Craigslist Review

I have always hated the garage sell, the goers, the sellers, and the entire concept of weeding through people’s old crap looking for a bargain. Problem is, I am a cheap bastard which forces me into this world that I despise. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate a deal or trying to make back a few bucks on that exercise equipment that has literally been used zero times, it is because of the culture. Yard sells have now morphed into a more insidious animal, one that brings this culture to a new low. This animal is Craigslist. I can pretty much break my issues down to 4 basic categories of disgust.

1. The Looky Loo. This guy is always in search of everything, problem is, he never finds anything that will separate him from his cash. He will call you, email you, setup time to check out your crap, but never, ever will he buy anything. Deep down, he knows he doesn’t have a dime and has no business looking, but he persists under the guise that he is an interested party. I really think he is just looking for some companionship and someone to B.S. with. Just try to sell a weight set. You will have 10 Looky Loos tell you how much they used to bench yet never make an offer on your set.

2. The Undercutter. This person will push a good deal to the point of insult every time they make an offer. I have a perfect case-in-point for this one. Consider a large community sell that I participated in as a seller a couple of years ago. First off, I don’t sell junk, if it isn’t nearly new, I give it to Goodwill or throw it in the trash. That being said, I had a toilet cozy set for sale. You know, the little carpet mat that goes around the base of the toilet with the matching seat cozy. I am not a fecal flinging freak so obviously this was a brand new set still stapled to the cardboard. It must not have matched the towels or was a horrible wedding gift, I don’t recall which, but it didn’t work with our ensemble...so out it went. I had just spent 20 min. with a Looky Loo explaining the intricate specs of a sound system that I was giving away for $25. I lost the sale. Must have been the fact that I was asking 5% of its real value or that I didn’t have a Sir-Mix-A lot demo tape to show off the teeth chattering bass. Anyhow, a lady walks up and starts looking at the potty carpet. She turns it over and over again and then starts pulling at the individual fibers. She studies it for at least 5 min. I am watching… and waiting for it. Oh yeah, did I mention that I was asking $1 for it. After pealing at some of the backing she finally says, “Some of the carpet is coming out of this, would you take 50 cents?” I said, “It’s ok, you can just have it for free if you want it.” To my surprise, she gets angry and says “I don’t want it for free, I want it for 50 cents”. OoooK. “Give me both of those shiny quarters then.” After finding change for her dollar bill, she took her change and the commode sweater and left knowing she got the best of me.

3. The Hit and Run. These people send emails out to roughly 1000 people a week inquiring about ads. No matter how quickly you respond or what you say in your response, these people will never respond to email. They hit you with email and never again return communication. This one is a complete mystery to me but I imagine this is the email equivalent of impulse buying a Big Mac 30 min before dinner and then hiding the wrapper under the car seat so your spouse won’t know. Freaks.

4. The spammer. If you have ever posted on Craig’s List then you are familiar with the email that says something like “I noticed your ‘whatever’ ad and wanted to show you how, with a few tweaks, you could get a lot more money for said item.” or “don’t sell your stuff for cash, earn more money from home now”. I have gotten excited one too many times thinking I had a response to my ad only to find out that it is Spam. Spamming should be punishable by death, and will be if I ever rule the world.

Most of my problems with garage sells translate directly to Craig’s List, because really, it is its modern day incarnation. To alleviate some of the pain, I generally only buy. Though, in the recent past I have been required to do some selling. When I buy, I never offer less money than they ask unless I really think it is overpriced. If it is fair and in good condition, I just pay them the fair price that they are asking. When selling, I always ask way too low a price hoping people will recognize the deal they are getting and just pay me quickly and get the Hell out of my house. To my dismay, the latter strategy has proven useless. I now know that no matter what you ask, people ALWAYS offer less. If you are a buyer, I say Craig’s List is fantastic; you have no consequences for your crimes. You can grab a bargain with little effort. If you are a Seller, really evaluate how much time you have to spend and how well you can tolerate the above mentioned people. You will likely eventually sell, but end up hating another 20% of the population in the process. What can you do? Barter on my fellow cheapskates.


Matt said...

Kudos for a Sir-Mix-a-lot reference.

Zac Pritcher said...

Haha, she seriously wouldn't take it for free? That's hilarious.

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