Is Craigslist A Safe Haven For Cheapskates?


Has craigslist become the place to find the cheapest people on the planet? Depending on who you ask, it just might be and possibly the worst place to find quality customers if you’re running a business. When the site first started out there was no doubt that it became a great way to post free ads to get the word out about your business and possibly land you a few quality customers. Now, craigslist may still be a place to get the word out about your business, but if you want quality customers, you may have to look elsewhere. That’s right, the quality customer decline has hit craigslist.

What is the quality customer decline you might ask? It’s where quality customers that you once found on craigslist now have been replaced by freeloaders and cheapskates who want your services or your item for sale at a cheaper price or simply expect you to work or give them that item for free. And yes, inexperienced or otherwise less than skilled professionals are also popping up to serve these people from the $40 computer tech to the $10 plumber. Heck, there are even posts from people in the Gigs section on craigslist that are bold enough to post a job paying minimum wage or below.

Other ads have also popped on craigslist recently suggesting that if skilled professionals do the work for them now, that they’ll get paid sometime down the road for more work. In other words, someone hires a contractor to do the job, they do the work and then are suddenly fired. The person doing the hiring not only walks away without paying the contractor but also walks away with the original customer’s money. Craigslist has become a haven for this type of activity. They might as well post job titles that state “take the job as is with a small chance of getting paid.”

I’ve always found that when you go the cheap route you get exactly what you pay for. In fact you’re more than likely to get someone that’s neither licensed nor a skilled professional. For the business owner getting a call from a craigslist cheapskate right off the bat can be frustrating and a bit time consuming. Usually when they call they’ll tell you their problem and then ask how much it’ll cost. Not unreasonable under ordinary circumstances but it seems these craigslist cheapskates will also ask not only how to fix the issue but also claim that a fix is easy or ask you for a price reduction because the other person or company they called before is charging a lower rate. It often leaves the business owner wondering why they called them in the first place.

I once had such a call where the person wanted me to get rid of a virus on their computer. Then when I told them what the hourly rate would be they proceeded to inform me that the person they called before was charging less. It made me wonder why they were calling my company, but it appeared they wanted a skilled professional, they just didn’t want to pay the proper price for it.

It makes me wonder if these same people haggle over prices at the grocery store or go to a restaurant and try to talk them down in price because the fast food chain down the street is offering a hamburger for $1. More than likely they wouldn’t, but on craigslist hagglers, no matter the item or service are turning up on the site and expecting those selling items or offering business services to give it to them either for free or at ridiculously low price. These people are being called lowballers for a reason and they expect to live like rock stars even if it’s at the expense of another person.

Quality customers used to abound on craigslist, but a few years ago it started to really change. Instead of getting customers that answered your ad and were happy to pay a skilled professional their rate, they’ve been replaced by those who feel that they can get anything they need at Walmart prices. It makes you wonder if these people if the rolls were reversed would be happy to sell their skills or items at such a low price. More than likely, probably not. Meanwhile, in their quest to save a dime, these people are also wasting time and and adding even more stress to their lives when they could just pay the skilled professional’s rate and breathe a sigh of relief the job got done. Then again do those who pay cheap rates know quality? Probably not, because they’d actually have to pay for it and it does cost money to purchase quality items or to get solid workmanship. I guess these people don’t feel they’re worthy of such splendor. After all, what good is money if you don’t spend it?



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