Beware the crazies on craigslist

Selling my late husband’s bicycle brought a flurry of interested emails.’Will you take a check?’ DELETE  ‘Can you deliver it to me?’ DELETE

When you get to the point in the grieving process where you’re ready to start clearing out, you may find yourself donating clothes to charitable organizations as well as selling some belongings.  Tools, sports equipment and collectibles are just a few items that can usually bring in a little cash at a time when finances are probably tight. Or maybe you want to remove reminders. Whatever the reason, be careful when posting items for sale.  A few tips:

  • Use a generic email address that does not contain your name. Or important dates. (Yes, scammers will figure out your DOB.)
  • Use plural language in communications – “We will be available at…” – to ward off anyone with bad intent.
  • Try to have someone in the house with you at the time of the appointment.
  • If possible, have the item in your garage so you don’t have to have strangers in your house.
  • Don’t give out a phone number if possible, stick to the generic email address for communication.
  • DO NOT mention you are widowed. Keep explanations simple. This is where the ‘white lie’ is acceptable.
  • If the interested party’s email reflects their name, don’t be shy to Google them.
  • Craigslist and ebay are not dating sites. Do not use them as such.
  • Don’t forget Amazon is also another market in which to sell smaller items that are easily shipped.
  • If you opt to host a tag sale, have one or two people with you for company, as well as to help you schlep all that stuff.
  • When donating, don’t forget to get a receipt for your taxes.




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