Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Craigslisting

craigslist n. an internet site posting classified ads in local areas v. (1) to engage in commerce through the website craigslist.org; (2) to buy or sell used items through the internet; (3) to be awesome.

Today we had access to my mother's SUV because we purchased a twin mattress for J (in hopes that he will one day sleep in it rather than just jump up and down on it, declaring his undying love for the airplanes on the sheets) and needed to haul it home.  I decided to make use of this to the fullest and spent some time digging around on Craigslist for things we need/want.  We ended up with two bikes and a dishwasher at very reasonable prices from very helpful gentlemen who spent some time explaining to me how to properly maintain/use the items.

I love Craigslist (and similar things, like Freecycle.org).  When you're trying to keep costs down, it opens up a lot of options that the local thrift shop might not offer.  You can also sell used junk items there if you like, though you'll hardly get rich doing that (unless you are a super thrift shop/yard sale maverick with exceptional marketing skills--I know of at least one person who made a decent living that way when he was unemployed).

Craigslist is great; it is also a time-consuming rabbit hole of internet nonsense.  Craigslist is full of scams (one of these is responsible for about 90% of my junk e-mail now from back when I was job-hunting in 2010).  The personal ads are endless source of entertainment and depressing examples of the failures of humanity.  But those aren't even the things I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the way it makes you covet used crap delightful items of joy.

Sometimes nothing at all is listed there you actually need or want, but while perusing it for, say, size 2T boy clothes, you see all these things you don't actually need for your toddler, but find yourself thinking: "Wow... look at that spiffy scooter!  It's only $12--I should get it.  J will love it when he's 4!"

So you e-mail the person who put up the ad.  And then you obsessively check your e-mail every three minutes for a reply.

The next day, you get a response back--a flippant one liner:  "Well, someone's coming to check it out tonight."  And you get sucked in, because even though you didn't even want the darn thing two days ago--the thought of it had never even crossed your mind--you've become so invested in it that you try to figure out how to rearrange your whole afternoon to beat the other potential buyer out there so that you can buy the scooter.  That no one in your house will use for at least three more years.  You have to have it.  So you offer more money if she'll hold it for you, and not for the other person.

Seriously, that's how it works.

Ok, not really, but sometimes those surges of MUST. HAVE. NOW. hit you the way they would in a regular retail store, but even more so because you get so invested in the e-mail exchanging and the plans to meet and the potential rival customers that it becomes more than just a transaction; it's life drama!

I try to keep it all in perspective, while maintaining good internet manners (instead of just never responding after expressing interest, which can seem rude), but it's not easy to do all the time.

That noted, I'm very happy with my purchases today.  Not looking forward to witnessing my brother, father, and husband attempt to install the dishwasher on Saturday (because they are such odd personalities), but am definitely looking forward to some sweet rides on my new (to me) bike.

And now... about that Gourmet Chef Cheese Shaker for $6...

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you blogging again! Love hearing how you and the family are doing :)

    ReplyDelete

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