The Dangers of Selling Luxury Accessories on Craigslist: A True Story

I used to live alone in New York City, the “city that never sleeps”. It was many years ago now, and I still remember all the noise and the traffic and the bustle. But the memory that stands with me the most vividly is the danger I was in when selling on Craigslist. I remember like it was yesterday…

I owned an absolutely lovely luxury accessory, a Hermes Birkin bag, but after some time I made the decision to part ways with it. I, as anyone would without a second thought listed it for sale on Craigslist. Not too long after a few days, a woman emailed me and right off the bat tried to lowball the price. After I (politely) declined, she still proceeded to ask me all sorts of random questions. At first, I thought she was genuinely interested and just a concerned buyer. After all, it was Craigslist. I went along and answered every single one of her concerns. Towards the end of our email thread was when she started mentioning “someone else”. She said that this “someone else” decided that, after hearing all of my answers, agreed to pay me my full asking price.

I was needless to say thrilled to get offered my asking price! I mean, who wouldn't? Selling a bag that is very difficult to get was a big deal so I was determined to get what it was worth.

I gave the mysterious Craigslist woman my apartment address and she said she would be there soon. A little later in the day, the complex’s doorman called my apartment and said “Danielle” is here for you. Eager to meet the person behind the random questions and finally sell the bag, I sent them up. Seconds later, I opened my door and went out to greet her.

I immediately stopped in my tracks, very confused. “Danielle” was a man. Tall and built, he was wearing a wrinkled shirt and jacket. It was the look in his eyes that made me feel a little uneasy. He had an intense gaze, and he was looking directly into my eyes, blank, without a smile on his face.

Out of the silence he said, “I’m here for the bag”. He was still standing in the hallway of my floor and didn’t move.  Slowly, uncertainly, I showed him the different angles and features of my precious Birkin. My heart was racing as I saw him stare at it.

He finally reached out his hand for the bag and I handed it over to him to see. He took two steps back and lifting his shirt just slightly, he showed me a gun tucked into his waistband. I froze! My stomach dropped. Shocked, scared, and unable to do anything but look at the gun. My hands and feet were sweating. It felt like time was still, almost as if I have been staring at the gun for hours. His voice pierced the deadly silence and snapped me out of the horrific daze I was in.

“I’m going to take this now,” he said in a deep and demanding voice. It was only then that I looked into his eyes again. He had a stone-cold look and was glaring at me. I wanted to scream out loud, but I was still frozen with fright, my throat was dry I couldn't open my mouth. My lips felt glued together. “If you report this to the police, you’ll be sorry because I know exactly where you live”, he said. His words sent a chill down my spine.

He turned around and quickly walked down the stairs with my Birkin in hand. I watched him disappear down the stairway. Finally regaining my clarity, I ran back into my apartment pulling back the drapes to the nearest window that looked out onto the streets of my neighborhood. I saw the man exit my building and step out onto the street. He was walking towards a dark blue minivan. He didn’t run, he didn’t draw any attention. He knew exactly what he was doing. It disgustingly seemed natural for him. I could see that the ignition in the van was already on, the headlights shining dimly. There seemed to be someone waiting for him in the minivan. He opened the passenger door and got in. I watched as they drove away and disappeared into my beloved New York City with my precious Birkin.

I felt helpless. The tears came as a flood. I was mad that I was so petrified with fright and didn’t try to do something, anything, even though I knew there was nothing I could have done. This man threatened my life and looking back on the experience in that moment, I knew he had done this several times before. You could almost feel it by the way he spoke and how he was simply emotionless.

My blood boiled for weeks. I couldn’t get this man, what he did to me, and what he was probably still doing to other unsuspecting victims out of my mind! I felt trapped with the thought that he knew where I lived, and I didn’t have the means to move and then go after him.

I channeled this anger into a powerful drive for action to help others avoid falling into this ruthless scammer trap. That man thought I couldn’t do anything about what happened and about people like him, but little did he know! came to be from this experience. It was created to be a safe buy and sell space for women like you and me for luxury items like handbags, accessories, watches, jewelry and shoes. This site and its process completely removes any risk involved for both the buyer and the seller, so no one ever has to be scammed again.

I’ve learned the hard way that when there’s money to be made, the scammers are never far behind. Every online marketplace is completely riddled with scammers and now in 2022, these same marketplaces are still saturated with people that will, without a second thought, turn to violence against an innocent person to make a dollar. Please remember to buy and sell only from legitimate luxury sources only so you do not end up in a horror story like this one.

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