Monday, March 10, 2014

The Bermuda Triangle of Craigslist

I have been very fortunate with Craigslist over the years. I once sold a significant amount of musical equipment (guitars and amps) in less than 48 hours during a visit to my parents.

More recently (two years ago) I sold a bunch of furniture over a three week period, including two bookshelves and a small couch. I received a lot of emails and the buyers arrived prepared to cart the stuff away. One guy thanked me five times for the metal Ikea wall shelf I had sold him. One person almost forgot to pay me, and ended up having to give me pennies and dimes, but otherwise a pretty good experience.

But for whatever reason, selling my red desk has been an ordeal. The first time I tried to sell it, I asked too much. My bad.


Now that it’s priced to sell, I’m getting a decent number of emails. But these are not motivated buyers. I’ve had three different emails in a row go like this:

Buyer: Is the desk still available?
Me: Yes it is. When might you be able to pick it up?
Followed By: Complete and utter silence.

One is a fluke. Three is a pattern. What am I doing wrong? Should I be playing hard to get?

Me: The desk is about to be sold. But if you get here within the next 10 minutes, I might be able to give it to you instead, if you give me $25 more than asking price.

Two days ago (Saturday) I received an email from someone who asked the measurements of the desk. The measurements for the desk are in the ad. I said as much in my reply. My guess is that someone unable to correctly parse my ad is also someone unable to correctly find my place and pick up the desk.

Also on Saturday I received an email from someone who sounded very serious about buying the desk. Kinda. They asked where I was located, even though the major intersection is listed in the ad. In another email, they asked if the desk would fit in a car. I told them the measurements of the desktop, and encouraged them to measure the car they plan to use to pick up the desk.

Followed By: Complete and utter silence.

I really don’t feel like hand holding these people, but at this point I just want the damn thing out of the living room.

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DATELINE: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:34pm

BREAKING: Desk sold to someone who emailed me Sunday afternoon asking if it was still available.