June 4, 2010

Craigslist IQ

It's no secret that I, Sparklebot, am an internet-sales pro-star.  I am no stranger to the ways of ebay, craigslist, and amazon sales.  I understand the subtleties of each beast, and I have, over the years, learned to successfully tame each for my own personal profit.

About a year ago, Troubletron and I bought a Gumball/Candy dispensing machine from an ebay seller.  We filled it with a variety of delicious candies and placed it in a retail location where we had the necessary "in."  We regained our investment in just a few short weeks.  Unfortunately, due to some circumstances that are not relevant here, and through no fault of our own, we lost our location, and consequently have had this commercial quality gumball machine, empty, in our kitchen, for months.  We've looked for new locations, but nothing promising has come up.

You know our financial situation.  So, obviously, we need to sell this machine to someone with a vending business who can use it.

Ok.  Background given.  Story begins.

I listed the machine on Craigslist yesterday.  Here is the text and pictures from the ad:

We have a commercial quality Gumball/candy dispensing machine that we are no longer using. Great for an existing vending business, or for those looking to make a little extra income a month with almost no extra work.

It is all dark brown, with silver accents. Three separate compartments for candy/gumballs. Each compartment has a 25 cent price.

We bought this on ebay a year ago for $150. It was worked great for us, but the store we had it in closed and we haven't done the work to find a replacement location.

We will throw in our extra gumballs and candies (pictured) with the purchase, if you want them.

We are seeking $100, but will accept reasonable offers. Email with any questions.

The ad, of course, also contained the following photos:
 Ok.  So, pretty clear.  Right?

Within a few minutes of posting the ad, I got an email from a gentleman interested in the machine.  Here is our email conversation (all colors/grammar mistakes, ridiculous punctuation are from the actual emails.  I have removed only names.)

Shopper:  
Please send me contact info thanks Regards.

Me: 
I don't give out contact info until I know I have a serious potential buyer.  Do you have questions?  I can answer them via email.

Shopper:
Dear ?
Sorry you did not mention your name
I do not want your personal or business information . what  I mean is that you write your phone #  for me to cantact you.  so anyway I give  my cell phone ---omitted------ for you to contact me. yes you can contact me. thanks
Best regards;
 Me: 
This is an internet transaction.  I don't give out my name and contact information to strangers on the internet.
The best way for me to talk to you is via email.  If you cannot ask me your questions via email, then this will not work.
Shopper:
please send me the pictures of your machine?
how old are they?
what area is the location of the machines?
how much are you grossing ?
what is the net profit?
please describe the situation?

I need to all information above. if you can not give the information above please do not email me back, thanks.
 Me:
There were pictures on the ADVERTISEMENT.  So, look at them.
It's only one machine.
It is a few years old.  As the ADVERTISEMENT said, we bought IT about a year ago off of ebay.
It's in MY HOUSE.  It's not in a commercial location, AS THE ADVERTISEMENT SAID.
My net and gross profits are none of your business.  Your net and gross profits will depend on the kind of candy and the location of the machine.
Please describe WHAT situation?

I need you to READ ADVERTISEMENTS before you reply that you are interested in them.  If you cannot read, please don't email me back.  Thanks.

Shopper:
Now I know what ad it was,
As far as i can remember you mentioned you have 3 machines for $100 right?
What is the last price you can sell, I need them buy by tuesday or so.
if possible send me the pics . somehow I lost your ad. thanks.
Me:
It is ONE machine.  One.  ONE MACHINE.
THREE (3) (three) compartments in the ONE (1) (one) machine.
(insert pic here again).
Let me tell you how this works.  I want $100.  If you can't pay me $100, then I'm not going to suggest a LOWER price.  $100 is a good deal on this machine.  I'm not interested in giving it to you for the "last price."  I'm interested in selling it for the "first"? price . . .or the HIGHEST price, as we say.  You see, I'm selling something.  I'm trying to GAIN money.  I'm not trying to give YOU a good deal.
If you "need" this ONE (1), and only ONE (1) machine by Tuesday, I suggest you cough up $120 bucks so that we can speed this along.  Plus, I really think you owe me extra for my trouble.
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He's coming to look at it tomorrow.
Haha.
I share this story with you, not because I think it's particularly funny or because it annoyed me.  I mean, it DID annoy me, obviously, but that's not it.  I share this story with you because this SAME STORY happens EVERY BLEEPING TIME I sell something on Craigslist.  And, I want to know why.
Why can't people who buy things on Craigslist read?

Why do they not only WANT, but actually EXPECT me to send them my name, address, and phone number on the first email!?  You're buying my unwanted crap, not marrying my daughter.
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9 Robot Reactions:

Carly said...

As someone who obsessively checks craigslist every day, I know what you mean. I always thought the idiocy was a result of my location in eastern Idaho, but you have opened my eyes. The main problems I observe is that people do not know the proper name for things: a loveseat is often described as a "two seater" couch. And once I saw an ad for a "missionary style desk" (which begged the question, what have they been DOING with that desk?) that was neither a desk, nor MISSION style.

Nick Perez said...

I found this post via Reddit. I thought you handled that very rudely. Sometimes you've got to have some patience with people. It doesn't seem like he was nearly as hostile as you were at any time.

Sparklebot said...

Carly: It's not you--it's everywhere.

Nick Perez: I did not ever claim that this person was hostile. And, if I was a hostile responder, then good. Mission accomplished. I don't have time to deal with people who are too stupid or too self-important to read the ad I placed that they responded to. It's a waste of everyone's time. Not to mention that I have 4 OTHER people who DID read the ad that are coming to look at the machine. I'm not running a store. I'm not looking for return business. I am not trying to earn anyone's good will. I don't want some jerk who thinks I OWE him my name and contact info because he knows how to click on a link on craigslist.

Anonymous: I don't post comments with such profanity. If you want to revise your comment with less profanity, I'm happy to post it, though it was rude to me. As you can see from Nick's published comment, I don't screen for people who don't like me. That's not my style. I do screen for people who are too immature to use grown-up words.

Side of Jeffrey said...

I like this story. If blogs had a "like" button, I'd push it.

JakieWakie said...

My big craigslist pet peeve: I get an email where someone expresses interest, and then I reply with my real address (not the fake craigslist-issued one). This is quickly followed by spam from the person, since they at last have a real address to use. Jerks.

NG said...

I, (like you, I'm sure) probably would have been more patient with this person if Every. Single. Craigslist interaction I've ever had not been exactly like this.

Speaking personally, I don't have time to send multiple emails, make phone calls (the horror!), or drive out to look at something that doesn't turn out to be fruitful. So I will do pretty much anything to not have to interact with someone before it's absolutely necessary... up to and including reading the ad and looking at the pictures.

All I can figure is that some people just have a lot more time on their hands than I do.

PKYoung said...

I'm surprised you even kept responding to this person, if I was getting dumb replies like that I'd stop talking to him and just hope someone else would be interested soon. I don't like stupid people...

the other city girl said...

You weren't rude. That person should stick to physical, yard sales.

Kacy said...

How many gumball machines can I get for 50 dollars and do they dispense birdseed?