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Got Ripped Off Trying to buy a Hamer on Craigslist.


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So I have bought many guitars on Craigslist without an issue, but today was different.

Found a Hamer USA on Craigslist, after talking with the guy by text (of course he wouldn't answer the phone) I decided to take the one hour ride to go see guitar.  Like many who advertise on CL the pictures were crap so another reason to go see it. I get to the guys house, check out the guitar and we negotiate a price of $1650. I had to go back out to the car to get the money. I had taken $1500 cash out of the bank and had another $100 bill and some twenties in my wallet. I took the $1500 and the $100 bill and 3 twenties from my wallet (I was going to give him the extra $10 as there was nowhere to get change. )

I go back in and count out the money for him. He takes the money, I look down to inspect the contents of the case one more time when he suddenly says there is $100 missing. I count it again and yes it was missing. (this was after I counted it out) I go back to the car to check and of course it wasn't there. I go back in and he won't even look at me. I am in his house so what can I do. I'm not about to start a fight in his house. So I just walk out without the guitar. Man am I pissed. So I learned a $100 lesson (plus gas and time) always count out the money, then make him count it in front of you. This is one more reason to meet in a public place. (before now I liked to go to the house to play it) Be Careful out there when dealing with CL. Thanks for letting me vent.

Edited by rickrock999
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Yes he apparently palmed a hundred when I wasn't looking. Even more surprising because he was on old guy who didn't seem like the type (besides you know not volunteering any information, not talking on the phone, the usual things most people do these days) I started questioning myself, but I know that the money was all there.

I think he might have been mad at how hard I negotiated, but who knows. Just not worth all the negative energy to start  in with him about emptying his pockets and making accusations. When I walked back in I said, "I don't know what happened but I took $1500 out of the bank and added another $160 to it." He said "Well I didn't take it" while looking down at the floor, and saying nothing else even though I didh't directly accuse him. But he did.

Edited by rickrock999
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When I was in Havana this is how they did it at the Bank. I went to excange cash and the lady behind the counter had a system where she counted the bills in front of the customer, ten, ten, ten - then went into five, five, five, then smaller bills for the last amount - two, two, two - to make you lose the count yourself. I was on to her and got my money (after wild excuses), but three people in our party got stiffed for about 100 dollars each. 

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Old people can be crooks!  When my father had a service station and used car lot there were old people who knew how to attempt scams.  Even with younger people, it is always the ones who you feel like you can trust that will cheat you. 

I went with a friend to sell a drag car for cash.  The money was counted out on a table by two people, me and the buyer's son.  We agreed on each stack of $1000 before moving to the next one.

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8 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

Old people can be crooks!  When my father had a service station and used car lot there were old people who knew how to attempt scams.  Even with younger people, it is always the ones who you feel like you can trust that will cheat you. 

I went with a friend to sell a drag car for cash.  The money was counted out on a table by two people, me and the buyer's son.  We agreed on each stack of $1000 before moving to the next one.

I was at trivia and some retired lady would linger around the table after we all left.    Even though she spent the least.      I knew what she was doing so I grabbed it and handed it to the waiter.    Asshole was trying to skim a the tips.   

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Still going over this in my head. Last night I was thinking "maybe I didn't have an extra hundred in my wallet" because it's not like I haven't made mistakes in the past. But I counted that money at least 3 times before I went there. A long time ago I had a job where I had to count a lot of money so I have experience in that.  But the worst part of the whole thng is I didn't get the guitar. It was really nice. I could have thrown another hundred on top to get it and it still would have been a decent deal, and I think he thought that is what I would do, but no way I was dealing with this guy after that. I'll have to get over it.

Edited by rickrock999
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5 minutes ago, MCChris said:

Was Zelle/Venmo/Paypal not an option here? Doing a cash deal for that amount with a complete stranger is dicey as hell. In fact, you're lucky you only got taken for $100.

I have done many deals on CL in the past. Part of the negotiating strategy is to "Show them the money," and it has worked well. Plus people are always suspicious of any transaction that does not involve cash. They also don't want to deal with the taxes that might be involved. He could have grabbed $200 instead, but I think the strategy is to make you think you messed up. If he had done that there would have been no doubt in my mind and I could have called the cops, but that probably would not have done any good either.

