On Craigslist, bait-and-switch is the norm

by Joe Zekas on 6/25/12

If you’re searching for an apartment in any of the lakefront communities covered by YoChicago’s at-a-glance apartment lists and maps, you’re wasting your time by searching on Craigslist. Our lists are comprehensive, and include links to property websites, where you can get accurate, up-to-date information directly from property owners and management companies.

Accurate information is rare on Craigslist, where the great majority of the ads are bait-and-switch come-ons posted by the tens of thousands by Chicago’s sleazy apartment rental services.

One great feature of our lists is a link to the near real-time availability information that many of the buildings publish on their website. I used those links to check three Craigslist ads published just hours earlier. Two had no availabilities for the advertised apartments, and the third had three apartments listed at 10% or more than the price advertised on Craigslist.

If you have lots of time to waste, and a taste for risk, head over to Craigslist.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Alchmin July 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Have you checked every single owner/management company website and you can confirm that they are all accurate and up to date? After reading your post, I checked on availability at 8 different properties and only 4 of them were up to date and accurate compared to what their websites had listed for prices and availability. Please do your research first Joe, before you make false claims. Otherwise, YOU are simply wasting our time. By the way, I found my apartment on Craigslist.

Reply

Joe Zekas July 1, 2012 at 9:19 PM

“Jay Alchmin”

It’s curious that people who question my credibility never seem to have a real, verifiable identity.

You’ve wasted your time – no one is going to believe that they’ll get more accurate information on Craigslist than they will by going directly to property owners and managers and their websites.

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Jay Alchmin July 1, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Although I do not believe you are as smart as you think you are, I do think you are smart enough to know that I am not making the point that CL is a better option. The point is, management companies websites are not accurate either. Of course, you dodged the question that I asked too “Have you checked every single owner/management company website and you can confirm that they are all accurate and up to date?” Because I did and they are not accurate or up to date either. Get a clue Joe. Send me your address and ill send you a copy of my birth certificate and ID if you would like.

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Joe Zekas July 1, 2012 at 10:51 PM

“Jay Alchmin”

I’m smart enough to know that I didn’t say that management company websites are always up to date.

You know the answer to your silly question – of course I don’t continually check every site. But all of the sites have contact info where renters can inquire about up-to-date listings and prices. That’s not something they’ll get from the apartment finder community that pollutes Craigslist with fraudulent ads.

Tell us which sites you consulted, and exactly how they were inaccurate, or we’ll rightfully assume that you’re just making it up.

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Jay Alchmin July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

4 that were wrong:
chestnut place – rent amounts are inaccurate. Those are old prices
1212 s michigan – same thing. prices are not starting as low as they say they are
65 E Scott – same thing
Gramercy Row – same thing

You shouldnt boast about the accuracy of these websites when some of them are clearly inaccurate. CL ads are certainly flawed and often fraudulent, but please dont write that “you can get accurate, up-to-date information directly from property owners and management companies” when that is not always the case. moron.

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Joe Zekas July 2, 2012 at 3:44 PM

“Jay Alchmin”

I’m guessing you’re the jerk who called Chestnut Place – today – and abruptly hung up after being informed that there’s a one-bedroom available within the price range on the website and that convertibles are all rented up. First time you checked? Didn’t like hearing that you’d have to lie knowingly rather than just making stuff up?

The leasing director says that the stated rents on the website are accurate, except the high end of the 2-bedroom range is now $30 more.

The website clearly states that “prices are subject to change without notice” and it’s easy to contact the management companies through their websites and determine exactly what is available, when and at what price. That’s a level of information you won’t get from the rental services.

65 East Scott only quotes starting prices on its website and it isn’t difficult to understand that units are not always available at the starting price. Ditto for Gramercy Row.

1212 S Michigan is now Park Michigan, and it doesn’t quote rents on its website.

Do you really think you can lie so blatantly and have anyone believe you?

It might benefit you to learn that name-calling makes you appear to be a fool.

To repeat my point, which you continue to mischaracterize: accurate information is available via the management companies / property owners and almost never via the finders. No one expects the websites to be updated instantly, and everyone should understand that they need to email or speak to someone to get an up-to-date quote.

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melissa September 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM

wish i knew you before i fell into the scam…. I have to fight to get my money back :(

Reply

Bill June 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I don’t know about the others but I used to live at 65 East Scott and they draw you in and then raise rent heavily after your first lease ends. They also don’t tell you that electric bills are extraordinarily high for some reason. My electronic bills were between $100 and $150 per month. You pay for everything through your electric including heat and air.

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Alternate View June 19, 2013 at 8:56 AM

What if we stopped leasing these overpriced downtown high rises and instead lived in wonderful neighborhoods?

What if I told you that you could live in a two bedroom, two bath with in-unit laundry and a parking space a few blocks from the brown line for $1,550?

What if neighbors knew each other and parking was free on the street?

What if we just said NO to these big landlords?

What if I told you there was NO shortage of apartments in safe neighborhoods less than 30 minutes from the Loop?

What if we saved our money instead?

-The Alternate View

Reply

Joe Zekas June 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM

What if … commenters didn’t use multiple screen names?

What if … commenters disclosed their interest in a topic?

Reply

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