Craigslist: A Terrible Way To Make New Friends

When you have been married for a time, you accumulate crap. A lot of crap. I don’t mean literal crap, although out cat provides us with more than enough of this. I mean junk that we do not, by any stretch of the imagination, need.

Over the weekend, we decided we had had enough of it. Why should half of our storage space be taken up by things we have no use for? We gathered up all of our unused possessions and prepared to sell them.

In the olden days, we would be forced to have a garage sale. This is a fate worse than death to me. Garage salers tend to be the second most obnoxious people on the planet to me, only losing out to hipsters. We get it, hipsters. Your pants are uncomfortably tight. Good for you.

At our garage sale, we would be forced to put up with people telling us that the brand new crock pot, originally priced at $49.95, was only worth $2.50. We would counter with $12.00. They would say $2.75. It is enough to make a person grab the item in question and hurl it across the yard, screaming, “Now nobody gets it, you garage saler! I hope you’re happy! Enjoy NOT being able to slow cook a stew like you could have with that crock pot!”

Fortunately, it is 2011. That means we don’t ever have to have a garage sale again. We can just list things on Craigslist and someone will bring money to us and take the junk we don’t want. It is a win-win. We get rid of things and we don’t have to deal with annoying people.

At least, I thought we wouldn’t.

This weekend, we listed item after item. After carefully deciding and debating on the price of a used but perfectly good and surprisingly not out of date computer, we posted it online. We had glanced at Craigslist and many computers that were the same or even worse were listed around $150 just for the tower. We placed our tower, monitor, keyboard, and mouse up for the same price. What a bargain! Only five minutes later, we received an email about it.

“Hooray!” we thought. Already an object has intrigued someone.

We opened the email, eager to see what a person named Craig Harmon had to say.

“OMG, where is my checkbook I need this PC right now!  Wait……… Hold on……..
I was looking on craigslist for a PC and I can either get yours for $150 or….

I can get this other on that is BETTER than yours for $125.

Guess which one I am looking at first?  A Dual Core PC With Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007 for $125 or your HP for $150, that is a tough decision.  Would you take $50 for yours?”

For a second, we were stunned. Not only was this gentleman using garage saler tactics, but he was adding his own snarky twist to it. He was like Garage Saler 2.0: All the same features you loved about the original Garage Saler, now with a bit of an attitude.

We sat there, discussing what to do. Obviously, we wouldn’t let this man have it for $50. He was rude and had used OMG in his email, a pet peeve that ranks quite high on my list of peeves. I did, however, give him credit for his use of selective capitalizing. He did an excellent job emphasizing some words.

Since this was my wife’s email, she wanted to respond in a way that she felt appropriate. This was for me to be snarky back to dear, dear Craig. After approving the message with her, this is what she sent in reply.

“Craig Harmon,

Thanks for your incredibly snarky “interest” in the computer I have for sale. Sarcasm is a much neglected art form, but fortunately you seem to have picked up the slack for all of us. Hoorah!

While you may not agree that it is the best deal ever, I have simply used the price I would like to sell it for, which, I do believe, is the purpose of craigslist. I am not a person who professionally sells computers. I simply have one that I would sell if someone offered me a decent amount.
Anyway, all of this to say, I will not accept $50. I will, however, offer you a hug. It seems anyone who spends time emailing craigslist sellers only to berate them for not meeting your standards of quality probably did not get enough affection as a child.”

Hopefully, this would put everything back into the appropriate order. Sellers would sell, buyers would buy. There would be no rude exchanges because, clearly, I can out-rude anyone who emails.

Unfortunately, Craig did not see it that way:

“One would think the if one was going to post an item on craigslist they would at least look at similar items and price accordingly.
Oh yeah. . . Offer for a hug REFUSED!!!
Go clean yourself up, I am better than you.”

Now, at this point, my immediate reaction was to become even more childish. Unfortunately, my wife did not want me to continue to email Craig, lest Craig decide to come after her because of my emails (Note to self: Great idea for a horror screenplay).

I, however, have to get this out. I can’t let Craig have the last word. So, Craig, if you are reading this, it’s your move sir. Since I assume you aren’t reading this, mostly because you did NOT buy our computer, a computer that is excellent for blog reading, I plan on counting this exchange as a win.

Dear Craig ‘The Harmonizer’ Harmon,

It was great to hear from you again. Your continued correspondence is much appreciated.

I see that you have refused an offer for my hug. That is too bad. I give one dynamite hug. It’s like a cross between a bear hug and side hug. It’s like having someone grab you really hard from the side. Actually, it’s really unpleasant. You probably made the right choice.

I want to thank you for your advising me to ‘clean myself up.’ I didn’t realize it until then, but I did get a tiny spot of lunch on my shirt. I quickly ran upstairs, changed into a clean, much more acceptable shirt, then came back down to let you know how useful your advice had been. I now feel like a useful and significantly less disgusting part of society because of you. If only other people were as kind and helpful as you…

Anyway, I’m sure you did not want to discuss my wardrobe, although if you do, we can totally schedule a shopping trip together. Burlington Coat Factory, here we come!

I’m sure you would much rather discuss computers.

If you think that someone has a better offer than ours, I would recommend buying it instead of talking to me. It sounds like they have a pretty sweet deal and someone might be grabbing it before you while you email us, the less superior computer owners.

In fact, you have wasted a lot of time. That was not the best idea ever.

Anyway, good luck with your computer hunt. I hope you find everything you want a more. I also hope the more involves that hug we talked about. Everyone needs a hug, my friend. Even you.




P.S. Did your parents name you after former VM Goldschmidt Medal winner, Geochemist Harmon Craig? If so, that is a really random person to be named after, Craig. You should really talk to your parents about that.


13 thoughts on “Craigslist: A Terrible Way To Make New Friends

  1. amazing! and I do believe i’ve been in similar situations with email wars.. especially when looking for rooms to rent… haha … Thanks for sharing Nathan! 🙂


  2. Hmm, I just endured the garage sale and don’t want to ever do it again. I’m not sure I could endure being hasseled on Craig’s list to sell the few remaining items after all the work I went through to get $500 for selling my dead parents stuff. Plus one of my items is a shot gun – sure to entice a few “interesting” customers. Great read.


  3. Enchantingly nasty.
    Why on earth did this person not grab the cheaper computer from another seller and be happy? There is only one solution: because it’s fictional. Pity the Craigs of this world aren’t.


  4. Good job, Nathan! And if Craig is reading this, maybe he will see that other people think he is a loser, too! 🙂 Have a great day, Nathan. Stop by my blog when you get a chance. 🙂


  5. Ha-ha! Great post, Nathan! If I ever had a garage sale, I would be like the soup nazi on Seinfeld…”No toaster oven for you!” As for this guy, I wouldn’t have been nearly as creative as you… I would have just told him to buy the cheaper and better one and that would open up my computer as being the best deal.


  6. I’ve had experiences like that. I had concert tickets to sell, and when I was already selling the tickets for half price, people still were low-balling me. I ended up selling it to someone else and then the low-baller came back to ask for the tickets, but I already sold them. Felt smug about that.

    People are going to do that, don’t take it personally, people are stupid and looking for a good deal and this person obviously was trying to work you to get a ridiculous deal.


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