|Posted on December 31, 2011 at 7:55 PM|
Ahh, Craigslist, the internet's flea market. Where else can you find people willing to buy or trade your worthless crap for theirs? eBay? Sure, you could use them or any other online auction site, but you'll miss out on coming into contact with some really interesting folks. I've used Craigslist a few times and, aside from a Nigerian who insisted on trying to overpay me for a '67 Yamaha YG5-T, each transaction has been successful. The fun of Craigslist comes, not from the item you're buying, selling or trading, but from what you have to do to get it. There's the email exchanges that lead to text messages, the clandestine meetings in the parking lot of Famous Dave's and the crapshoot that is any purchase made from a digital garage sale.
Early in 2011 I had a smart phone that I wanted to get rid off so I put an ad on Craigslist. It was in good shape, had lots of extras and, based on the going rate on eBay, I asked a fair price for it followed by the requisite OBO. Then, I sat back and let the suckers start rolling in. There were a few emails from interested parties and I did end up selling it for what I was asking, but there was one guy in particular who just didn’t seem to get it. The following is the conversation I had with him via Gmail over the course of a few days.
Interested Buyer: Do you still have the Samsung Omnia II for sale?
Me: Sure do
Interested Buyer: What's your lowest price on it?
Me: Make me an offer.
Crotchety Asshole (Formerly Interested Buyer): I'm too old to play this game. We both know you already have a lowest price in mind that you're willing to take. Why don't you tell me what it is so I can decide if it's worth it?
Me: Well, the price is $75 OBO so if you don't have an offer to make then I guess my lowest price is $75.
Increasingly Crotchety Asshole: Look, I don't haggle. Just give me your bottom dollar so we can get this over with.
Me: You do realize this is Craigslist right?
Insufferable Crotchety Asshole: Are you going to keep horsing around or are you going to give me a price. I can take my money somewhere else.
Me: The price is $75 Or Best Offer, hence the "OBO." You'll notice that it's not $75 OJAMWMLPICYFOMCRYCSOAB (Or Just Ask Me What My Lowest Price Is 'Cause You've Figured Out My Cunning Ruse You Clever Son Of A Bitch).
Just as I was starting to enjoy our conversation, he up and disappeared. At the opposite end of the spectrum was the lady at Wal-Mart last summer who made a counter offer on every item as it rang up on the register (No, I am not making that up. I was as horrified as the poor checkout girl). What I'm trying to say is this – there is a time and place to negotiate.
Sometimes when I'm all alone I wonder what Insufferable Crotchety Asshole is up to these days and what he finally paid for his new used phone.