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Buying From Craiglist


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Wondering how many people here have purchased from Craigslist from someone out of town. I came across a pair of speakers but they are about 4 hours a away. I haven't made him an offer but at his asking price driving my gas guzzler to get them and then the tolls won't save me all that much. Of course if he does than it may be worth it, especially if I don't drive. I am concerned about buying them without driving up to demo them. I am wondering about experiences others have had here and what if any recourses are available if things go sour.

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I've driven a couple hours for items but would definitely drive longer if the deal was right. Number one rule, if it doesn't feel right its ok to walk away. There really isn't anything you can do once you've paid for them and have them in your possession. Best to test to make sure all drivers are working before you hand over the cash. Now, with the $50 I paid for a pair of Chorus I didn't really care if the drivers were working. Turns out they all worked perfectly. Sometimes if its a great deal you're better off getting in and out of there before the seller gets too much interest and second guesses their asking price.

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I have bought all of my used klipsch off Craig's from out of town. I have been lucky enough to coincide it with trips on most occasions and the sellers were nice enough to work with my schedule. The ones that wouldn't work with me or were trying to turn it into a bidding war I let slip away and in time found a better deal. Turns out that the ones I have scored i got to meet some really great people. Even one from the forum. One seller now helps me out when i have stuff downstate and even works some barters for me and i do the same for stuff up here for him. See if there is anyone out in the sellers area from this forum that would be willing to go look for you and see if the purchase is worth it. Never hurts to ask.

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I bought my cherry 63's and I had to travel a couple of hours to get them. Totally worth it. Get the seller on the horn and discuss the speakers to make sure there aren't any unpleasant surprises when you show up.

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Wuzzer offers solid advice. I have driven 2hrs one way to pick up an item. Are these speakers 4hrs one way? If so, I would definitely speak with them on the phone. You can tell a lot just by talking to someone. If it sounds shady, don't do it. Sometimes after talking with someone, I would feel totally comfortable buying without even demoing. I did that with my B&W DM603 S3's because I know he takes awesome care of his gear and spent much time in this person's home talking audio. Another time, I purchased a Velodyne HGS15 for $200. As Mark stated, I didn't care that he could not demo it. The driver alone was worth that much.

If you have a power converter, you could see if he would meet you 1/2 way, carry with you a receiver, speaker wire and an ipod and hook up the speakers in the parking lot to test just to make sure they are in good working condition.

Just some ideas.

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My other suggestion is when you are on the phone ask specifically things like, are their any cosmetic damage, dents, dings, scratches, dented corners. How are the drivers? Any dents, pushed in dust caps etc. Speaker grills...are there any rips/tears or broken grill pegs. And get him to send you larger photos than what is on craigslist.

If a seller is not willing to provide the above info, look for another deal. It's just not worth the 4hr or more drive to chance it. If it were 20 - 30 minutes away, that would be different.

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First off, good luck with the purchase.

I have bought more than I like to admit off of CL (let's just say around 2 tons of Klipsch gear). Most of my gear was less than local. Thus far, everything is has been functional and in the as described condition, except for the story below (good story, but a bit off topic for my response). Also, I made most of my driving runs in a Prius, so my driving costs were considerably lower. So, if I wanted the speakers and they were 4 hours from me (I have driven a lot further), I didn't think twice.

Talk to the person, to gauge your confort level with them. Ask for additional pictures of the "major condition issues", unless the deal is too good and you know it will be gone if you wait, then get in the car. Once you have decided you want them, contact the seller and explain that you are driving a distance, that you are ready to get in the car, and that you need to make sure they will be there when you arrive.

Regarding selling price, when contacting a seller, I have never tried to talk them down in price, unless they include OBO in the posting. The posted price should be a number that if the speakers (or other items) are as described, you are willing to pay it (generally for me, the price was good enough that minor cosmetic issues were not a big concern). They only time I paid less (other than the story below), was when they admitted dinging the subwoofer cabinet trying to bring it downstairs.

Sellers perspective. I have sold a lot of stereo gear on CL as well. I have never been in a hurry to sell the speakers that I have listed, so the price has generally been firm, unless they were buying more than one set. I have always done my research and known the value before posting, not all people do. I have had the out of town people contact me and tell me that it will cost them $$$ to travel to pick it up. This is not the sellers fault or problem. Generally, the out of town people that have contacted me are less likely to show up or at least tend to postpone the appointments more. I am just saying it is a gamble for the seller too.

