the agony and the ecstasy of craigslist
i have a love hate relationship with craigslist. i am guessing i am not alone here.
i love when i find something pre-loved that i can make my own–less full retail price and taxes. i feel an immense sense of accomplishment/relief when i send a cherished but no longer needed piece to another home. i feel better about myself, i feel responsible, i am able to espouse the principle of reuse, recycle and reduce. it alleviates a little of my guilt over driving an SUV…ah but i digress….
the ecstasy…my fellow soulmate who loved the goods, but loved a deal more…cheers to the buyer of my $$$maternity wardrobe ( my Sevens, my Citizens and my cute cocktail dress) who arrived on time and in her BMW X5, and paid full price. cheers to my fellow connoisseur of modernism and fellow mom–she knows the silliness of holding onto the notion of a contemporary glass house with toddlers. so she happily lightened my load and took my beloved glass and chrome lamps…but not without assuring me that in 5 years i would get to go back.
i like to think of myself as a seasoned craigslister, i have a tried and true, and what i believe is a reasonable approach. i believe in:
1. 50% off the retail price--it is pre-loved but really means used…well taken care of but used nonetheless thus the discounted price. i have taken into account what i think it is worth.
2. a picture is worth a 1000 words and dimensions help make the sale. unless you are brilliant writer, and i mean brilliant, why would you not post pics? the dimensions….well not too many people have esp, so unless you want to answer a gazillion emails over and over…
3. I MEAN WHAT I SAY, firm means firm not soft, squishy or swiggly. when i post a price that is firm, it’s rock solid. please don’t show up and try to negotiate after we’ve discussed firm. it’s awkward and weird. negotiate if it is not what i posted or if the condition is crap…but don’t embarrass me or yourself. when it’s $15 bucks, pull out the finnegins, take your prize and say ‘sayonara.’
apparently these principles can be very confusing for some…a sample of my recent inquiries.
Q. will you take $10 ? (for a $75 item that is already more that 50% off). Well, if i wanted $10 then i would have listed it for $10. right?
Q. what are the dimensions? trying to be polite i respond…”please see the dimensions posted in the ad” far toooo polite. but hey my mama taught me manners. what i want to say…well that isn’t printable!!!
Q. do you deliver? or, can you meet me 5 mins from where i live? yes it is an hour from where you are but…well last time i checked i am not a delivery service, so respectfully NO.
and the agony… in my real life (not cyberspace) you don’t mess with me. but here my manners are my downfall. i do NOT tolerate DRIVEL but much to my chagrin i find myself slightly taken aback and appalled, yet still responding to emails from these guys. oh to have more gumption…
you know the ones, they are the:
1. No Showers they email and text, arrange a time and don’t show AND then drop off the face of the earth. well, being a mom and someone who can absolutely know things go amuck, i don’t judge immediately. instead i often flip this email/text
“best and worst part of craigslist…arranging the p/up and then something comes up. i totally understand if the time didn’t work, please just let me know if you are still interested and another time works, or if you are out.”
radio silence. no response. even with a gracious out hand delivered to them. well these people are now just RUDE! Impolite! and disrespectful. enough said!
2. Grinders, they are relentless. they just don’t stop! i was selling an iPad for $400 bucks ( really a good deal at the time) . they offered $250, i declined. 15 emails later he was still trying to negotiate $5 at a time. i dropped $50 and then was firm on price and pick up at my convenience was a must. but he kept emailing. i ceased to response after a while but the emails kept coming…..
3. the Commitment-phobe. they are the hanger-ons. they email, they ask questions, (multiple questions), weird, strange and repetitive questions, it seems as though they are in and then they disappear…. a week or 2 later they are back. you still have the item so you are torn…they are flakey but do you put the effort in? are you wasting your time? then after 3 weeks they offer you 50% of what you are selling for. you hesitate….you almost would rather give it away for free than deal with the hanger-on….
4. the Ill-Mannered. Mr. or Mrs. RUDE….they are demanding and rude via email but they want the item. do i really want to meet this individual in person? how much do i want to live with the purple albatross? not enough to meet them in my home… this is where the coffee shop is a MUST.
as i reflect on the agony and ecstasy of craigslist i know despite my ups and downs it is still a website that i cherish. i will continue to browse and to sell. yes, i am eternally grateful it exists so i can practice what i preach–REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE.
fellow readers, what unexpected travails or adventures has craigslist led you on? do tell.
oh my, the agony and the ecstasy, and yet i ♥ craigslist.