Why does Craigslist attract so many idiots who want to buy things? I know idiots are people too and they have houses to furnish and hobbies to enjoy just like regular people but what is it about Craigslist that makes them come out of the woodwork in droves and cop a squat all over your ad?
I’ve been pretty successful selling various items on that site, but holy heck, it’s not easy. I’ve learned the hard way that whenever I list an item on Craigslist, I must have my hip waders and pruning shears handy to wade through all the crap and weed out all the whackadoodles.
Case in point: I recently placed an ad on Craigslist for my Rebel. I gave detailed information as to every item included in the sale, posted four photographs and specified the terms of the sale:
- Canon Digital Rebel XTi body, 10.1 megapixels (excellent condition)
- 18-55mm kit lens (excellent condition)
- 50 mm f/1.8 lens (excellent condition)
- 2 GB memory card (excellent condition)
- 2 NB-2LH batteries (excellent condition)
- Battery charger (excellent condition)
- Manufacturer’s Camera User Guide (excellent condition)
- Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie (excellent condition)
- UV Precision Optical Filter by Promaster 52 mm (excellent condition)
- Samsonite camera case (excellent condition)
- Custom made blue/brown paisley camera strap (excellent condition)
- Original Canon camera strap (excellent condition)
- EOS Digital Solution CD (excellent condition)
- EOS Digital Software Instruction Manual (excellent condition)
- Original box with all literature (excellent condition)
$350. Local buyers only, as I cannot ship. Cash only.
The ad went live at 9:00 a.m. Within thirty minutes, my inbox was deluged with emails from the Lunatic Fringe:
To my inbox: Canon sucks!
From my outbox: Oh, thank God! I was worried.
To my inbox: Will you ship it to Utah?
From my outbox: Only if Utah ups and moves next door to me. It’s a three bedroom, 2½ bath, so it’ll be a tight squeeze. Let me know how Utah feels about the whole thing and then we’ll talk.
To my inbox: Will you take $20?
From my outbox: I bet the color of the sky in your world is polka dot. Am I right?
To my inbox: Will you take a check? I’m good for it.
From my outbox: Will you take a kick in the gonads? I’m totally good for it.
To my inbox: What exactly are you selling and what condition is it in?
From my outbox: I’m selling my spleen. Comes with a matching kidney and hair dryer. They’re in excellent condition. Was the ad not clear?
To my inbox: Does the camera come with lessons?
From my outbox: Yes, can’t you see them? Right there, on the table? Next to the field guide? Those little blue sparkly things with the pink ribbons. Aren’t they pretty?
To my inbox: What if I get it home and it doesn’t work?
From my inbox: Are you single? Because I’m betting you hear that a lot.
To my inbox: I’ll pay $200 tonight. Cash. Meet me at the Marriott Hotel at 7:00, room 210A. Wear a black leather bra and panties and heels so we match. I’ve got lots of accessories. Bring a friend. Mike.
From my outbox: Sorry, can’t make it tonight. I’m busy providing the vice squad with your IP address.
To my inbox: I’ll take it off your hands for $100. You should be grateful.
From my outbox: I should be thin too. Damn it all to hell.
To my inbox: Wow – how’d you take that photo when the camera is in the photo? That blows my mind!
From my outbox: Dude, did you pay attention to the egg and skillet commercials at all?
To my inbox: I think American Bandstand was a front for the communist regime.
From my outbox: OK, I’ll play. I think it had a great beat and was easy to dance to.
To my inbox: I’m available at 7:04 tonight.
From my outbox: OK, but I’ve got plans at 7:13:48 so you’ll have to be quick about it.
To my inbox: I’ll take it but if I don’t like it, I’m giving it back.
From my outbox: That’s what she said.
To my inbox: Hey! This is my camera! I lost it last week! Who the hell do you think you are?
From my outbox: I’ll take Batshit Crazy for $300, Alex.
To my inbox: You’ve got great taste. We should meet. Are you married? Not that it matters. What’s your name?
From my outbox: It’s Gonorrhea Chlamydia, but most people just call me Herpes for short. What’s yours?
I did wind up selling the camera to a very nice man who stopped by on his way to a softball game. He seemed normal – no drooling or frothing at the mouth, no S&M getup, no bloody body parts hanging out of his pockets, no horns sprouting from his head, no speaking in tongues. He was beyond polite, paid the full amount in cash and even complimented me on the Carpe Diem wall art I’ve got hanging in my kitchen.
And his name was not Mike.