I do check CL and have bought my current horse from an ad on there. He wasn't anymore misrepresented than on regular horse selling websites and it was nice to have several pictures to look at before calling.
I have also sold tack on CL.
IME, every real person I have done business with via a CL ad was a pleasure-- honest, respectful, reasonable.
CL just helped me sell a saddle to a great home. I had had it listed forever. I didn't want to give anyone else a commission. A kid who had saved up her own money for a saddle found my ad and it worked.
If fact, the local CL-ness of it all was key. The kid, like potential buyers on other sites wanted to try the saddle. What an expensive, risky PITA! In this case, I gave them the saddle, they gave me the agreed-upon price in cash and we had a handshake deal that they'd call me with a decision and that the saddle had to come back to me in the same condition it left.
Op since you live in va... I find in seva at least there are many mid price horses that sell on cl. However I find the best response can sometimes be from cl sometimes virginiaequestrian.com and often on facebook groups...for example in my area there is a group called Hampton roads horse classifieds and I have seen several decent horses listed and sold there. Sometimes also on horse show association groups too..for example the southeast va dressage assn has a group and people will list pricey warmbloods there. As far as selling I have had better luck with those resources than sites like equine.com or dream horse.
I sold a nice hackney pony on Craigslist. Could have sold him 2 or 3 times. It's quite possible to sell a nice horse there. I look on CL all the time. I'm not in the market right now but I will be at some point and will look there for my next horse.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
I will absolutely bring out the crazies BUT weed through those and there will be some good people. We found my daughters horse on CL after weeding through hundreds of people who had no business owning a horse in the first place.
The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.
I bought my current horse off CL. He was cheap as could be but the seller was honest (it turned out we had a lot of friends in common) and my $300 investment has proven to be tied for the honor of the best horse I've ever owned.
I have a top secret clearance, among some other qualifications for honest citizenship, so I don't really consider myself to be a scumbag. I *am* however, a bargain shopper like my ma, except she bargain shops antique furniture and I bargain shop horsies. I love a good Cinderella story and I scored big with this one.
Ease up Clanter, it's quite a big jump from "shops CL" to "homicidal maniac"....