So my first post of the New Year isn’t gonna be about baseball cards…
The wife and housemates and I (we live in a split level duplex over a 3-car garage) are ALL packrats (HOARDERS!!!) by nature. We are sentimental to a fault, we all collect all kinds of things, we are crafty and collect broken things that may or may not someday become an art project and we have all had roommates who have left things behind which we have housed for many years. Anyway, last month we decided to PURGE!!! We have a sweet pool table in our garage which we hadn’t played all year because of all the junk. We also have a live band area, but hadn’t had a party all year, again because of the junk. Last month we had a very successful yard sale which eliminated TONS of stuff. We made HUGE Salvation Army donations, donated a bunch of kitchen stuff to a local women’s shelter and made our yearly stuffed animal and baseball card donation to the Children’s Hospital. The past 2 weeks we have been playing pool like crazy and enjoying our space once again.
We still, of course have much more to get rid of, but some of the bigger stuff has a little value to it, so I decided to list on Craig’s List rather than “blow-out” at the yard sale. I had some kid’s furniture (toddler bed, changing table, etc) that I haven’t used in 15 years that was taking up a lot of space so I crafted a listing for it last night. I put it into two separate lots and asked 60 OBO for each lot. I thought they were really fair prices, plus 60 bucks could REALLY help us out right now. Well, within minutes of posting a woman called me. She had a special situation and was looking for help. Her and her husband were out of work and they had two young daughters.
They were evicted from their apartment and lost everything. They moved in with family, but the girls had nothing. Wow. That naturally hit me right in the heart and I wanted to help her. I told her I felt for her, but I, too, needed money. I said that if I didn’t get any offers on the stuff the next day I would give her a really good deal on everything. She thanked me profusely and I forgot about it for the night. This morning, at 7 AM, I got a text message from her husband. He told me they REALLY needed everything, that they had money and please it for them. In the mean-time I got messages from 8 other parties who were VERY interested in the items. I replied to every single person saying that I wouldn’t be home till 6 PM and I had an appointment then.
I got home from work around 5:30 and within a few minutes the lady I had spoken with was there (she was with her husband). They were driving a van, a fairly new, very nice looking van – not really indicative of a struggling family, but they may have borrowed it from someone since they were planning on picking up some big stuff. Anyway, she checked everything out, said it was all perfect and asked what I needed for everything. I told her that I was 60 dollars each, so the two lots would be $120. I told her I wanted to help her out, but I had a number of other people who were interested, too and I really needed some money myself. She told me she couldn’t afford $120, but asked for my lowest price on a single lot. I told her I could go down to $40. She agreed and thanked me and nodded for her husband to pay me.
He pulled a fifty dollar bill from his pocket and asked if I had change. I was broke and didn’t. I wished I had told her 50 bucks and not 40 that would have made things easier. I suggested to the husband that he go to a nearby convenience store to get change and I started loading things into their van. I chatted with the woman a bit more, asked some questions about her daughters and felt more and more like I needed to help her out. To make a long story short – the man never got change for the 50 and he didn’t need to. I agreed to let her take it all for $50. She seemed overjoyed. Her husband barely smiled. He gave me the fifty dollar bill and I tucked it into my pocket and helped them load the van.
I was pretty psyched to clear so much garage space – although I was a little bummed that I came away with less than half of what I had expected. I really could have used the money, BUT I felt good having helped out a couple in need.
I shut the garage down and headed upstairs to cancel the Craig’s List ads and let the wife know that the items were sold and I had 50 bucks. This was the point when I pulled the bill out of my pocket and realized that it was fake… WTF????
On an unrelated topic... ALL my wantlists are up to date. Trade me anything bait is coming... Not sure how I am gonna do it - e-mail me with suggestions if you are so inclined... Happy New Year!
Go Rays! Troll out.