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Should I Be Suspicious of Craigslist?


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Sorry if this is a repost, I got an error last time I posted. Anyway, TPAAAT isn't working great for me so I turned to Craigslist. I don't know if I should be or not but I automatically get suspicious whenever I go to CL. I saw a couple of decent looking anvils that are about what I'm looking for. Something about this one raises a red flag for me, but the price seems about right for the weight:

 

CLXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

This one is closer to me since I'm in So. MD, and it's also got about the right proce for the weight. I've also heard of Vulcan so that makes me feel a little more confident.

 

CLXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

I know there's only so much you can get from a picture, but I'm wondering if there are any warning signs you guys can see here.

 

Craig List ads removed.

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Going to see the item and testing it is the best way to decide.  The Swedish anvil is a cast steel, with rough edges.  They could be reworked, but must be done by someone who knows what they are doing.  The Vulcan anvil is in decent shape, but remember Vulcans are on the low end of anvil quality.  (I consider them junk).  So do not discount CL.  Decide for yourself what you want.  Make contact, then go and look and test. 

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What about the other one in the first listing.  It does't seem to have the casting mark line the other one does.  It looks like a peter wright to me.  I agree with the rest craigs list anvils can be good or bad the only way you know is to go look and check rebound.  there is always Matchless on E-bay he seems to deal in quality anvils and will even let you return them if your not happy.  More money but good stuff, marketing by an honest guy that knows anvils.  I haven't bought from him as I've found a couple of nice anvils on my own.  But I would buy from him if I hadn't.

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I'm with NJA; I expect Vulcans to cost way less than other brands of anvils---including the various swedish cast ones.  They are quiet though; however you can quiet a loud anvil by proper mounting of it.

 

What makes me nervous about the swedish ones is that it looks like it was painted recently which always sets off my "what are they trying to hide" button.

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ALWAYS be suspicious of Craig's List.

 

Few places are as full of Scum and Villainy as the Craig's List.

 

I go out of my way to avoid it when I can.

 

The FEW instances I have been involved with transactions involving so called 'internet classifieds'... I have ALWAYS met in public places, always armed and always with a friend.

 

It's not paranoia if robbery, murder, scams and theft are nearly as likely as a successful transaction.

 

There are a host of anvils for sale for local pickup on Ebay right now... all in the north east, and within driving distance for you.

 

Sadly, none in my area. :(

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Plantagenet has it down pat.  You can buy quality stuff off of CL, including anvils, but you need to be prepared for the scam.

 

Now, having said that, there aren't a lot of people using anvils as bait for the unwary.  Simply put, anvils are so far out of the mindset of common folks that there's just no chance of one being used to schnooker you.  Car parts, electronics, yea.  Anvils and big tools, not so much.

 

Your biggest problem is judging quality in a realistic fashion.  Vulcan has something of a bad reputation because they had some quality-control issues at one point in their history, but they are still considered a top tier anvil.  If I had the choice between a mint Vulcan and a chipped Wright, I'd not hesitate to grab up the Vulcan.  Realistically, I am not going to be doing any heavy sledging on the anvil, so I'm not worried about breaking off the horn or heel.  I make small stuff for a hobby.  If I work metal over an inch thick, something's gone wrong!  :D

 

Edge damage?  My big Fisher has some of the most chewed-up edges I've ever seen and I really need to spend some time with a belt sander to radius the poor things.  But, there's no hurry because they don't really hamper my work.  I bet you can do the same.

 

If you can say the same thing, don't turn a cold shoulder on the Vulcan line.  Fisher, Peter Wright, Vulcan, Trenton, Kohlswa, etc. They're all good stuff.

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Wow it sounds like some of you guys really put it all on the line to get anvils.

I like anvils and all and yes I would travel a good distance to get one. BUT if I felt there was a reasonable chance that I was going to get hog tied and mugged I think I would be looking for a different way to find an anvil.

Although as VaughnT said anvils seem like an odd thing to run a scam on. Hear a lot of people doing them with boats, as people seem to really like them and will accept odd reasons for a couple of thousand dollars off.

Think it is a bit of the old rule: If it seems to good to be true, it usually is. :)

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I LOVE Craigslist. I spend thousands and make thousands on it and the notion that ebay is a safe haven for buyers is laughable. Now if someone was selling a Rolex watch and would only meet me in the boonies to hand over the cash I'd be a little wary to say the least but I seriously doubt anyone with an ANVIL is going to meet you at Starbucks with the thing......''Let the buyer beware'' or as PT Barnum so rightly put it; ''A fool and his money are soon parted''...........

