Illustration for article titled Let’s Talk About The Craigslist 60 Percent
Image: Author

A few weeks ago, Craigslist finally dropped its official app, and I’m sure most of you had roughly the same reaction as me: an out-loud comment welcoming them to 2010, a little bit of excitement that Craigslist might be more pleasant to use, and finally a sudden awareness of all the reasons you stopped using Craigslist.

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I haven’t used the site for a while, but I needed to sell a vehicle so I decided to take the app for a spin. Immediately, I received a lowball email that reminded me of something that almost always happens:

When I post a vehicle on Craigslist, for any amount of money, I will very quickly get an offer of 60 percent of my asking price.

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It’s almost always exactly or very near 60 percent, and it happens almost every time.

Doesn’t matter what it is. A motorcycle for $1,000: “I’ll give you $600.” A go-kart for $800: “Will you take $480?” An Acura MDX for $14,000: “I can be there in 30 minutes with $8,400 CASH.”

This happens with a lot of the stuff I post for sale, but it is especially true with vehicles. The reason I think this is odd is that it’s weirdly accurate to 60 percent of the asking price, and it happens so often that I wonder if it is a secret tactic only known by the kind of people who make their living flipping shitboxes.

I always feel like 60 percent is too low. If I think something is worth only 60 percent of the asking price, I assume the seller and I are too far apart and I move on. An offer that low seems almost like an insult.

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Maybe someone has written a script that goes post-by-post and automatically emails an offer of 60 percent of the asking price. I must not be the only person who has noticed this. Do you get the 60 percent offer for everything you post? Are you one of the 60 percent offerers?

Matt Brown is an automotive engineer, writer, and builder of unconventional things. Mostly vehicles.

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