The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Craigslist Conundrum

As I mentioned in my post about the new TV, I'm in the process of trying to sell my old one on craigslist. This is only the second time I've listed something on there. The first time, I did it with my apartment and got about 40 emails in 24 hours. That thing was sublet in about 8 hours.

This time, things didn't go quite as well. I listed it on Friday afternoon and over the first two days got about 12 emails about it. Some were people saying they'd just give me half of what I was asking for it while others were asking (legitimate) questions about it. Still about 4 or 5 of them asked for my address and said they'd be over to look at it. Naturally they would never show up.

Then Sunday afternoon I got an email from a guy who gave his cell phone number. I called him with the hope that if someone spoke to me in person they'd feel more obligation to actually coming over and checking it out if he said he'd do that. The guy though, didn't sound too committed to checking it out. He said he worked in the city and that he carpooled and maybe he'd come over the next day.

Later that night I get another email. This guy is interested in it. He tries to haggle the price down 25%. By this point I just want to stop answering emails so I saw if he can give me $80 it's a deal. He says he'll be by Monday at 7PM to pick it up.

Today then I get another email from the guy I'd spoken to on the phone. He says he wants to come check the TV out at 5PM (and hasn't tried to haggle the price at all). So now I'm actually slightly torn as to what would be the morally correct thing to do here.

The guy who wants to come at 5PM did actually contact me earlier and went out of his way to drive into work today. Meanwhile the other guy said he'd buy it before that guy gave me this info. I want to sell the TV but I also want it to be fair (although $20 extra isn't something I would mind either). I think the best thing to do would have been to tell the guy who drove into work today that he could see it tomorrow but since he went to all the trouble of driving in, I don't want to do that.

Plus, there is no way of knowing if the guy who says he's going to buy it tonight may not show up. Maybe he'll find a better one for cheaper or something. I don't know.

Luckily, if neither of these guys works out, a woman I work with who I was telling this story to said she'd buy it if none of these guys do. So at least I can be pretty sure I'll be rid of this TV in the next 2-3 days which puts me that much closer to getting a PS3 and doing some Blu-ray movie watching. I'm just waiting on some Best Buy gift certificates from my rewards credit card now.


I ended up selling to the people who came at 5PM. I knew the guy was Chinese but he showed up with his wife and she annoyingly haggled me down to $85. They were trying to get me to throw in the stand I had it sitting on in the pictures and I was like, "No way, that cost me $40 and I was going to use it. If you want it you'll have to give me at least $20 more." They wouldn't bite.

They also wanted some kind of warranty to which I only said, "Look, if it breaks in the next 3 days let me know. I'll give you your money back. I'm not a dick. After that though, you're on your own."

I actually actively tried to convince them not to buy it at some points because they kept asking about how good it was at receiving over the air signals (I said "not good at all ... you have to have an extra antenna") and that they wanted to hook a satellite box and a DVD player up to it (but it only has one set of inputs on the back) but they wouldn't listen to me. So whatever.

I'm just glad to be done with it. Of course I then emailed the 7 o'clock guy to tell him. He didn't respond (not sure if it was because he was annoyed or didn't get the email) which then made me afraid that he was going to show up. I then called his cell to make sure he got the message and he seemed kind of annoyed with me. But whatever, it's all done now.

Now I can get back to watching people freak out because it might snow tomorrow (it was like 40 today so how much can it really stick anyway). People in DC are so stupid about this stuff sometimes.


At 2/12/2007 10:42 AM, Blogger fulsome said...


At 2/12/2007 10:44 AM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

noticed it as you were typing this.

It should be super fixed now.

At 2/12/2007 11:20 AM, Anonymous King Solomon said...

I think you need to cut the TV in half.

sell it to the guy who wasnt wishy washy when you offered him the good deal.

The carpooler waited too long.


At 2/12/2007 12:12 PM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

yeah, well I may just try to jack the price up on the carpool guy. Id say "I've got someone who's going to buy it in 2 hours so if you want it the price is up to $115 now" or something.

Then he'll leave because he's upset at the price or he'll give me an extra $15 which would make it almost 50% more than the other guy. That kind of money would almost cover my guilt.

Of course, if the other guy who said he's going to come over then doesn't show up, I've blown a chance to just make $100.

Of course I've still got the $80 offer in my back pocket from my coworker so if worst comes to worst I'll roll with that one.

I'm just trying to figure out what to say if the carpool guy does buy it. Do I say, "Hey, I sold it to a guy who came earlier without offering you a chance to match his bid even though I said it was a deal to sell it to you." or do I just make myself look like a jackass and say "I was carrying it downstairs and dropped it so now I can't sell it anymore." If someone said that to you, would you believe it?

At 2/12/2007 12:35 PM, Blogger Chuckles said...

dEn, contact the guy who is coming in at 7 pm and tell him that you have someone coming in at 5 pm. You aren't required to tell him that the 5 pm guy is offering more, the guy would probably just think you were trying to gouge him for 20 more bucks. If you notify the 7 pm about your 5 pm appointment that clears you and lets 7 pm know that he has fair competition.

Think about it like an apartment. The earlier bird gets the first choice of worms.

At 2/12/2007 12:51 PM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

The trouble is that 7PM guy emails me at 9:15PM and says he wants it and by 10PM we've reached a price and time where he's going to come pick it up.

Now some guy I talked to earlier (carpool guy) emails me after this and says, "I'm going to come over and look at it at 5PM." Which one actually committed first?

The carpool guy initiated conversation first and is showing up at my door first but he didn't seem as serious about it as the other guy.

Still, telling 7 o'clock guy that someone is coming over before him sounds like the best plan here.

At 2/12/2007 7:34 PM, Blogger mdhatter said...

On a related note - I just got a job interview from craigslist, doing exactly what I do.

At 2/13/2007 5:38 AM, Blogger Chuckles said...

What's that blog and make goofy yet awesome movies about floor burrito-granted superpowers?

If that's the case, I quit and I am moving to Boston to be your PA.


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