Scamming when selling a beautiful Featherlight canoe

I listed my canoe for sale and received an immediate response wishing to send a eCheck. The second scam came in identifying themselves as a stepdaughter with their stepdad being old fashion wanting to buy the canoe. The correspondence went on for days but I did not fall for them sending additional funds for me to pay the haulers. I hate that these people are out there. Shame on them!


Every one of us who has ever posted anything for sale has had these bot scams dropped on us. Part of the routine. Clearly stating up front in the ad that you accept cash only and local pickup by buyer only, also requiring direct phone contact, are among the ways to filter them out before wasting much time.

Also, when selling a boat (or a bike or a car or a trailer), I insist on first contact that I will not discuss any payment until they actually show up in person and look at the item for sale.


If it doesn’t work sometimes it would go away. Apparently it does.

You just never know. I have bought and sold 100s of items on CL over the years and the strangest was I listed my old trucks snowplow for 800 bucks and got a reply within an hour saying it was perfect and he would take it. I told him come out and look at it and bring cash. He told me a wild story about not being local and sending me checks and all this stuff and I played along telling him until the money is in my account the item was not moving. Then the plot thickens he said he works with a company in my town that sells trailers and he could have them issue a check and I could pick it up and cash it and then when I was happy he would have someone come and get the plow. I asked him again don’t you want to see it and he said no it looks great. So the next day I get an email telling me the check has been printed and it is at this location just off the interstate but they are closed. I was told when I pull in I will see an old fork truck parked out front and the seat of it has a rip and the check will be in a plastic bag inside the ripped seat. So after work I stop and sure enough a fork truck and inside the seat is a bag and there is the check. I go to the bank and cash the check and it is good and email the guy come and get it, and he says thanks will do.

Six months pass and the plow is still sitting beside my garage I gave him a couple more emails and no answer. My buddy tells me you have waited long enough sell it again. It wasn’t hurting anything so I though give it one more try. I email him and he gives me a long story about being out of the country and he lost all the information and couldn’t contact me and thanked me up and down for reaching out. He tells me he is still not in town but he has hired someone to pick it up. I said ok. I go to work and come home and the plow is gone.

Six more months I’m driving thru the city and here at a small service station I see my old plow sitting in the parking lot. I stop and ask and the guy says is it yours? I tell him the story and he tells me his story how the guy over the phone paid him to pick it up and was going to pay him to install it, and he never heard from him again. I kept my eye on it and it sat there for over a year and then disappeared.

No one as far as I know ever saw the guy and it was the strangest item to mess around with being big and heavy. I got my money and the plow was gone. If there was some kind of a scam I never figured out what it was.

My most funny purchase was I answered an ad for an upright freezer it was in a nice area of town great condition and only asking 100 dollars. I get there and am greeted by a nice middle age guy who tells me he is a professor at PSU. He shows me the freezer and even plugs it in to show me it gets cold and I tell him I will take it. I pull out the hundred bucks and he says wait a minute my wife says you will want to negotiate on the price. I said ok what will you take for it? He said she told him not to go lower than 50. I said well you drive a hard bargain will you take 50 and he says ya that sounds good. I didn’t ask him what he was a professor of and hoping it was not business. Been 10 years and that freezer is still running great.

I have a 100 more stories people buying and selling stuff on line are really different.


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I manage our rentals and I get these types of applicants.

The professor sounds like my husband :joy:

I’m trying to teach him to negotiate and so this German guy who owns a motorcycle dealership is flying in with cash to buy our Denali truck that we shipped here.
I hear them out on the patio and realize he is outgunned as he asks “well what do you want to pay me for it?” So I stomp out there and tell the guy the price and he gives me the cash.:moneybag:. Actually we became good friends and he has the truck converted to propane now.

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The plow story sounds exactly like the classic scam that has been around for quite a while, right up to the point where you cashed the check. Normally it has been written for “extra”, and it turns out to be counterfeit, and you’ve already handed the extra money back to the scammer. Sounds like yours was actually on the up and up?

