It's amazing how nice and generous some people can be on the internet. If you don't believe, try posting an item on used items or auction sites like Craigslist or Gaijinpot.
So I had some items at my disposal; for which I took some pictures, wrote a few lines of description and posted up my intention to sell them. Not before long, I had a stream of responses coming into my alternative email account. (Tip 1 : Never give out your real email account to just about anyone in case of spam and jokers, especially in a very public domain where everyone else is anonymous anyways.)
The item posted was an electronic product and the selling price I quoted was half of the price it was originally bought for. I thought this was quite fair given the fact that the item was slightly less than a year old, and I knew people would negotiate anyways. (Tip 2 : Try to put a reasonable price, low enough to entice sellers, while high enough in case you need to lower it.)
One of the first responses I had was from a "single mother" who needed the item quick but at a lower price because she needed the money and wanted to buy a few quantity of similar items. My guess is she wanted to buy a lot to sell them off at a higher price.
I wanted to deal directly, to be sure that the buyer was genuine. The alternative is to receive cheques or bank transfers, but I didn't have the time to register and wait for the money to go through. (Tip 3 : Sign up on sites like Yahoo Auction or Ebay to increase legitimacy, and if you don't mind dealing through banks, wait until the cheque or transfer clears before making delivery. In any case, I would still be cautious about giving out bank account details.)
Someone must have read my mind and wanted to assuage my fears...
How are you doing i sew your item post on craigslist and i am interested in buying the item for my love wife and i will want you to know that i will be making the payment via pay pal.
I wrote back saying...
i'm sorry i don't have a paypal account. i would prefer to deal directly as i think that's the best way to handle this.
To which he (could be a she) responded with...
Thanks for your mail back to me i will want you to know that it is free to sign up an account at pay pal okay and it is safe and fast to send money okay so i will want you to go and sign up and get back to me with your pay pal account email address to that i can send you the payment and i am willing to add up to JPY20000 to the shipping fee okay you have nothing to worry about at all okay.
This person writes as if he's speaking, no fullstop and filled with many "okay's".
Along the way, I also received a number of responses from people living out of Japan, in particular that region between Asia and Europe. They must really like Japanese gadgets to invest their hard-earned money to buy a 2nd hand version of the item.
Out of curiosity (even though I shouldn't be entertaining jokers), I decided to ask this person from "Liberia" why he would even want to pay that amount for my item. To which he said that most of the electronic items in Liberia are made in China and they prefer to buy those made in Japan.
I guess he's not the only one because I got this one too...
My name is K, from Nigeria. I saw your advert on craigslist and decided to find out if it is still available for sale. I hope it is working fine because I want use it as an Easter gift for my son. How much are you going to sale it to me?
By this time, I must have been bored out of my wits reading everyone's motivation for wanting to buy my item that all I wrote was...
yes, the price is as quoted on craigslist :)
He must really have wanted it as a gift for his son because the next reply I got was him wanting to top up the price with more money!
I have accepted your price(JPY60000) which is about $610 usd because it is what I have been looking to buy for my son as a gift for the easter. I will send you JPY74822($760 Usd) for both the cost of the item and shipping cost via your local Post office. So kindly send your names and your house address where your money will be delivered to you through Nigeria Postal Service. Once I send the money out, I will give you the tracking number so that you can track the money and you have to ship the item to me once you confirm the tracking number. I will send my shipping details to you as soon as I send the money out to you. You can still find out the actual shipping cost from your local post office if you wishes to do so. If the money I added for shipment will not be enough, you can call me on my phone number. Please note that the payment will be in US dollars,ok. Thanks.
He even listed his fullname and phone number at the end of the email. So tempted to give him a call and tell him what a generous and caring father he is.
*Update : Find out what I decided to do after getting all these responses on Craiglist*