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4 minutes ago, rickrock999 said:

I have done many deals on CL in the past. Part of the negotiating strategy is to "Show them the money," and it has worked well. Plus people are always suspicious of any transaction that does not involve cash. They also don't want to deal with the taxes that might be involved.

So, grifters who plan on palming one of your C notes and don't want to pay taxes on income are the suspicious ones. What a world we live in!

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Allow me to be the voice of dissenting opinion (for a change).

You miscounted the money.

There it is.

In order for your "the seller ripped me off" story to hold water, the seller would have had to have thought it was more advantageous for him to pocket a lousy $100 rather than sell the guitar.  Considering what a pain in the cock it is to sell a guitar these days, this is short-sighted, to say the least.

A mechanic who can palm a $100 bill while you're watching him knows better ways to make (steal) money.
Ways which don't involve a) giving you his phone number, b) giving you his address, c) letting you in his home, d) letting you handle the goods.

Right now, many of you reading this are thinking "Hey man, $100 is $100.  If he keeps having other perspective buyers come over and he steals $100 from them..."
This would be a retarded long con where the seller wastes hours and hours of his own time, amasses a group of enemies who have his home address and phone number and risks an ass-kicking with a comparatively small payoff.

Wouldn't it just be easier to sell the fucking guitar?

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4 hours ago, bruce919 said:

Never go to the person house or property. Always meet in a public place & bring a buddy to keep an eye on things form an outside perspective. 

Easier with guitars, but harder with amps that you need to hear them work correctly.

Edited by santellavision
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2 hours ago, kizanski said:

Allow me to be the voice of dissenting opinion (for a change).

You miscounted the money.

There it is.

In order for your "the seller ripped me off" story to hold water, the seller would have had to have thought it was more advantageous for him to pocket a lousy $100 rather than sell the guitar.  Considering what a pain in the cock it is to sell a guitar these days, this is short-sighted, to say the least.

A mechanic who can palm a $100 bill while you're watching him knows better ways to make (steal) money.
Ways which don't involve a) giving you his phone number, b) giving you his address, c) letting you in his home, d) letting you handle the goods.

Right now, many of you reading this are thinking "Hey man, $100 is $100.  If he keeps having other perspective buyers come over and he steals $100 from them..."
This would be a retarded long con where the seller wastes hours and hours of his own time, amasses a group of enemies who have his home address and phone number and risks an ass-kicking with a comparatively small payoff.

Wouldn't it just be easier to sell the fucking guitar?

Everything you say makes sense. Except. He didn't palm it while I was watching. As far as I was concerned the sale was over, I was ready to pick up the guitar and walk out. I was looking down at what was in the case not at him. He easily could have taken the hundred.

I really think he got pissed off at my negotiating style. He was asking $1800, I offered $1500 he said no I immediately came up to $1600. He didn't want to budge, but then he came down to $1700. We couldn't come to a deal so I left, as I was on my way back to the freeway I called back and offered to split the difference $1650, he really didn't want to let it go at that price (had lots of interest he said) he then said $1675, and I was like come on man... Finally he very reluctantly said yes. I told him he was making the right move to avoid having to continue to try to sell. He had also told me he needed the money for his daughter's surgery (a big red flag?) Anyway I think he was pissed and in the heat of the moment took the bill. Maybe I should have just paid the extra hundred and taken the guitar. Which is what I think he thought I would do.

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11 minutes ago, rickrock999 said:

I really think he got pissed off at my negotiating style. He was asking $1800, I offered $1500 he said no I immediately came up to $1600. He didn't want to budge, but then he came down to $1700. We couldn't come to a deal so I left, as I was on my way back to the freeway I called back and offered to split the difference $1650, he really didn't want to let it go at that price (had lots of interest he said) he then said $1675, and I was like come on man... Finally he very reluctantly said yes. I told him he was making the right move to avoid having to continue to try to sell. He had also told me he needed the money for his daughter's surgery (a big red flag?) Anyway I think he was pissed and in the heat of the moment took the bill. Maybe I should have just paid the extra hundred and taken the guitar. Which is what I think he thought I would do.

