Craigslist scam or legit?
November 9, 2010 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever bought from someone on Craigslist selling at wholesale prices referring to themselves as a "dealer"? Not incuding cars.

I've been looking around to purchase one of the new Xbox 360 Slims and decided to check out Craigslist. One guy is listing the Xbox 360 4gb slim for $160 which is $40 off retail. Sent him an email asking about it, guessing it was used.

He responded back and said he's a "dealer" who works with wholesalers, also sells "movie tickets, laptops, digital cameras, video games, etc". Couple other lines from his email:

"All my products are NEW and manufacturally sealed. I have receipts for proof. I just sold a PS3 a few days ago. I work with wholesalers and get a cut."

I wasn't sure what to make of this guy, sounds sketchy but may be hard to argue with if they are actually factory sealed.. not sure what the receipts would proove. It's important to note this would be picked up in person, not to be confused with any of that money order / shipping nonsense.

Anyone come across this or something similar before? Thoughts?
posted by phishie to Human Relations (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a wholesale rep for a sporting goods company. Several of my customers are retailers who also use craigslist ads to move product. Also the reciepts might be helpful if you have warranty issues. His discount may be due to the fact that his overhead is lower without a brick and mortar shop. On the other hand, caveat emptor - plug in the machine before you buy it and obtain a written reciept in case you need to go to small claims court. I wouldn't instantly think this is a scam though.
posted by ten year lurk at 2:46 PM on November 9, 2010

Tell him you're going to want to open it and hook it up to a TV before you pay him. That might be a deal killer for him, but if he doesn't agree to it, it should definitely be a deal killer for you.
posted by IanMorr at 2:48 PM on November 9, 2010

Very interesting, thanks for the info ten year lurk.

It seemed like it could be legit, hence the question - most scams I would discard immediately.

Could you elaborate a little on how this customer-wholesaler relationship works? At this point I'm more curious than anything else.

I wouldn't think the wholesale customer would be allowed, or find it efficient enough, to try and move product via Craigslist. In this case if he's selling many different products from different manufacturers would that mean he's probably buying from multiple wholesalers?

Who might he be a dealer on behalf of that he can sell on Craigslist? Or is it possible he's a "self employed" dealer who buys from wholesalers?
posted by phishie at 3:03 PM on November 9, 2010

Is this by any chance in Baltimore? My neighbor calls himself, variously, a "dealer" and an "Ebay seller" who keeps all his gaming systems in a U-haul parked in front of his house. (Yes, it's been burglarized several times that I know of.) Even if his transactions are legit, his circumstances scream sketchy: cash deals in the street at 6am on Sunday mornings, etc. This has biased me, and I'd never ever buy from a self-identified "dealer" on Craigslist.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:19 PM on November 9, 2010

Not in Baltimore, but not too far - Northern VA
posted by phishie at 3:30 PM on November 9, 2010

I go to craigslist first for most things. Craigslist can be amazing; I have a slightly used hang glider in my side yard that I got FOR FREE. That being said I own a Xbox 360 and the first place I went was Target. It was worth the extra cash to not have to worry about it. A HUGE portion of electronics are returned, this creates all sorts of weird consumer electronic craigslist nightmares. Save your time and money and just buy one, it will not be stolen, broken, used, messed with or god knows what else. Check before going to any store; you can get a good deal sometimes.
posted by Felex at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2010

Buying gaming consoles on Craigslist is very risky. If they've been banned from the online network, you're out-of-luck.
posted by Slinga at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2010

"Slightly used hang glider" sounds suspicious close to "like-new parachute, never opened, used once."
posted by Nomyte at 6:14 PM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]

could be stolen?
posted by jannw at 5:08 AM on November 10, 2010

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