Years ago, my husband was selling a bike on our local trails network website. This was back when that scam was newer. Basically “I want it, I have to have someone else pick it up, I will send a cashiers check for more than the amount, you keep your money and send me (or was it being picked up?) the excess back,……”. Hubby knew it was a scam somehow, just wasn’t sure what the end game was, so he kept emailing back and forth, leading the scammer along. Got the check. Took it to the bank and had them look at it: counterfeit. So they would get that extra amount, the bank gets taken, not sure what ends up happening with the merchandise, but you certainly don’t get any money. Can’t imagine they ever actually send anyone to pick the item up.

Edit: Actually, I’m not sure if the bank gets taken, or if you as the check-casher have to ante up once the bank figures it out?

If some of these creative geniuses would just apply themselves to something positive and beneficial to humanity instead of devising schemes, what a world we would live in!

Oh, and I don’t know if this one was a scam, or just went badly. My husband (again :roll_eyes:) wanted a cheap bike so that he didn’t have to lug his nice one down to Florida. So he finds one on eBay or Craigslist in Miami or Tampa or someplace. $75. Okay, seemed dumb to me, but not a lot of money. This was a month or two before he was going down there. Imagine this: the bike got stolen out of the guy’s yard in the meantime. :roll_eyes:. Saved a side trip to the guys house, at least.


My husband is very smart, I’m flabbergasted that he can’t get the hang of making a simple deal.
The guy got on plane and flew here ??? Hello, he wants the truck for the listed price and you have three other people, say no.
I find and negotiate all our vehicles and once I told him I found the truck he wanted but it was in South Dakota during a blizzard.
He said “I have to drive to South Dakota from California this weekend?!” And I said “only if you want to pay yourself seven thousand dollars” :wink:

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Some of us aren’t assertive enough to be good at that stuff.

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I love it so much, my dad taught me to enjoy it.

So I ended up going with him to South Dakota to get the truck and when we got to the dealership the guy met me outside and threw us the keys and walked off. My husband said “he didn’t even invite us in, no coffee, no water, nothing!” And I told him that’s how he knows he got the best price :laughing::+1:t3:

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Opposite here. I wasn’t allowed to go door to door selling Girl Scout cookies, or anything else. If a neighbor asked, I could sell to them, but otherwise I wasn’t to put them on the spot by asking them. And Halloween? She would load us in the car and take us to the well-known neighbors’ houses (farming area, so few and far between). I was basically taught not to ask for things. I’m also an introvert, so while you hear “nature vs nurture”, in my case nature and nurture feed off each other.

So I seldom try to haggle over things and ask for deals, and I dread selling things to people, knowing they will automatically try to talk me down. Hubby is bad at it too. People who buy things from us always get a steal :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I’m uncomfortable at parties, too :unamused:


We were not allowed to sell anything or eat cookies and my dad would say “let their own parents pay for their tuba!”

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Yup! And nowadays, it’s “Hmm. I’d like my kid to have a tuba. Time for a Gofundme!” So I kinda fall on my parents’ side on that.

And, when kids do show up at my door selling stuff (which has happened once in the last 20 years, because we’re in the boonies - we don’t get a single trick-or-treater), I find myself resenting being put on the spot, and obligated to buy something. I’m a terrible person. I also hate those “invite all your female friends and sell them stuff in our pyramid scheme” parties : double whammy with those - it’s a party, plus you feel pressure to buy overpriced stuff. It was hard for me to start saying no to those, out of guilt and lack of assertiveness, but now I haven’t been invited to any for several years. So now I have no female friends, outside my skiing and trails club peeps. Yay me! :unamused:

Oops. Digressing quite a bit now. :grimacing:


Scammers are easy enough to recognize and ignore. It’s the flakes and no-shows that bother me. Craigslist is so full of them, I’ve been unable to give away our old plasma TV for free.

We have a local “stuff for free” Facebook group that seems to work pretty well. Around here anyway, but we’re a very rural part of an overall very rural area. You don’t provide your location until you have a taker, so you aren’t just publicizing your location to the world.

Not sure what happens in more populated or higher crime areas. Maybe a mutually-agreed upon drop off site, so you aren’t attracting thieves to your house?

My growing beef is with ad posters who fail completely to communicate. Just last week I did my usual routine when I have decided to buy something rather costly that I need – check to see if somebody is selling it used locally on CL or FB before I have to resort to retail.

