A Moving Experience: Surviving Craigslist

The Net instilled in me a healthy sense of paranoia when it comes to meeting and selling to strangers on the Internet. Also, this flick should've gotten Sandra an Oscar.

My girlfriend and I sold our first items on Craigslist yesterday. For $70, a woman named Fayth and her partner purchased our pub table and two high back stools. That’s not even the good news, though.

Beth was conveniently at work, so I was left alone to carry out the transaction. The good news is I wasn’t brutally murdered.

After all the luck I had last week, I was about due for something to go terribly wrong. Through a series of e-mails Monday morning, it was decided this Fayth — her name, ironic, considering my lack thereof  — would purchase our table and stools and not leave me bloodied on the floor of my apartment. (The latter detail wasn’t actually discussed.)

I spent most of the day anxious, planning every detail of our transaction so I wouldn’t be left vulnerable. (Thanks, The Wire.) I would hide my computer, my iPod, my Flip Ultra HD, wallet, iPhone and so forth. I would not allow anyone in our apartment left unattended. I would get the cash first, check for signs of counterfeiting and insist the transaction take place in the middle of our high-traffic neighborhood. I would wear my running shoes and bring a whistle, in case Fayth and her cronie(s) somehow made off with my furniture without paying.

None of this planning was necessary, of course. Everything went fine. They never even entered our apartment building. They offered the cash right away. They were downright pleasant, and not homicidal maniacs in need of a table set.

You’ve heard stories. Hell, you’ve been on Craigslist. You know how people can be given the cloak of anonymity. Craigslist takes us back to the paranoid mid-1990s, the early days of the Internet’s everyday usage , where in movies like The Net, we learned any fragment of personal information can put you in grave danger where your only defense is Dennis Miller and his needlessly obscure jokes:

The table and stools were small pot. We’re upping the ante today by selling a white sofa. This bad boy, priced to move at $225, has received several shady inquiries involving international money orders, personal checks that “may not clear until next Monday,” as one potential customer put it, and a few other off-the-wall requests requiring unnecessary personal information. Here’s my favorite inquiry yet:

We politely declined his offer. (Lovely name, by the way. Apparently his parents were typos.)

At 7 p.m. tonight, we’ve got someone serious about viewing the couch. Although yesterday went fine, I’m waiting for Beth to get home before carrying out this transaction. I’ll insist she have 911 up on her phone so all she has to do is hit send. In this economy, you never know what people will do for an uncomfortable IKEA loveseat.

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3 thoughts on “A Moving Experience: Surviving Craigslist

  1. Don’t tell someone serious tonight that it’s the most uncomfortable thing I have ever sat on. I promise my couch will comfort your behind much better.

  2. A Great Moment in Craigslist History | The Miller Times

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