The exception, the person said they were listed as walnut Belles in good condition for $300, I was half way into the 5 hours when he sent me the pictures. They were La Scalas, not Belles (I already had 2 pair of La Scalas). I was half way there and had taken the day off work, so I continued on. It ended up being a highschool kid selling them. The La Scalas were outside under a tarp and looked pretty bad. He had pulled a crossover board and the tweeter out, so I counldn't even try them out. I told him they were not as described and they were in worse condition. I am not the handiest person in the world, so I told him I would pass, he dropped the price to $75, so we loaded them up. I reconnected things up, wiped off the cabinets, and cleaned out bass bins. They sound great and don't look to bad either (I close my eyes and I can't hear the difference.

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I haven't made him an offer but at his asking price driving my gas guzzler to get them and then the tolls won't save me all that much.

Save you all that much from what? Retail, eBay completed sales? Just curious...

Of course if he does than it may be worth it, especially if I don't drive.

If he accepts your offer? I'll hope for you he does.

I am concerned about buying them without driving up to demo them.

Perhaps a member is local to the sale, and could help with an audition, but you are right to be wary.

I am wondering about experiences others have had here and what if any recourses are available if things go sour.

Any chance of recourse is largely nil, but I did purchase my Shorthorn 15's on CL. Good luck!

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I've purchased a ton of stuff on CL. Most of the time, the condition isn't what the seller states. When I say "mint" I mean as new. Many sellers think that a few chips and scratches on the cabinets is mint. So, you need to examine them carefully. I wouldn't drive far to pick up a set without detailed and clear pictures and descriptions unless the seller's price was absurdly low. For example, I picked up a pair of beater KG3.2s for $90 bucks because:

He was brutally honest and I wanted a pair for the garage

He threw in a nice Yamaha HT receiver

He threw in a very nice Academy!

Hahahahah....IOW, every ad is different as is every seller.

I bought a pair of truly MINT Fortes from an old guy who had lost most of his hearing. He didn't realize that the HFs were shot and neither did I till I got them home. But, the price was right and the speakers were gorgeous walnut (with orig boxes and papers and a spare grill). One pair of Crites tweets later and I am still way ahead.

Ask for lots of pics. Audition them thoroughly. Enjoy.

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I have brought speakers and receivers off Craigslist over a dozen times. All the sellers were pleasant to deal with.

I just brought a pair of speakers this week without really audition it. The seller had one speaker out and the other still

in original box which I only open to look inside. The one that is out is in mint condition so I didn't take the other one

out of the box to check because is big and heavy.

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If it were not for Craigslist I would not have any Klipsch speakers. Where I am located Klipsch is rare and I have driven up to 6 hours one way to get speakers. Everyone I have dealt with were honest and good to deal with. Get photos and ask questions before you travel. Get their cell phone number and if you are meeting in a central location make it a public one. For testing speakers take a battery operated radio with a earphone jack, make up a test cable to connect up the speakers and test before closing the deal. Good luck with your search for your system.

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I am with the rest of the members, I have brought 1/2 my gear off Craigslist. Take someone with you just to make sure things are on the up and up, and in the daytime if possible. Demo the gear, since there is no return after the money exchanges hands for the most part.

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All of my Klipsch have been purchased through Craigslist .

A few trips were over 4 hours each way.

Usually we try to make a weekend out of the purchase so it works out for both of us.

She gets a weekend away from home and I get new speakers.

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  • 2 months later...

Got my KG 5.5's from a Craigslist deal.... They were in great shape and I paid $400 for them... Seen some since for less than that, but I'm just happy that I got 'em!!!!!!.... It's kinda strange doing the deal, as it's someone you don't know, but this guy turned out to be a real nice fellow and the bottom line is I'm happy!!!!

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I also bought a lot of stuff on C/L. I'm in a financial situation that forces me to buy used .I got so far a pair of JBL- j 2060 bookenders for $20, ADC 303 ax $35, DCM TF 350s $125. Most other stuff not including my H/T or Adcom gfa555 I got from Good WILL or garage sales. Who ever said try out 1st is absolutely the way to go w/ speakers anyway unless they are advertised as damaged goods looking for a rehap project.....

