When to cease interest in a local OfferUp purchase: security question

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Michael7, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    So I'm trying to buy an acoustic guitar locally from OfferUp. The guy replied quickly and asked if I could meet him today. I emailed I could do so at 2pm after pinning down his approximate neighborhood. He emailed to say ok to that meeting time, but provided no address.

    I emailed back to say that I'd meet him in the parking lot of a Burger King in that neighborhood at the appointed time. Then he goes totally silent, this is about 2 hours before the time to meet.

    I email back that I need a confirmation about the meeting point and time at least an hour ahead of the time, since I was driving some distance. Still nothing.

    He went silent when I suggested a public meeting spot. That smells like trouble to me, from a personal security perspective. I assume I need to let it die, but the guitar is still listed. He only wants $20 for it, so perhaps he's not sufficiently motivated. He has some other positive reviews on OfferUp, but that is no guarantee of anything.

    The seller could see my pic in my profile and would know I'm no spring chicken! What would you do?
    dbrian66 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Sep 27, 2014
    I'd give up, flaky seller - besides for $20 you can't expect someone to drive to meet.....

    I'd try one more time asking for THEIR address and going to their place to get it.....if that doesn't make you comfortable, just pass.....

    Personally I will not meet in public parking lots etc because that seems fishy, like somebody could show up with a bunch of people, jump you, steal your wallet and your car etc.....I only deal at my place or at the seller's place.....
    dbrian66 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  3. squierbilly

    squierbilly Dr. Squier

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    I think somebody outbid you.. 25 dollars :D
    If he doesnt reply dont go..
    dbrian66 and surfrodguitar like this.
  4. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Sometimes people are shy. Sometimes things sell and the listing doesn't get updated. Sometimes gear gets stolen, and it's embarrassing to admit that to someone.

    Could be a lot of different things. If you stated that you would meet them at the BK instead of asking for a spot that could have made them concerned about how you knew where they were. Some people don't understand how that info is communicated in the apps.

    Maybe he's in that neighborhood but doesn't have transportation to get there.

    Maybe he moved and that's not the right neighborhood anymore.

    It doesn't sound too risky to me.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  5. surfrodguitar

    surfrodguitar Squier-holic

    Aug 4, 2016
    Laguna Niguel
    For $20 guitar and if it isnt too far out of your way, than give it a go. I'm always on high alert when I do a sale but so is that person as well as they should be. I usually dont go to someones home either of course but sometimes you just have to if the juice is worth the squeeze.
    dbrian66 and drewcp like this.
  6. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Meister

    Sep 6, 2014
    I find that offerup and letgo have the flakiest sellers. I've had the same experience--emails back and forth, then squat, then two days later emails again.

    I consider myself lucky when I actually buy something. But yes--meeting in broad daylight, public place. And no long time travel to get there, frankly. I'm more confident in CL people.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  7. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    To me, while the seller definitely doesn't seem very professional, especially in his lack of communication with you, it doesn't seem to be very risky, but it's always best to be safe rather than sorry.

    My first thought was, perhaps something came up in his life, for example, some sort of family emergency, an illness, or perhaps a friend was in trouble or in need. All of those things would be anyones main priority above making 20 dollars, unless they are a junkie or something.

    When I bought my strat yesterday from Facebook Marketplace, the seller was willing to meet me at my local subway station, but upon learning that I can't walk at the moment (broken ankle), he offered to bring it to my house, and he did so with no issue. He was a nice guy who owns a recording studio and I had a good 15 minute conversation with him. Normally I like meeting people someplace public preferably the subway, because there are always security guards, cameras, and sometimes police, so it seems like a fairly safe place to make such a transaction.
    dbrian66 and drewcp like this.
  8. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    It's happened to me many times. It comes with the territory. A lot of people on CL, Letgo, Offerup and FB Marketplace just don't follow through with the transaction.
    dbrian66 and drewcp like this.
  9. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I've met in shopping ctr parking lots, the subway station, or at the food court at the mall. I'm not going to anyone's house and they sure aren't coming to mine. Just move on from that clown.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  10. Hotrodleroy

    Hotrodleroy Squier-holic

    Dec 7, 2011
    He probably sold it, if is was worth more than 20. I know when I sell stuff it's first come. Especially something like 20.00, but just in case ask him if he wants to sell it again and where he could meet you. If he's mia move on.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  11. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    When someone is selling something online for $20, that's enough of a sign of trouble for me.