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I disagree with vulcans being junk.  I have one and love it far more than my acme or any of the other types I have had the pleasure to work on.  Just wish it was heavier than the 185lbs that it is. Plus a good 90 percent rebound is hard to scoff at.  Vulcans are quiet and have a flatter top section to the horn which can be an advantage if you know how to use it.  I do lots of sledge hammer work on my vulcan.  To each their own I just hate to see such a wonderful tool called crap.  So don't discount them.  It is always better to check out an anvil before you buy.  Kinda the same way with cars.  I had a kit worked up for when I was looking for a second anvil.  Good to know what the tests are and use them.  

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I'll have to see about posting a picture of the casting voids where the horn broke off of the vulcan I have---you pretty much could stick pencils in them and some met the surface so I don't know *how* it was sold in the first place.  (It was a gift for my "wall of shame" collection of badly damaged anvils)

 

Also the ones; yes plural, I have worked on were quite soft.  (I have a friend whose shop is well stocked with them and when I work there that's what I have to use).

 

So I don't think they are junk; but just at the bottom tier of "real anvils" and all I have gotten over the years I have sold on to people starting smithing for prices that reflect my opinion of them.  I still advise people that have noise/neighbor issues to look for them if they can't find a Fisher; but I'd be willing to pay a premium for a Fisher over a Vulcan.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'd agree with those who said that you're less likely to get robbed/murdered/stewed & fricasseed by a guy selling an anvil than jewelry or something else more obviously valuable. I'm just xxxx anxious to get my hands on something so I can start working. I don't mind working my way up from a low-end anvil, but judging from the comments here, the Vulcan may be a wee bit on the pricey side. I think I'll just keep my ball bearings handy and keep bugging the folks at the junk markets for now. But I do feel a little bit better about CL and will keep my eyes open there too.

 

Also Thomas's comment about the Swedish looking off was what threw me too. It looks like they slopped some paint or grease or something all over it.

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I'm with Macbruce, I LOVE Craigslist!
I have got so many awesome deals on there.....

With everything, it is always buyer beware.
But you can learn a lot about the seller with a simple phone call conversation.
I've bought and sold tons of items on CL. I've never had one problem with a transaction.
You'll get the occasional spam emails, but they are easy to weed out.

Perusing CL is part of my morning ritual with coffee, a integral part of the day... :)

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Like MacBruce and others I'm addicted to Craigslist and both buy and sell on it regularly. I thought I'd see what is on Craigslist in Maryland and came across a sweet deal in 

Gerrardstown Large anvil with a 17 1/2 inch x 5 inch face and a 10 inch shelf and horn. $275

It looks very clean! From the picture and dimensions I'd say that anvil weighs over 200 lbs and if it were any where within 250 miles of me I would have already left to go see it.

There are a number of anvils in your area for sale most are too expensive but there are still a few worth considering.

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I'll toss myself in with the group that loves CL. I don't look at it much right now because it kills me to see great deals on stuff and not have any free cash to spend.

 

I regularly recommend guys go to CL if looking for an inexpensive welder. I almost always see old AC  transformer stick machines for $50-150 vs getting the exact same thing ( less some dirt and rust) for $300 new. The machines are tanks and it wouldn't surprise me if 100 years from now the vast majority of them are still welding. Same goes with looking for used gas cylinders, though you need to know what you are looking for with them and make sure you can exchange any you buy used or they aren't worth anything.

 

I guess since most of the things I look at are welders, smithing equipment, metal and woodworking tools, that I just don't hardly think about getting robbed. I do recognize most of the scams that pop up on CL for welders. If a $3K to $4K machine is being offered to you for under $1000, there's probably something not Kosher about the deal. It's either stolen, broken or a scam...  I use the same basic common sense that I use anytime I go to an unfamiliar area to meet with someone.

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Fatfudd - that was another one I had my eye on! I actually contacted the guy selling it, haven't heard back. Not much detail about it but it looks like it's not in too bad shape. And while $275 isn't chump change I'd be a lot less xxxxxx if I got a dud than if I paid a bunch more cash.

 

DSW I've gotten welding stuff of CL and I've always had pretty good luck. And basic common sense does go a long way. I think I was most suspicious because I kept turning up these "antique" anvils which made me think the people didn't know what they had but were asking antique prices or people with old cracked junk trying to make a quick couple of hundred bucks. I'm not experienced enough yet to not get taken, especially if there are no marks on the thing for me to compare against what little I do know.

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