Wait... you drove there and then started negotiating?

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52 minutes ago, kizanski said:

Wait... you drove there and then started negotiating?

Above The Law: "Who The Fuck Is This Cherry?" - YouTube

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Yeah, there is definitely no "type."

When I used to work at an absurdly huge wine, spirits, and finer foods retail establishment, our loss prevention guy was a former cop and a bit set in his ways when it came to profiling. In trying to find out why nearly $1,000 worth of booze had vanished one afternoon, we found on the security footage that our LP was so busy following around a young, black male with saggy jeans that he completely missed the mid-aged gentleman in a three piece suit stocking a cart full of high end scotch and tequila and pushing it right out the front door without a peep from anyone. 

One shouldn't let such things make a cynic of them, but my experience is that a thief will definitely exploit expectations to their advantage. 

However your losing the $100 came about, I'm sorry you're out the money.

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Folks will do all kinds of mischief for money.  In '68 I sat in the Pechora Jazz Club in Moscow. When I got back to NYC I found that the Soviets had billed the promoter $2,500 for "broken equipment". I had plugged my guitar into the club's amp and spoken on their mic. That's it. Anything for hard currency in the USSR! And they pulled that stunt even though a CBS News cameraman had been in the club and could easily have verified that absolutely no damage was done. Didn't care. (I have no idea if anyone paid the bogus claim.) 

I too am sorry you are out $100 but you are, presumably, in one piece. Your story might not have ended even that well.

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2 hours ago, kizanski said:

Wait... you drove there and then started negotiating?

Yes I did. I have actually done it both ways in the past. I've negotiated in advance over the phone, and I've just shown up with no prior negotiations. Many people don't like it when you start haggling over the phone before you've even seen the item. And as this guy wasn't talking anyway except to text me the address I figured I might as well do that. Judging by how reluctant to come down on the price he was in person I think there was no way he was agreeing  to anything in advance.

I started playing guitar only about 7 years ago. Back then I would buy a guitar to try it out as I knew nothing about them. If I liked the guitar I would keep it if not I would sell. I only bought guitars that were a good deal. Since then I have owned 37 guitars. I currently own 10. So I have sold 26 guitars and made a profit on all but one which was a $20 loss. Even if you include the hundred I lost I am still way up. So up till now I kinda knew what I was doing. 😕

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5 hours ago, DaveL said:

wait a minute...  Hollywood?   I think I know that guy  (on left).    ;)    

 good that you walked,  f that guy.  

Scene Stealers: Alfred Molina in Boogie Nights - One Room With A View

That's what I worried might happen if I started a fight with the guy in his own house.

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2 hours ago, LucSulla said:

Yeah, there is definitely no "type."

When I used to work at an absurdly huge wine, spirits, and finer foods retail establishment, our loss prevention guy was a former cop and a bit set in his ways when it came to profiling. In trying to find out why nearly $1,000 worth of booze had vanished one afternoon, we found on the security footage that our LP was so busy following around a young, black male with saggy jeans that he completely missed the mid-aged gentleman in a three piece suit stocking a cart full of high end scotch and tequila and pushing it right out the front door without a peep from anyone. 

One shouldn't let such things make a cynic of them, but my experience is that a thief will definitely exploit expectations to their advantage. 

However your losing the $100 came about, I'm sorry you're out the money.

Which isn’t to say the dude in the saggy jeans wasn’t a decoy working with the other gentleman.

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9 hours ago, DaveL said:

I was at trivia and some retired lady would linger around the table after we all left.    Even though she spent the least.      I knew what she was doing so I grabbed it and handed it to the waiter.    Asshole was trying to skim a the tips.   

If I’m tipping cash on top of the bill, I always hand the cash directly to the server when they bring back my card.  Never leave cash on the table for another patron or employee to pick up.  Plus, a lot of servers prefer cash tips for tax purposes….

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