2007-11-21 @ 9:14 a.m.
I figure that the majority of people who post their stuff on Craigslist overvalue their items, based on what they paid for it new. Have you ever heard the case for leasing a new car instead of buying it, being that it's devalued by half the minute you drive it off the lot? I think that the same goes for a new off-brand couch from Slumberland. Can these couches be very nice? Yes! Are they worth selling for only $200 less than you paid after a few years of use? Heh, rarely.
So, I tend to undervalue the stuff I have that I no longer want- but after the lesson of how many people were after my pink tufted chair, and the mahogany end tables, I figured- just list a price that is reasonable, yet higher than you can imagine and see what happens.
This has worked out well for me on several items that I wasn't invested in keeping, and myself and some buyers have been quite happy. And so my story begins-
I had bought these oak end tables in a search for narrow end tables I could used in a pair as a coffee table, since my couch is so long that I thought it would be nicer to have several small tables than it would be to have a long one that created the effect of having to get out of a booth from behind it. So I picked these up thinking the shapes were cool and I could paint them, since golden oak isn't really my thing. When I got them the people who were selling them had to take their TV set off the one for me to leave with it. It was distressing, because they were USING it, and were selling it for $5. Would I have purchased it for more than $5? Probably not, but still.
However, since the universe is mysterious, as soon as I got these end tables (which were really too tall for the coffee table idea) I found other incidental tables that were exactly what I had been looking for. So these tables were sitting in the garage. And after thinking about putting them out with a curb alert, I figured. Huh, I'll just list them. And so I thought of the price I felt they were worth to me, and upped it by $10. And then at the last minute, upped it another $5 and listed the set for $25.
So not 24 hours later, I get an email about them and call the number given. I start speaking to a woman I think is foreign and explain I am calling because they emailed me about some tables, and she says "yes yes can we come get them now?" and I say sure- here's my address and while she's looking for a pen I say- "how about I email you my address and a link to mapquest so you can get directions?" So I do that, and get a response of "when can we come, can we come now?" and I reply again that yes, now is good.
So a bit later (I have no idea how long their travel time might be really, or if they are on their way, except that I call their number once more and they aren't home anymore) so I go into the back yard thinking I will take a few more pictures, and I see this older lady in a big sedan parked behind the Tobacco Shop, and when she sees me she opens the door and says "Do you got the tables?"
yes I do. "oh my husband went to your front door" so I go fetch the husband, and open the garage and bring out the tables and the wife comes over with her strange gray poofy mullet and hatchet expression and says "Yep those will work good". And I get the money and help them carry the tables to their car, where I am thanked and dismissed and I go right back into my house so I can laugh and laugh and laugh.
"Do you got the tables?"
I don't know if it was because they were not what I was expecting, or if just because the wife's completely blunt way of expressing herself was so enhanced by her looking like the old hag in Snow White only with a weird old lady mullet, but I laughed and laughed and laughed.