Friday, June 17, 2011

Craigs List Nightmare

As most of  you are well aware, I have been in a decluttering frenzy.  I have been donating and chucking stuff like mad and the kids are lucky they weigh so much more now than when they were little, because I might have accidentally dropped one of them off at Goodwill with all the other stuff.

I recently wrote about the old computers that we had replaced with newer, sleeker laptops for the boys.  Wednesday night, I went onto Craigs List and posted them up for sale.  We had three towers, two monitors, two mice (mouses?), two keyboards, two sets of speakers, and a router and two adaptors.

I made the mistake of asking Ben what he thought I could get for all of these old items and, being the gamer that he is, he told me I might have to pay to have them hauled away, since there were no video cards in any of the computers.  As usual, I should have checked with Justin first!

I went ahead and placed the ad, not really knowing what to ask for all of this hardware.  I eventually settled on $60 to take the whole batch and when Justin found out, he was horrified.  I was already getting texts from one guy who wanted me to break up a set by selling him the one stand alone CPU unit with all of the "stuff" that you would need to use it from another full set, wanted server tag numbers, wanted to talk me down on the price...I was wasting lots and lots of time on this guy who was clearly looking for something for nothing.  I mean, they still ran and would be great for someone who only wanted to surf the internet or check their email.  Surely there were people who would appreciate that fact.

After going around and around with this guy yesterday morning by text, I went back into the Craigs Listing and edited it to a more serious $110 takes all and rewrote the ad with all of the accompanying information, grouping sets together and adding details, breaking it down by price.  I texted Bargaining Guy to let him know that he needed to check the updated listing before we talked any further and that I had mistakenly posted the wrong price without checking with my husband first.  He came back with, "No thanks, you just doubled the price."  Well, that's fine.  I appreciate the fact that it might have looked a little fishy, like a bait and switch, but I swear my intentions were completely innocent.  I only wanted to get all of this crap off my dining room table.  If it had been just me, I probably would have been willing to simply give the stuff away, but Justin insisted that the monitors alone were worth at least $25 each on their own.

After posting the new, edited listing, I immediately got a text from a woman in Northern Virginia who home schools several children and thought $110 was a great deal for all of this equipment.  They are apparently very into computers and the more the better.  She offered to come get them within an hour and sure enough, she showed up with her son to help her move them and gave me cash.  Not a bad deal and now my dining room table is clear again.  Temporarily, because I am still going through the massive amounts of stuff that we have managed to accumulate over the last six years.  The dining room has become a way station for crap on its way to a new life.

After I got done with that deal, I went and checked my email to let other people who had inquired know that the computers were no longer available.  I also went into Craigs List and took down the listing.  In the meantime, however, this had arrived in my email inbox:

Its old junk, your an idiot, lower the price or get off Craigslist !!!

Now I can kind of see why people are so leery of Craigs List!  I mean, I have NEVER gotten this type of response to anything I have listed because I usually set the price so low that it really isn't expending any amount of money on the buyer's part to get me to part with my valuable stuff.  I just want it out of the house and will take whatever I can get to move it.

I was not expecting that email.  Here was my response:

It may have been old junk, but someone who home schools found it to be a bargain.

You don't know me and shouldn't be calling anyone an idiot.  Be careful, because you could get reported for harassment.

I had forwarded the email to Justin, who immediately came upstairs and said he was going to email the guy about the difference between "your" and "you're," a particularly bad pet peeve of both of us.  "You're" is the contraction of "you are."  "Your" means your, as in your childishness, your ignorance, your stupidity, and your downright rudeness in sending me that email.  Oh, and "it's" is the contractual form of "it is."  "Its" is possessive.  Learn your English.

We decided that unless this guy emails me again, we will not respond further to the nastiness, but I wonder if his momma knows what he's doing on the computer while she's at work.  I picture a 35 or 40 year old man-child, sitting his parents' basement, working part-time at Gamestop, and leeching off of his parents' unwillingness to force him into the real world.  Or he might just be an idiot with a self-supporting job that doesn't require a proper knowledge of English to earn him a paycheck.

If YOU ARE going to call someone names, make sure you get the contraction right.  Seriously, if you're going to insult someone, at least get the grammar right!

So far, no answer from "Ralph," the grammatically incorrect idiot who thinks I do not belong on Craigs List because I am pricing my "junk" way too high.  Too high is in the mind of the beholder and I'm always willing to negotiate.  I was just shocked that anyone would actually say something like that to me in an email!

No doubt about it.  We live in an age where people will say anything online.  Anything.  Things they would never dream of saying to your face.  People hide behind anonymity while they insult others.  What a rude world it has become in some ways.  Are we raising a generation of children with no manners or was this just some guy who has a personality disorder and nothing better to do than troll the Craigs List postings and email insults to people who don't meet his standards?

And, for the record, I have no intention of getting off of Craigs List or lowering what I feel to be reasonable prices.  I had a long talk yesterday with Justin these computers and he knew what they were worth.  In fact, we probably still didn't ask enough, but I got all of it out of my dining room, so I am very happy.

Long story short - take care with the words you are using before you hit that send button.  There are real people on the other end of the email or facebook comment that can be easily hurt by what you type and put out there, just as the playground bullying used to hurt as we were growing up.  And no, I won't correct your grammar if you use the wrong form of contraction or possessive when you write or text me.  But it's really a good thing to know and makes you look much more intelligent and educated if you use the proper word.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday.  To laugh at people who call me an idiot using "your" as opposed to "you're" and that not every Craigs List experience is going to be all happy.  The first guy I was negotiating with was extremely unhappy with me when I changed the price and I'm afraid he might have believed I was trying to pull a fast one on him.  Not so!  I had merely listened to my gaming son as opposed to my more knowledgeable techie husband and I should have had my information complete, with prices for the individual units as sets when I placed the listing.  Next time, I will run my listing past him before I post it up.  I think that will save me a lot of heartache and confusion and just general stress in the long run.

Ahhh....Craigs List.  You have been so good to me.  I wonder why this particular posting generated an insult on the fly..



  1. Where ignorance predominates, it invariably asserts itself. You go girl, losers like that are their own reward. So glad you got rid of the junk !

  2. Thanks for the support. I'll take the insult for what it was and be happy to have less "stuff!"

    Seems like every idiot needs a place to express him/herself. I guess Ralph decided to use my email. Oh well!



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