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Old 02-09-2021, 05:26 PM   #11
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An educational thread. No harm in posting it. Dissected quickly.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:15 PM   #12
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If that’s the case, I feel like a dummy for sharing it. I should’ve scrutinized it more carefully first.
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An educational thread. No harm in posting it. Dissected quickly.
Don't feel dumb for sharing it at all. Anytime the typical scam telltales can be shared it's worth it. There are several older threads here on how to spot scams. I'll reiterate a few.

1. It's on Craigslist. 99% of vehicles on CL are scams. Used to not be the case but now it is. It's free and hardly moderated. It happens. People suck.

2. One or two basic pics, very basic info, often wrong (like calling a Dodge an E350) and no personal info like "We bought this van and went to Alaska and it was great but now I'm sick and....." Almost every SMB or campervan has a story that people love to share. Scammers don't have hearts or souls.

3. No phone number, just the basic CL email relay.

4. Pics that do not match WHERE the van is listed. Example, palm trees in the pics, van listed in Minneapolis.

5. The biggest dead giveaway, PRICE! Any idiot knows a camper van isn't going for $1600 in today's market. If it sounds too good to be true......

6. No quick response when you email seller. It is VERY standard for scammers to wait about 2 days to reply, then give you a sob story about how they work for Greenpeace and their cat is sick thus they van must be shipped by a reputable shipper and so on. Their stories make about this much sense.

7. Posted in multiple cities. That's why forums like this are great. You can hardly sell an SMB anywhere in the country without someone here knowing it's lineage or belonging to someone here or at least knowing something about it. If posted in multiple cities word travels here fast.

There are more I will probably think of.

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Old 02-10-2021, 05:57 AM   #13
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I wouldn’t write off CL totally, and not sure about “99% of vehicles listed there being scams.” In the past month I’ve found two local vehicles on CL that I’ve gone to look at. Also, I never list my phone number on CL when selling something. I prefer to use their anonymous email relay for some sort of protection while vetting a buyer at first.

Is it rife with scams? Yes, for certain types of vehicles (RVs and collectible vehicles) that people are more likely to buy from a distance.

An immediate way to flush out a scam is to say “When can I stop by to check it out in person?” Anything other than an affirmative answer probably equals a scam.

The bigger issue IMO is that car dealers have largely taken over all the listings, spamming with their entire used car inventory.

I’ve seen quite a few vehicle scams on Facebook recently, too. Either hacked accounts or newly created accounts that list the same vehicle in many locations. Always click on the seller’s name or “business” name to see what else they have for sale, and where.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:41 AM   #14
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The last 4 vehicles I've purchased, including a camper van, have been from private sellers on CL. All 4 turned out to be some of the best finds I've ever made. Like a garage sale, most vehicles on CL are junk. But mixed in there are some real gems. It can be time consuming to find them.
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:28 AM   #15
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Same. It can take a practiced eye to weed through the scams, but I've gotten a lot of good vehicles (including my current van) from CL. It helps if you're in a smaller market and limit your search to stuff that's nearby -- a lot of the scams seem to hit the biggest market areas. Also, it's rare these days to get a real screamingly good deal -- most people know what they have and will price things in at least the right ballpark. The option to combine duplicate posts helps a lot too.

I still prefer it to the dealer experience.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:22 PM   #16
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I wouldn’t write off CL totally, and not sure about “99% of vehicles listed there being scams.” In the past month I’ve found two local vehicles on CL that I’ve gone to look at.
That was a bit of exaggeration for effect, my point being that CL is indeed rife with scams these days. As is FB and pretty much everywhere else.

Of the nearly 200 vehicles I've owned in the last 30 years I'd say well over 100 have come from CL from when it first hit the scene up to about a year ago. I just don't even bother with it anymore due to virtually everything that interests me being a scam.
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