    A few yrs ago I called on a USA red Peavey strat, the guy was an hour away, he didn't have a car so meeting half way was out. I went for the drive, sketchy neighborhood, tweeker house, no one around. I could hear music inside, but no one answered the door. I was pissed, I pounded the door, and finally a face in the window. "You got the guitar?" He finally comes out with a different guitar. Some things are not meant to be.

    Overall, I've had pretty good luck w/CL, although I sell more than I buy. Everything in the last 6 mos has been trade offers, no $. No bleep, I've scored 2 Fender Super Champs XD's in the last 2 wks, while just trying to move some stuff that I no longer use. It like being on Barter Kings.
    nomadh, dbrian66 and surfrodguitar like this.
  12. Bluzy

    Bluzy Squier-Nut

    Nov 20, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I go to peoples houses and they come to mine. I usually get a good feel and to be honest most people are my age or older. I have also gone to a public place and even a bar at 7:30 in the morning (he was the owner and we could not meet at the time he originally proposed0. I understand people being hesitant though. As for the OP, I wouldn’t do anything at this point. If he responds you may end up with the transaction but if not, it wasn’t meant to be
    dbrian66 and stratman420 like this.
  13. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Squier-Nut

    Jan 29, 2017
    You just saved $20.
    Davis Sharp and dbrian66 like this.
  14. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Thanks for all the replies. A lot of different perspectives and good points.

    Just to add a bit of info I didn't say originally. I had offered to meet in his immediate neighborhood, with me driving 30 mins each way to get there. Told him what I'd be driving, and asked what he'd be driving. He probably had to drive one mile or less, but don't know exactly since the OfferUp seller's location is just approximate.

    It is a bit of a questionable neighborhood, so I was specifically trying to avoid going to his house. I'm 70, not interested in any kind of situation where I'm isolated.

    I may shoot him one more email if I am driving near his area over the weekend, but would ask for his suggestion for a public place to meet. If he's not receptive to that, I will surely let it go.
    Davis Sharp and dbrian66 like this.
  15. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    That's the difference between US and Canada, and not in a good way. Here, any 14+ year old tough guy can get a hand gun and you could be totally at his mercy when stepping inside the door of a seller's place. I think the risk in a public place is probably far less, but certainly not zero.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  16. Eddie

    Eddie Dr. Squier

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    I had a no show today also. I don't understand why people can't simply text to say that they can't make it.
    Davis Sharp and dbrian66 like this.
  17. RetiredNSquired

    RetiredNSquired Squier-Nut

    Jun 20, 2018
    Canton, Ga
    Don't know about other places, but lots of police departments in the Atlanta metro area have established places at their locations as a safe meeting spot for on-line deals. Gives buyer and seller some security that they're not going to get mugged, robbed, or worse.
    Davis Sharp, VealCutlet and dbrian66 like this.
  18. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead Squier-holic

    Dec 18, 2009
    Fort Morgan, CO
    I usually try to meet in a public place but I've gone to people's houses for stuff, I just never have them come to my house. I'm out of town a few days a week and am concerned for my wife and 2 daughters' safety.
  19. bigtuna

    bigtuna Squier-holic

    Nov 1, 2015
    Ya I say cancel. Flaky probably. But you never know. He may be nuttier than a **** house rat.. You'll find another.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  20. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I’d send him another message. Just let him know your available at such and such time, and if he wants to meet to let you know. Then forget about it unless he contacts you.

    As far as going to his house, that wouldn’t bother me on a $20 sale. If he knew you were coming with $1000 in your pocket, that’s a different story. But a $20 sale... He’s just getting rid of clutter in his house.
    drewcp likes this.
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