For those who are uncomfortable using services like eBay, but still wish to harness the power of the internet, Craigslist.org can serve as an excellent channel to sell a used camcorder like the Sony VX2100. Unlike online auction sites Craigslist (CL) allows users to post their items for no charge and the transactions stemming from these online classifieds most commonly occur face-to-face for cash. While CL is a fairly simplistic website, it does take some practice to make the most of the opportunity; avoid being scammed, while also minimizing the time wasted by “tire kickers”.
People on the internet have a very short attention span, and so your listing should accommodate this. Usually the people that find your listing will already know everything they need to about your camcorder, so avoid copy / pasting information from the manufacturer’s website, it only serves to bore potential buyers – besides they simply need to do a Google search to answer any questions about the hardware. Keep your posting short, less than 400 words, giving a brief history of the camcorder and a thorough description of its current condition.
Craigslist only allows four pictures to be uploaded to the website, so you will need to use another service like Flickr or PhotoBucket to post additional angles. Make sure that your pictures are no smaller than 640×480 so that buyers can clearly see the type of condition your used camcorder is in. Also make sure to take close ups of any cosmetic flaws that the unit might have. For example it is common for a used Sony VX2100 to have suffered blemishing on the outside of the LCD screen (where the camcorder may have been laid down on its side); wear like this is something that a buyer will want to know about beforehand lest they feel you may have been dishonest about other things.
Responding to emails:
Once posted, it isn’t uncommon to get a flood of emails from people attempting to scam you. If the email sounds fishy, or too good to be true, steer clear; ignore any emails asking to ship the item. Also, no matter how fair of a price your item is listed for expect to receive a number of emails from people trying to “low ball” your price. It is up to you how to respond to these requests, but understand that many people within the Craigslist community expect some bargaining to go on before a purchase is made.
While CL can be an invaluable resource, the website attracts numerous amounts of bargain hunters. Unfortunately many of these people will setup a meeting with the intent of making you a low offer once they see the equipment, or stop by simply to “kick the tires”. It is highly recommended that you speak over the phone, and solidify your price before scheduling an appointment. Granted since the camcorder is used, people will want to see it in person before they commit to the purchase, but if you have been openly forward with the condition of your video camera then there shouldn’t be any issues.
Keep in mind that since Craigslist is a free service it has become a feeding ground for overseas scammers. Do not use CL unless you intend to make the exchange in person, making cash should be the preferred payment option. That said money orders and cashiers checks are acceptable if the buyer is willing to meet you at a bank, so that you can cash them in order to verify their authenticity. Additionally requesting that the buyer include their phone number is an easy way to weed out anyone that isn’t local.
Meet in a public place:
Since the Sony VX2100 is a high end item, it is highly advised that any meeting is setup in a public place (think local coffee shop). To save yourself the headache of dealing with potential buyers missing their appointment, choose a place that is close to your home and have them call once they are just a few minutes away. Although it seems fair that the meeting place is half way between the buyer and yourself, your time is too valuable to drive 30 minutes only to be stood up.
A used Sony VX2100 can still fetch a fair price, and Craigslist certainly provides an excellent channel to make that sale possible. Even so, the task of selling on CL can be a daunting. While following the steps above should help to minimize the risks involved, nothing is certain. Please take great caution when selling online, and remember that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.