Archive for March, 2009


Online Seller’s Rules

   Posted by: amrath    in Dark Mutterings


Why do we need rules? Why can’t we just act sensibly and make a deal, exchange a few bucks for some used stuff, and both be happy? In the world of online bartering and person to person sales, there are way too many people who simply don’t have common sense or courtesy: crooks who try to con you, chiselers who want something for nothing, and outright morons who apparently cannot distinguish between a Neiman Marcus Showroom and my humble abode and get bent out of shape when they don’t get Neiman Marcus levels of service.

So, to save time. and so that I am not forced to injure my hand by pounding it against someone’s thick skull, I have created these rules. Please refer to them when you are seized by idiot notions. It will save me the trouble of having to choke sense into you. I will make it simple, and use lots of examples and colorful language, so you can understand. Ok?

And if you are a seller, please, by all means, link this page in your posts. It will probably save you some trouble.

The Rules:

1. I do not need your money. I don’t want to get ripped off, and it’s nice to get a little something for my stuff, but the truth is that I could set it all on fire and not lose any sleep over it. It would be out of my way, which is my primary goal. The hassle you present is being weighed against simply having the garbage collectors take it away in one of my several free ‘bulky pickups’ they offer me throughout the year. If you offer me five bucks for a piece of furniture that I only asked 25 for to begin with, it is a bad deal for me. I could use it for firewood and come out better. Don’t be silly.

2. I will not bring the item to you for inspection. I will not be taking your cashiers check. I will not be taking your personal check. I will not be mailing the item. You will bring your ass to my house and pay me in cash. It’s that simple.

3. This is not a showroom, and I am not getting a commission. My dinner is getting cold while you agonize over a minor defect in a cheap piece of used furniture. I will not stand overlong in the cold or heat pretending to enjoy your asinine company while you catalog every flaw on an item we both know isn’t really suitable to display your collection of Ming Dynasty Vases. It’s a cheap table, ferfuxsake! Take it or leave it, or make a reasonable offer and have the cash in hand. Your twenty bucks does not buy you much more than five minutes of my valuable personal time, even less if you are annoying.

4. I will not answer your twenty-question email that accompanies your offer of half my asking price. You haven’t even seen the item yet, and you are not even standing in front of me with your chiseling half-off offer, yet you actually expect me to take you seriously? Your mail went straight into the trash, unless I found it amusing enough to forward copies to my friends for laughs at your expense.

5. No, I will not give it to you for half my asking price. I picked that price for a reason. It’s pretty much break even with me versus donating the item and claiming the deduction on my taxes. If you can’t afford 25 bucks, then you can’t afford the gas to drive over and pick it up anyway.

6. I will NOT be lifting the couch and hauling it about, turning it this way and that for you to inspect, most especially if it is over ninety degrees outside. I don’t care if you’re worried about there being a tear on the underside. Surely you’ll see that when we load it, and we could cross that bridge if and when we come to it. I’m not going to bust my ass when you’re not even committed to taking it off my hands.

7. You came to buy a table. Making inappropriate comments about my wife and how saucy she sounded on the phone puts you very close to being in the hospital or the morgue, and very far from any sort of good bargaining position. Yeah, pal, special price for you: $100.

8. It’s a cheap TV stand, ferfuxsake! I don’t know where it came from! I can barely remember my ex-wife’s middle name, much less where she bought the damned thing.

9. Yes, I am probably willing to shave my price a little, but that involves you making it easier, not harder. If you show up, don’t waste my time or ask me to do a bunch of crap, and offer me $40 on my $50 item, I will likely accept. If you have me measure every dimension, recite everything I know about the history of the item, take multiple extra pictures, and reschedule your visit five times, and then offer me 25 for the same item, I will not only tell you to fuck off, I am likely to put my foot in your ass. My time is just as valuable as yours. If you take a lot of my time, you have essentially used up any bargaining room, so don’t push it.

10. This is the big one, the golden rule, the summation of all others, the alpha and the omega of rules: you may be bargain hunting, but you are also a guest in my home. If you don’t behave as such, I will kick your ass to the curb in short order. You may think you’re a special snowflake, or that you have some mesmeric power, but you’re not, and you don’t. I have been buying and selling stuff on craigslist for a long time. In a day or so, someone will come by, be respectful, quick, and offer me 80% or more of my asking price. They will get a great deal, and we will both be happy. You know where the door is. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on your way out.