In this case I need 80’ of 3’ to 4’ tall black metal fencing. Bingo, an ad posted 4 days before on FB marketplace for 60’ of the brand I want in like-new shape for less than half the box store price. I promptly send a DM within the ad, with my name and cell phone number, even describing where I live and stating that I will pay cash, have a truck and can come as soon as is convenient for them. I have a public profile on FB and anyone can check with one click and see I am a real person who lives nearby. A day passes. No response. I send a second DM, reiterating my earnestness. I check the poster’s profile – hmm, an attorney. Maybe she’s busy with a case and I’ll hear from her on the weekend. Friday I send message number 3. By now, she has reduced the price by $30! Again, crickets. I even send a 4th DM, stating that I see she has reduced the price but I am still willing to pay the original price (which was more than fair) if she will just CALL ME to arrange the sale! The next day I check the ad and it says “pending”. Three days later it STILL is up with “pending” on it. WTF?

This isn’t the first time this has happened. I also often find that there are sellers and buyers on CL and FB who are so paranoid they won’t call me on the cell number I provide nor give me their number, name or even address (this is pretty awkward when they are expecting me to pick something up.) One woman (even after I explained to her that I was a 70 year old woman myself, hardly a threat) was so bizarre in her requirements for me to pick up a $30 item that I just gave up. She would only tell me what area of town she lived in and wanted me to come to a gas station she said was nearby and then I was to park there and send a message through Facebook DM that and she would send her son to meet me. Uh, just no.

But sometimes it’s blessedly easy. There was a post Wednesday for a small blade 210 glass shaft kayak paddle, and I could use a short deck spare to back up my GPs, especially since it was only $15. Seller got back to me within 30 minutes with her phone number and address (not far from me) and told me she’d leave it on her covered front porch and I could just stick the money under the doormat. She had a Ring doorbell so I just gave it the thumbs up when I stopped by that afternoon and Bob’s your uncle. Doesn’t need to be a complicated drama.

UPDATE: Just checked that fencing ad again. Still says “pending sale” but now the price has jumped up to $175, $25 more than the original ad! The mind boggles.


I recently had an amazing Facebook Marketplace experience. I have been thinking about a new pair of waxable classic (nordic) skis for a while, and was looking around online. One night BAM, an ad came up as a suggestion, with 2 pairs of the brand I’d decided on, top of the line model, in the flex I needed, one year old, one skied on twice, one never used. Great price. Contacted the guy, and he said something about figuring out shipping. Then came back and said he’d throw in the shipping. Wow! But in the meantime I’d come to the conclusion that they were too long for me (but the price!). So I told him I couldn’t. A day or two later he lowered the price. So I bought one pair, he shipped them immediately, and I had them in time to get 6 hours on them over that weekend. $250 for barely-used, nearly perfect condition skis that list for $955. I NEVER get that lucky! Of course, I wish now I had bought both. Because, even more so than canoes and kayaks, bikes, and even paddles….YOU CANNOT HAVE TOO MANY SKIS!

My previous experience, buying a very old Kevlar solo canoe 6 hours away last summer, went well, but it was a big question mark until I got there and actually saw the thing and met the guy. Seller couldn’t find the HIN. Didn’t know the model. Didn’t know the measurements. I was afraid it was stolen or a scam, but didn’t pay until pickup. But it all turned out well, and it was a boat an elderly friend had given his son, and the son was graduating from college and wanted to put the money in an IRA. So that ended up feeling pretty good. I think I overpaid (and of course there was the gas and the motel $), but overall happy.

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Was it Shipped on the Goverment dime? I only ask cause my son is a Commander in the USN…top Gun pilot, instructor, Joint Force senior flight training officer and now at the Navy War Colledge… He shipped an Audi suv to England and couldn’t drive it cause the lighting wasn’t compliant

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Yes but we knew pick ups are a niche market in Europe and sell for more. I ran an ad in their version of the Auto Trader and we got a big response. If you don’t ship a vehicle, you are leaving money on the table. Most servicemembers time it to buy vehicles over here because of the no tax and big discount but it’s best to ship the old car and sell it here in many cases. The European buyer has to pay the import taxes so it needs to be a vehicle they covet. They are hot for Mustangs and SUVs for example. The easy way is to run an ad before coming and gauge the response. There are some requirements on the inspection but we did not have an issue. Taking an old Defender back can be profitable.

We came from Newport War College also.