Craigslist Advertising: Pig in a Poke, Part II

Advertising on Craigslist is a win-win prospect from our perspective: 1) While our local newspaper charges two arms and leg for a few measly lines of print, Craigslist is free and we can post a complete description, including a link to a google map of the rental address 2) we can upload as many as 8 pictures (you should always post at least one photo — ads with pictures get more traffic); and 3) we can repost every 72 hours, thereby moving our ad back to the top of the chronological list. In a period of 8 – 10 days, we’ve received a dozen inquiries and shown the place 6 times. Plus, we have a few more showings on the schedule.

One thing to beware of, however: The Craigslist scammers … They’re like buzzy little mosquitos, and they zip your email box regularly, looking for naive blood … Here’s one example:

Hi

Good day. I am very much interested in your rental apartment. I read through the details on craigslist and i am highly interested in renting it.
I work with the united nations development program(UNDP) Edinburgh Scotland and i just got a transfer that is bringing me down to Tennessee
in the states.I am still single plus I do not smoke neither do i keep pets, so i am sure you would not have a problem with me.
I would be in the states in 2 weeks time but would really appreciate it if you can hold the place for me till i get there.
My transfer would be for a period between 3-6 years, so i would definitely be renting for more than a year. But we can start by signing a 1 year lease. I would also be paying for the whole year in one lump so you might not have to bother yourself with a credit check except you have to. I would also bring all proof of employment(letter of employment and letter of transfer) with me, and show them to you on my arrival.
If the rental is still available, i would like you to take it off the market and further showing. Please let me know so that we can make further arrangements for a holding deposit to be sent to you so that you can secure it for me till i arrive.
I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Jonathan Roberts

Right. And pigs have flown, hell hath frozen over, and the sun has set in the East. I must admit, though, I find the attempts entertaining. Here’s my reply to Jonathan Roberts.

Johnny,

One full year upfront? Shazam! With that kind of money I can buy me a whole lotta good Tennessee whiskey! I believe I’ll just go ahead and book me a cruise to the Caribbean, too; mamaw enjoys working on her tan down there in them blue waters.

You should know, Johnny, that this apartment shares one leaky toilet with six other tenants. Also, with a full year paid up front, me and mamaw will throw you in some bedbugs for free. Is this to your liking?

Sincerely,

Uncle Festered Blue

I never did hear back from J R …

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