Craigslist Advice, or how not to look like a scammer.

So, I’m looking for a good, trustworthy work truck, and lo and behold, I find one, in my price range, and pretty much just what I’m looking for. The only problem? I’m in Denver, and the truck is in Woodinville, WA.

I had planned on flying up to the Northwest to see the folks on the 6th of Novemeber. I’d like to look at the truck, and if it works out, buy it and drive it back to Colorado.

How can I explain this without setting off every scam alarm in existance? I’ve drafted a couple of emails, but if I had recieved them I’d be really really skeptical.

I’m stumped. Any help would be appreciated.

Is paying cash an option for you? If so, then just be straight up about what’s going on, acknowledging that it’s a little unusual, and offer to pay by cash (in a public place) if that eases their worries about an out-of-state check.

I mean, what would it benefit a scammer to make an appointment to see a truck? It’s not like you’re asking to pay by forgeable check (or worse, asking to overpay).
I’m not sure that I myself would plan on buying a used vehicle and immediately driving it 20 hours before I get home, but that’s your decision.

I will be paying cash, so that takes the whole check or MO thing out of the equation.

I’m not worried about the drive back with a used vehicle. My dad is a mechanic, and I’m pretty handy. I’m fairly certain we can handle anything going wrong, but we will be checking out the truck, nonetheless.

This may change, and I may be wrong, but you know what I’ve never heard from a scammer? The words ‘This is not a scam.’ It might help if you just explain your situation and make it clear that you are a real person who doesn’t expect any USPS or Western Union monetary gymnastics. If you have an email from your name, or a even a Facebook account or business website that might help.

I would write from a business or school email, instead of a free account like gmail, and include a telephone number with an area code that matches where you say you live. If they don’t reply then have your dad make the initial contact next week and include his local phone number.

I would think the bigger problem is that you won’t be around for two more weekends. It might be helpful for them to know that someone out there is interested but at this point there’s no reason for them to reply to you, they’re worried about who’s coming by this weekend. But, that said, I’ve never bought or sold a car on craigslist, so I wouldn’t know how it works or how long it takes.

I think most people treat craigslist as first come first serve. I suppose if my car was something especially exotic or crappy with little chance of selling locally anyway, I might be willing to put off other offers until the OP showed up, especially if the buyer was making a special trip just to see the car. Two weeks is a long time though. My neighbors sold their regular, 8 year old CRV in less than a day.

so, I sent an email from my office account. It’s a .gov account, so that should lend some credibility. I also let him know that if it sold before I got a chance to see it, that was cool. Like Baracus said, craigslist is very much first come, first served.