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Over the years, I've bought more stuff off C'list than I care to admit (even to myself!) and its a wonderful place to find good stuff at good to great prices but there is a learning curve and trust isn't something to be assumed. I usually only look at local ads but occasionally, I'll do a search and find something w/in 100 miles but it'd have to be extremely interesting and a great deal for me even to consider it. Usually, if I think its such a good deal, its long gone by the time I contact the seller to arrange a time to get together. I just wouldn't take the risk of driving all that way to find out someone local had beat me to it...and that has happened - even with local deals. I'd also only consider putting in that kind of effort if I've actually spoken with the seller and feel somewhat comfortable. If the item(s) is on the expensive side (like a pr of speaks) and the seller only communicates through emails, I become leery and the flags go up.

As my investment of time and money goes up, so do my expectations and requirements. I'd suggest patience as what you're looking for will eventually show up locally and in the meantime, you may find something much more interesting or a better opportunity. Klipschwise, I've bought 3 prs of Khorns, a couple prs of Cornwalls and Heresy's but have missed out on at least twice as many Klipsch deals and that's not taking into account the ads that were placed and pulled without my notice. What I've bought represents about half of the ads I responded to - either the speaks had already been sold or didn't meet my expectations and the deal fell through. Consider those ratios as you ponder the effort.

One last caveat - One of the better deals I got through C'list is quite indicative of how things have changed. C'list used to be similar to ads in the local classifieds - a pretty straight-forward deal. A year or so ago, I saw an ad for a '69 Gibson Les Paul Custom. Luckily for me, the ad had just popped up and I responded w/in a minute that I was interested and the seller called me up - all w/in 3 minutes of the listing. He suggested a getting together the next day and I had to persuade as nicely as I could to let me come over right then as I knew from experience that such opportunities require immediate action or they're lost. He agreed and within 20 min I was at his door with cash in hand. In that short period, he said he'd received upwards of 30 emails and when he responded that someone was coming over to take a look, he got a handful of replies warning him that I would rip him off or that they'd pay him more and one reply suggested that the guitar may be worth tens of thousands of dollars and the fella would be happy to assess the value for the seller. Luckily (again), the seller was an honorable man and not only let me in the door, but stuck by his price (it was very low - about the price of a single pickup on eBay).

On several occasions, I have knocked on a door only to be told that someone had offered more for the item and the fact that I was there with cash and we had already agreed to terms was completely irrelevant. Now, I call on my cell to confirm when I'm on the way and tell the seller to contact me if there's a problem - for whatever reason, that seems to commit most sellers to the terms of the deal. I guess their too embarrassed to call once I'm heading their way. Anyway, I gave the guitar a quick check to make sure it was authentic and original, handed him the money and THEN, told him that the LP was an early '70's model as the only ones made in the '60's (with that body style) were black and his was not. I assured him that the guitar was still a great deal for me and suggested he take the ad down right away to avoid the onslaught of emails.

We ended up talking about guitars and music for a few hours and every so often, he would check his emails and by the end of the evening, he had over 150 replies to the ad that was no longer listed. Eventually his wife had to wake up and tell him it was way past his bedtime so we said our goodbyes and I was so jacked by the deal, I drove home and stayed up until the wee hours enjoying my new toy.

Some deals go really smoothly - especially when each party holds up their end and this was one of the most enjoyable as the seller was a good guy. He even called the next day or so to tell me he had found the original pickguard that he'd misplaced. He also let me know that he was still getting emails from folks he had responded to and said they were beginning to get pretty belligerent - so much so that he was thinking of canceling his account. Some folks that have found C'list can be downright nasty and viscous - both buyers and sellers so be aware that not everyone is going to be honorable, fair or even legitimate, much less nice.

Also, after reading through this I've concluded that I really shouldn't reply to posts after slugging down 4 espressos!

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I'm in a financial situation that forces me to buy used .

There is nothing wrong with that at all. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, I'm in the best financial shape I have ever been. The only payments we have is on our home. No debt, no credit cards....but I still choose to use CL as my primary source for items I'm interested in buying. I always look there first whether it be for audio gear. Over the past few years, I have found some absolutely fantastic deals. As mentioned by "Mr. Espresso" [:P] when those deals pop up, you have to act immediately or they will be gone. You can't call and say "Can you hold it for me until Saturday".....you need to be saying, "I'm on my way" or it will likely not be there.

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