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I Forge Iron

Why won't you GIVE me that anvil...


Latticino

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Every now and again I peruse Craig's list looking for blacksmithing tools and equipment.  Lately I've noticed a lot of posts saying things like: I need to buy an anvil, cheap, because I'm an artist, student, have a young kid who is interested in blacksmithing, or am just wanting to try it out...  My area is relatively rich in anvils (compared to Australia for example) and usable anvils can pretty regularly be found for between $2 and $4/pound, and rarely for even better prices.  However, these buyers seem to be expecting that there are potential sellers surfing Craigs list or facebook looking for someone to buy their pristine 200# anvil for a couple hundred dollars.  I just don't get their logic.  Anyone who is competent enough to surf craigs list for anvils, and that doesn't take a lot, knows what prices people are paying for anvils locally (and that keeps going up these days, not down).  I can imagine making a good deal for a relative, friend, or fellow member of a smithing group, but a stranger with a convenient story?

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The request is not just for anvils, but for cars, trucks, houses, toys, and what ever else they want but to not want to work for. If they spent the same time cutting grass or hiring out as labor that they spend on the computer or playing computer games, they could buy that and a whole lot more.  

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The issue of giving is very personal and so are the motives to do so. However the ads on Gumtree or Craigslist for that matter, requesting free or very cheap are akin to modern day begging at best or a con from someone who only wants to resell for profit at worst. I almost fell for it once and realised it was not genuine when I saw another ad worded exactly the same way for a different item.

Sad really. 

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I mainly blame that show for this type of behavior. Although I do think it has brought a lot of positive interest into the blacksmithing/bladesmithing world, people don’t realize what it takes, monetarily, to set themselves up like the shop on tv. Once they do figure out the expenses they start begging instead of what the rest of us did, start small, figure out if this is something you’re actually interested in and then work their way up to bigger and better equipment. 

 

Theres going to come one a day in the not so distant future when a lot of people who paid a lot of money for top notch equipment realize it’s not the tools that make a smith, they just make him more efficient. When that day comes, we'll be the ones to benefit and we’ll pay money not beg. 

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As others have said this scam floats in all categories. Also in part may stem from the gimme walk of life. I see the opposite more often. " looking for an anvil or blacksmith equipment $250." They run on and on. Everyone is trying to scam and make a grand off others. Sad really. I'm with FF in needing to meet and know somebody to even consider helping them out nowadays. And I won't even start on not trusting a darn thing with Internet giveaways. Forget it. I'll earn it on my own. Trust nothing and no one till vetted. 

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When I was looking for my current truck I ran across a great ad; seemed like a perfect storm making the owner want to sell under the going rate----too perfect.  So I searched on some of the key phrases and BINGO the exact same ad for the exact same truck was posed in several other places over 1000 miles apart.  I started looking at other examples of good vehicles being sold under the going rate and found they were all over the place.  Now for my local CL I just flagged all the ones that had a certain key phrase every time I searched for my truck---for a public service.   Another scam had auto generated gibberish attached to the posting so it would not turn up as an exact copy----but the gibberish was so distinctive you could just go down the list flagging all those too.

Modern search engines can be quite useful

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17 hours ago, Daswulf said:

. Trust nothing and no one till vetted. 

Good advice, Das, and I think all of us have probably been too trusting at times. I remember doing a demo of forging leaf hooks one day and a visitor really wanted to buy one. There were none left in our gift shop, so I made the demo one for him and told him to take it up to the gift shop (100 metres or so away) and the shop assistant would take payment there. (I'm lucky that I don't have to handle money, cards etc at the forge). Anyway, I learned later that he didn't pay for it. Makes you feel a bit angry. Not just the $20 or so, but the principle of the thing.

And I never learn. I've done that several times since, but luckily all recent buyers have been honest. Most people appreciate that you trust them and very few take advantage. 

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Equally pathetic as all those "give me anvil for less than it is worth" listings in my opinion are the fact that most of them (in my area, anyway) don't even think to say "WTB" or "Looking for..." in the title. If I was gonna give something like that away, I'd at least like to think it was going to someone with a little common sense.

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This is an interesting thread.  I haven't encountered this particular scam myself however it's resonating with me in a different way.  I've seen lots of reports claiming that things are booming in the "gig" or "sharing" economy.

The reality for most people is that wages aren't going up, new jobs are hard to come by, and employers don't have to try very hard.  Uber and AirBNB exist because people are strapped for cash.  People are "sharing" their resources because they need money to pay their bills.  Very few people would rent out their guest room to a stranger otherwise.  I've come to see the whole thing as a smug re-branding of depressed-market necessity.   Even pawn shops are getting a face-lift courtesy of reality TV shows.

Maybe the worst part of this is that hard-working people are duped into thinking they're the only ones who can't make ends meet.  Meanwhile, there's this nonsense about how the "sharing" economy is  more virtuous than established businesses.  Somehow it's "greedy" for a company to charge everyone the going rate for something, but it's "sharing" when a one-time client haggles a better deal from an individual.

This thread supports my hunch that average people are seeing things differently.  

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Ther scams I see on Craigslist are the ones advertising items for way less than they should be. They usually only want to converse by text, posting will have a picture out of place for the location advertised (lush greenery in the desert), and pictures that don't match the ill worded listing.  I was looking at a fully equipped food concession trailer for $4,000 advertised in Las Vegas. Then they say, oh it is in Tacoma WA now, but the previous guy that backed out paid a non refundable that will cover shipping anywhere in the States. Then I tell them , great , I have relatives in Tacoma who can look at it for me..........all contact ceased at that point. I flag these posts as fast as I see them. 

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I have had people ask for my email when asking non specifically about an item I was selling. After a few replies back and forth through the cl protected email I realized they were only out to get my email address and didn't even really know what I was trying to sell. 

Another time when inquiring about a vehicle I got something like what Big Gun mentioned with some goofy "third party will hold the money until you get the vehicle and approve" deal. I knew right away it was a scam. 

Dont get me wrong, I've had many good transactions and even met some good people through it but watch out. 

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9 hours ago, rockstar.esq said:

This is an interesting thread. 

Reminds me of a bank manager a long time ago who told me that he was in the business of helping people.

I had a good laugh and told him he was in the business of selling cash at a higher price than the face value. And that he shouldn't be ashamed, It is a legitimate business just like selling cheese.

There is a lot to be said about the ethical pretenses of new business like Uber who exist only because of the appalling incompetence of regulators. The facade build under the assumption that there is something inherently evil about established business and making money in general is a disgrace.  Only single, thin, vegetarian on push bikes are cool. Family men in their 40ties ( let alone 50ties .... eeeh shudder) building a business to make a better life for self and family are evil and not cool. A lot of today's activities and also modern day myths and legends like those related to the climate, are based on a refined and professional exploitation of stereotypes and anti-values known to be common and accepted without much scrutiny, and also known to remain unopposed by politicians whose only fear is to lose the next election. But that deserves a thread on it's own :) 

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