Dear Craigslist Buyer
By Nathan Key
Dear Craigslist buyer,
I’m in the middle of preparing for a cross country move with my family, but since I have a free moment in between sorting, cleaning, and packing- I thought I’d give you some tips and advice on how to be better craigslisters. Since I’ve invited you into my life, it’s the least I can do.
Maybe you're the woman who wants to know the brand, wattage, diameter, and all sorts of other extraneous information about the $5 dollar waffle maker? Here’s a word of advice for you: “It's FIVE DOLLARS.” I promise you, it makes waffles. And in the time it's going to take me to look up all that info for you, I may as well just head over to the dumpster and throw it in. So let me lay it out for you clearly: you’re buying a $5 waffle maker that's in working order. That’s really all you need to know.
Or perhaps you are the guy who offered to buy my car for $2,000? I think you are out of your mind. Don't you know that you can't bid fifteen hundred dollars below my asking price unless I’ve posted it for five or six thousand? You can't expect me to take you seriously when there are dealers around the corner who would gladly sell you the same car for three or four thousand dollars more than what I’m asking. I'm as willing to negotiate as the next guy, but that offer is simply an insult.
Or you could be the guy who called two nights in a row, telling us that you were on your way over to pick up our DVD player? Good thing we didn't sit around waiting for you because you never showed up. OK, you got me. We did sit around. But we weren't waiting. We were doing other things (things that could have been interrupted if you just so happened to come along with $20).
Or maybe you're that woman who wants to know if we'll mail you the blender we listed? Are you serious? You want us to stick a glass blender in the mail? You do realize that assuming it doesn’t break on the way to your house; it'll still cost more to mail it to you than it would be for you to head over to the store and purchase a brand new one? And if it’s simply a matter that you don't have time to come pick it up- do you really have time to make smoothies?
Or what if you’re the woman who wanted to buy our table and then bailed on the appointment because traffic was terrible? You haven't called back since. Traffic must have been really bad if it was enough to make you reconsider buying a table. Maybe you figure that you’ll be spending so much time in the car, you’ll never have room in your schedule to sit down and have a meal. OK, that makes sense, but on the other hand, if you simply weren't interested, you could have just told me outright. I promise I won't hate you simply for changing your mind. In fact, now that we'll never meet I don't care about you at all.
Or possibly you're the woman who bought our bookshelves sight unseen and then came to pick them up the next day? I remember that you were overwhelmed at how big they are. We took them halfway down the stairs before you decided that you'd have to come back for them another day when you have more room in your truck. Now don’t get me wrong lady- it's nice to have the cash in my pocket- but I feel like my living room has just been converted into a free storage facility. The shelves are just sitting in the middle of the floor there, collecting dust. I really hope you come get them soon.
Or maybe you're the woman with the premature baby who bought our Baby Einstein Gymnasium? He was so cute. And since you have a baby, I sort of expected that you’d be able to follow our instructions and refrained from knocking on the door as loudly as you did- we asked you to call for a reason, of course. It was so that you wouldn't wake our baby up from his nap. But you did wake him and we had to deal with a cranky son all evening.
Maybe you're the person who asked about our dresser and then came the next day to pick it up? It was kind of strange that you just let your daughter run around and play in our house considering that we don't know you. I'm not sure that I would trust a complete stranger who was selling me dresser. But don’t feel too bad. We liked you anyway. You paid us full price for the dresser and that was really cool of you. Maybe you realized that we aren't a bunch of scumbags trying to rip you off. I promise we aren't. We're very nice. Please buy something else, too, while you're here!?
Or maybe you're the guy who just e-mailed my wife twenty-three seconds ago and asked if you could buy just the chairs, not the table that we listed together, for $250? (Sorry honey, I didn't mean to read your e-mail, I was just overly curious. The notification thing popped up on the screen with a subject line that looked like an offer. I couldn't help myself. I promise, I'll never do it again.) Very well "guy who wants to piecemeal our stuff" I think we'd be willing to do that. Just hold on for a few days because I think there might be a few others who are coming to look at the whole set. Cause really, who just wants chairs?
Or maybe you're the person who doesn't use any punctuation in your e-mails? You offered to buy our California King bed without even coming to look at it in person. You want to send us a certified check for the full amount. AND you'll arrange to have a company come out and pick it up after we've confirmed your payment. All you need is our full names and address so you can remit payment. Sounds good, but perhaps you’ll let me check the SCAMS page again before I get back to you, OK? Oh, too late, I already did...
On the other hand, maybe you're just a person who's looking through our ads and wondering if you're the one who should help us get rid of some of our stuff? I have just two words for you: Do It. Take the plunge. You know you've always wanted a California King bed, or an entertainment center, or a black table with four chairs, or a white sofa, or a corner desk and office chair or a bunch of $5 dollar appliances. Do it. Do it now. Call or e-mail before it's too late.