Regarding Craigslist: Beggars Really Can't be Choosers

January 17, 2007

Mr. Hoenig and I tend to use craigslist as our own personal alternative to Goodwill, or, god forbid, the dump. We often will put things we don’t want anymore on the “Free” list: turf left over from a new lawn, scrap wood, moving boxes. It’s amazing what seemingly useless stuff flies like hotcakes off the craigslist griddle. My goodness, CL is a seller’s market!

The free giveaway on craigslist would be a perfect arrangement for both us and the want-er but for one thing: the emails. Our for-free craigslist ads don’t have a phone number on them–for a reason: we don’t want to be bothered. But folks email us a barrage of questions. Guys, guys, it’s free. Don’t be picky. Come look at it if you have to. But the onus is not on us to give you a Full Tour of the Product, as it were.

Seriously, an example. When moving into our new house, we found a door lying around that we just didn’t need. A nice, decent solid-core door, painted white. David put it on craigslist as free, took a picture of it and propped it up outside of our garage.

Of course, some dude emails him with a slew of questions; “What kind of door is it? Does it have hinges? What size is it?”

To which, my husband, cutely, responded to me:

“It’s free, that’s what size it is.”

Maybe he would have sucked it up and emailed the guy back, except he walked outside and saw someone less demanding had already taken action–the door was gone.

Another time we needed to offload our two chickens, Cluck and P’kuck, as our new house doesn’t really have a chicken feel to it. Assuming it would be a hard sell, David put up an ad at 1am on a weeknight. By 8am, he had 18 emails begging him for the chickens.

I’d write more but my fingers are freezing and I can hardly type. Did I mention it’s really cold and snowy here?

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