Suburban Identity Crisis Rampant on Craigslist

It drives me insane that people cannot be honest about the city they live in. Businesses, citizens, journalists, the problem plagues them all. Many in the suburbs/exurbs don't know that they are not in St. Louis. This used to be a minor annoyance for me, but it is really driving me nuts the last couple of years, as I've been paying more attention to it.

The latest suburban identity crisis to aggravate me: craigslist. I understand that the surrounding 100 miles or so may choose to list items for sale on the St. Louis page. I get that and it's all good to call the metropolitan region "St. Louis"; after all, it is the largest city in the region. However, when I am browsing through the (sometimes) 100's of listings for a particular item, there are 2 main data points that help me decide whether or not to click. First is the presence of a picture. I always want to see the item, so if there's no pic, I don't click. Secondly, location (listed in parentheses adjacent to the title) is paramount. For instance, I bought both my scooters on craigslist, and many times, I don't want to purchase something far from home, as I have to drive it back to my St. Louis residence. Or, if I'm coming from work, I may choose to shop for items close to my work location in Creve Coeur, MO.

I've called on many ads that listed the item's location as St. Louis, then I call on the seller only to find out they are nowhere near St. Louis. When I question this on the phone, people are usually deviant at worse or dismissive at best. In short, driving to Florissant or Ballwin is a big difference than driving within St. Louis for me. Nobody likes being corrected, especially by a stranger. I get that. However, I believe in the necessity for truth in advertising, and when a business or personal seller fibs about their location, I am automatically questioning their ability to be straight and transparent with me.

What gives? You can't have it both ways. Neglecting to consider what location means to a potential buyer is remiss at best and deceptive at worst.