The Great (and not so great) things about Craigslist

Craigslist - Norfolk, VA
Craigslist – Norfolk, VA

I’m on the hunt for a dining room set for 6, so I’ve been scouring Craigslist.  In case you’ve just landed on Planet Earth, Craigslist “is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums” (Wikipedia).  Pretty much everything you can think of, craigslist can aide and assist in.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the site is a reflection of our society.  People see things from their own perspective, rarely stopping to think how someone else might interpret the same data set.

Perfect example is the photo up there.  This is a real Craigslist post.  It’s an ad for a dining room table and 6 matching chairs.  Notice anything peculiar?  Would you consider serving Thanksgiving dinner on a surface Mr. Mittens and Scratchy obviously have had their way with for quite sometime?  But the great thing (and not so great thing) about Craigslist is that the owner of this ad is perfectly fine with it, the way it is.  Fine with it enough to the point that they are asking for genuine United States legal tender in exchange for this lovely ensemble. 

I generally like to sell something of my own if I’m looking to purchase another item.  It helps to cut down on clutter in our home, as well as provide funds for the new purchase.  On the chopping block was our microfiber armchair and matching ottoman.  I liked this chair, but with limited space in our apartment, something had to go.  

The pair was advertised on Craigslist for the better part of a month.  One lady inquired about the ottoman.  She was particular about it’s size and dimensions.  I told her the pictures (gotta have pictures) do the ottoman justice, and provide a clear representation of what she would be getting, if she so desired.  

The time and date were set for “Mary” to come pick up the Ottoman.  She lives about 10 minutes away, so I brought the piece downstairs outside of my apartment building and awaited her arrival.  50 minutes later Mary shows up, and hops out of her cute ute wearing a skeptical visage.  No mention of her punctuality, Mary asks, “have you done anything to the upholstery?”  As I’m leaning up against my building trying to escape the sun, I think “What kind of querry is that?  Didn’t you see the pictures and go back and forth with me about this and that?”  What I did utter was a clenched “No.  Nothing has been done to it.”  After a few more seconds of sizing up the ottoman, Mary exclaims, “You know, I think it might be too small.  I just bought this leather sectional and I don’t think it will be the right size for it.  Yeah, it’s too small.  Sorry you had to bring it down”, although not really sorry.  Just like that she was off.

I felt like throwing the ottoman on top of her vehicle as she sped off, but I didn’t.  Those be the breaks on Craigslist.  To Mary, it was nothing to waste my time (and her own) going on and on about a piece of furniture she had no intentions of purchasing.  Again, some people don’t stop to think about how someone else may interpret the same data set.

I can’t complain too much though.  I sold the arm chair and ottoman to a guy this morning. Real nice guy. Me and my father-in-law brought it to his house since “Mike” has a small car and wouldn’t have been able to transport it.  He was grateful, and I’m glad to have some capitol to finance the purchase of our future dining room set.

4 thoughts on “The Great (and not so great) things about Craigslist

  1. Oh how I love Craigslist for these kinds of moments. Not too long ago I sold a red leather ottoman, and when I opened the door to see who I’d been emailing, he was in a track suit with a lit cigar in his mouth! I’ve had people be extremely kind, like the Army dad who not only spent an hour helping me assemble my loft bed with the tools he bought but also gave me back $40 as he walked out the door. And, yes, then there are the people who drive across the city to see your $5 fake wood bookshelf and then don’t want it, even though you had a perfect picture up.

    Clearly, I need to write a Craiglist post, too!

    Thanks for sharing–and for the comment you left over at my blog. It’s nice to not be posting into a vacuum!

    1. No problem; us bloggers need to stick together!

      I have a love/not love (won’t say hate) relationship with CL. For the most part it has been really good to me, so I shouldn’t complain. It’s just those few instances when things don’t work out like I planned that really stick in my craw.

  2. I used Craigslist a lot when I lived in the USA. I sold a lot of furnishing while preparing to leave the country and I can only say I had positive experiences, but I agree with you on the kitties on the table which is a personal choice, but for as much as I love animals I think they should have their own place which wouldn’t be on the table!

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