Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh, Craigslist

Long before I had a baby, I found the wonders of craigslist.  But since becoming a parent, craigslist is no longer just for the occasional antique record player or replacement small household appliance.  I have bought and sold countless kid-related items on craigslist.  It's not only great to be able to buy almost brand new things at a fraction of the cost, but it makes me feel better that I'm not contributing to a landfill by reusing someone else's things and by not throwing away our own.

Anyone who knows craigslist knows it can be...interesting.  The people you meet.  The situations you find yourself in.  I had one of my most interesting craigslist experiences recently.

I listed for sale a convertible backpack/stroller.  We'd gotten it used, and already have both a stroller and a backpack that I liked better than the combination one, so I decided to pass it on to someone else.  It was in pretty good shape, but not perfect, so I listed it for $20.

A woman called to ask about the stroller.  I explained its features, and she asked me almost a dozen questions, among which was if it came with a sun canopy.  I told her that I didn't have a sun canopy: I'd gotten it as it was, no canopy included.  She asked me if I'd take less, and I agreed that $15 would be ok.  I just wanted the thing out of my garage.

We met up in a grocery store parking lot all the way across town from my house.  It had been raining on and off, and it was freezing cold.  I pulled the stroller/backpack out of my trunk, and shivered my way over to the car that matched her description.  She got out, and asked me another dozen questions, told me about her kids and their plans to move to Arizona, and looked over the stroller from top to bottom. I blew into my cold hands and tried to act interested.

After much hemming and hawing, she finally said, "Well, are you sure $15 is as low as you'd go?  I'd really rather only pay $10.  I was hoping to get a stroller with a sun canopy."

"Alright," I sighed.  I'd packed the thing up, hauled it across town, and stood for far longer than I'd ever wanted to in the freezing cold.  I really didn't want to take the thing home with me.  Like I said, I just wanted it out of my garage.

This is usually where craigslist interactions stop.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case this time.

Not thirty minutes after I get home, my phone rings.  I look at the number and recognize it as the woman I'd just sold the stroller to.  My gut instinct told me not to answer.  To just let her leave a message and find out what she wanted.  I should have listened.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hi, um, I think you just sold me a stroller."

You think? "Yeah?" I said.

"Well, I was looking at it, and it looks like there's some loops on the front.  Like something's supposed to attach there, you know.  And I was thinking that maybe that's where a sun canopy goes.  It looks like you're supposed to attach a sun canopy right there."

Really?  A sun canopy?  You mean the thing I specifically told you I DO NOT HAVE.  "Well," I said with as much patience as I could muster.  "I don't have a sun canopy.  I never had a sun canopy.  Maybe you can find one online or something, but I don't have one."

"Ok," she said.  "It's just...well, it looks like there's supposed to be one."

"Good luck," I said as I hung up the phone.

I don't know what she was expecting me to say.  " mean the *sun canopy.*  Right, of course I have that.  Why didn't you just ask?"

And why would I hold out on her?  "I was just holding onto this sun canopy so I could use it on my....oh wait, no.  I sold you that stroller.  Well then I was just keeping it to spite you then."

Seriously.  There's no sun canopy.  And I made that clear from the start.  I sold the thing for ten dollars.  It's not like I was trying to rip anyone off.  I couldn't believe she felt the need to call me up and harass me at home for something I told her was not included.

Ah well, at least I have a little more space in my garage.

What about you?  Do you have any good Craigslist stories?


  1. I usually just end up giving stuff away because I don't the patience.

    At least you got $10 for it :)

  2. Haha, that is true! And it does take a lot of patience. Sometimes even giving things away takes a lot of patience!

  3. following you back from tailspin hop! i just listed a motorcycle on CL this morning! you in the market? lol...looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  4. Thanks!

    As fun as a motorcycle sounds, I wish I could tell you I was in the market.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog, too. So far, I'm really enjoying it!

  5. Blog hopping today and am your newest follower. I hope that 1 of my blogs interests you too.

    I also do a weekend blog hop, you can link up on open every Friday-Sunday!

  6. I have not had any stories liek that yet and I have sold an d bought from craigslist. Hope I don't meet that woman!

  7. I do not have any Craigslist stories, but yours made me laugh! People are so odd. Ten bucks for a stroller is a deal....what did she think you'd do with a feature of the stroller if you no longer had it?

  8. @Tawna - thanks and welcome! I'll check out your blogs now! I'm glad you've had normal craigslist experiences.

    @Amanda - Beats me! I have no idea why she'd think I'd keep something like that since it would be entirely useless to me.

  9. LOL! Geez, really? $10 for it and she's looking for more/bugging you? Some people!

  10. @ Nici- I know it! If I'd known, I would have charged an extra fee for bothering me!

  11. I just sold a Double Stroller on Craigslist yesterday. The Grandma was buying it for her daughter that was having twins. She was such a hoot. In 30min. she told me her entire life story, ALL about her kids and the in-laws and my hubby and I were chuckling as she left. She didn't ask for me to bring down the price at all, but didn't have the exact change. I had it listed for $50, but gave it to her for $40. She was so thrilled. But I think it was her first Craigslist experience. I haven't had one person yet NOT ask me to lower the price, EVEN when I put on there firm..they still try to argue with me. I've come to the conclusion, the ones who ask the most questions are the ones who will give you the most trouble, or swear they will meet you at such and such time and then not show up at all. Last month I had a woman want to give me $5 for something I had listed as $20, I said, "no ma'am, I will keep it for that little, sorry." She was pissed...but seriously? $15.. I don't post junk and this isn't the five and dime store and no I'm not here to give out free charity to people who think everyone owns them. I work hard for my money and I will give where I see fit, but beggars and whiners need not respond. LOL
    Ok, that was my soap box moment. I have tons of CL stories..... lol

  12. Error-- I put $15 when it should have been $5, she wanted to only give me $5 for an item.

  13. I am so glad I'm not alone - haha! I think you're right about that rule of thumb: the more questions they ask, the more hassle it's going to be. I'm going to keep that in mind in the future, lol.

    And I think I also haven't ever had anyone NOT ask me to lower the price. But I've never had anything quite as bad as $5 offer for a $20 item. I would have walked away from that, too!

  14. OMG you are so seriously patient with her! I would have said no to the $10 offer and turned on my heals (for one) and secondly I would not have answered the phone after she called... This makes me want to buy a disposable phone for my next craigslist posting lol

  15. I was in a good mood that day, haha! A disposable phone is such a good idea. Or maybe I can sign up for a google voice number and only use that for craigslist! I'm not sure I want anyone else to have my real number!