft boat eventually on Craigslist for about 10% less than he was hoping for but not that far off the market for a basic fiberglass runabout. Several people who came to look at it didn’t know the towing capacity of their cars. When the guy showed up with cash and a pickup truck the deal was done.

My buddy thought about just fixing up the truck himself but he’d rather put the work into making the Jeep Cherokee that replaced it in better condition.

The old two line ad’s in the paper weren’t much better for selling cars. Our neighbors put in a ad for ther 90’s F150 many years ago that after buying a newer one from a relative they didn’t need two trucks.

After getting all the grief for the high mileage, the wrong choice of cab and engine when they bought it new they decided to keep it instead.

I have sold many things including quite a few cars through CL. You have to know how to use it and how to screen the calls/buyers.

As far as the $5, I had to pay that on a recent listing I had to do and honestly, it was well worth it. Now your ad stays there longer and you don’t have to constantly re-post or update/etc.

I tried searching for used cars on FB and it is very difficult to weed out stuff. The listings are all over the place and missing a lot of necessary info. Unless the seller lives next door to me, I don’t have time to drive all over town to see junk cars.

On CL, there is the option to see only private sale cars, but many of those are “dealers” too.

Sold my 2010 honda pilot on carguru for $10k (carmax offered $8k) and only had to pay carguru a $100 fee. They are based out of colorado so bad weather there can cause a little delay as in my case but even then the whole process took no less than 4-5 days.

I’ve purchased several cars off of CL and no problems with the deal or the car. The last one was 10 years ago on my current LIncoln which I found in Dallas, TX and drove back. I dont’ think that I’m stupid enough to wade into any of those shaky deals. Or at least never have yet.

I wonder what the sellers of those cheap car/no title would do if they were asked to meet at the police station lot to finalize the deal and run a numbers check on it by the cops…

Craigslist lost of lot of revenue when the Feds stepped in to finally remove the prostitutes from their site. That was generating a lot of revenue for them. Backpage is gone completely.

I just felt lucky to unload my dad’s then twenty-five year old car to a young kid my neighbor worked with who wanted a project car to learn mechanical repairs on. I had only a couple weeks after Dad’s funeral to either renew the license or get rid of it. It couldn’t pass safety inspection (had a cracked ball joint or steering knuckle, forget which.) Both front and rear main seals leaked oil so badly that Dad kept shallow boxes of cat litter under the car. The transmission leaked badly. Speedometer, odometer, and cruise control were broken. One window motor was burned out. The trunk leaked. And the heater core was partly clogged. It actually still looked in nice condition.

No one wanted it as a parts car and no one in the local Oldsmobile club wanted it. Junkyards offered $99 with my getting it there. But the kid offered me $100 in cash and drove it away with signed over title in hand along with a letter detailing everything I knew wrong with it, especially the cracked ball joint (or steering knuckle) and advising the car be trailered away, not driven, that I had both his mother and the kid sign my copy of. Kid drove off, I prayed the cracked part would hold, put the money in my wallet, and was heartily relieved to be safely rid of a car I didn’t need, didn’t want, and couldn’t afford to keep. Sure, I might have gotten $500 or more from someone else if I tried long enough but sometimes, like then, just being done with a situation is best.


I did an experiment, started the process to post a CL car ad, and sure enough, they are charging $5 for a 30 day posting.

Five bucks is cheap enough for a 30 day ad. Knock on wood, maybe that policy will at least tamp down some of the scammers anyway.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, although I know I’m missing connections.

I bet the owners of the cheap cars with no title would do the following.

  1. Slam the phone down and hang up.

  2. Utter some not so nice curse words and try to make YOU the bad guy before hanging up. Remember it isn’t their fault that the car doesn’t have a title or they lost the title at a payday loan place. It is never their fault. Then they try to make you feel bad by saying that they have kids and can’t buy food, the power is going to get cut off, etc. if you don’t buy the car. Even if the car isn’t stolen, people like this likely have had plenty of run-ins with the law and won’t want to meet at the police station. I think it is technically against the law to sell a car in MO without the title but it gets done all the time as we know.

Scrap yards technically require a title to buy the car. I had bought one of these as a parts car once and called to see if they accepted cars. Some places do not. They said the oil pan needed to be empty and have a 1/2 inch hole in it. The same applied for the transmission and gas tank. Those parts had been removed so it wasn’t a concern. They also said it needed a title. I was like, “I don’t have it.” They said there was no law against recycling car parts and made little hints about breaking the car down. Anyway, that is what I did and there wasn’t a single part I couldn’t lift by myself.

CL and their sex question always got me. I am a gun guy and you can’t sell those there. Don’t even think of selling a puppy. It is called a “rehoming fee”. Then you go to the personals page and there are gals and guys showing everything they have to offer (NASTY!) with all kind of requests for casual sexual encounters. I assume “backpage” is a reference to the back page of certain newspapers you could pickup for free in racks that had the same types of listings but without the pictures. It took the feds to put an end to this stuff. Don’t even think of trying to sell a gun or animal legally though!!! I personally think requiring money for an animal probably gets it a better home.

As for really junky cars, I think you can pretty much donate anything to charity as long as there is a title. I think Cartalk and NPR do this all the time. I think it is of some value even if it is basically scrap only. You can’t do that with everything though and charities want other stuff such as electronics usable. If they can’t use it, they trash it. Unfortunately people use charities as a way to dump their trash which costs them money. I have to basically beg them to take perfectly good electronics. I guess with a short life and all, most electronics that get donated are broken.

As with that parts or repair riding mower I tried selling, eventually the hassle just wasn’t worth it and I hauled it off as scrap.