Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh Craigslist...

So this week I've been bitten by the Craigslist bug. I really want to find a Little Tykes outdoor play scape, slide, or something like it. I don't want to buy it new and I don't want to pay 100 bucks for it either.

I've found two ads in the last two days that were DEALS, but alas they have slipped through my fingers. The second one I replied to 11 minutes after it was posted. And that would have been an awesome deal. Two playscapes for $25!!! Argh.

I did however find a great deal on a Vtech Smartville Alphabet Train Station. It was only $15!! Wahoo. Although I paid for it dearly in annoying email communication:

My first email:

Is this still available? If so, I'd be interested in buying. Thanks.

Seller's reply:

Yes it is. Let me know if you want to look at it. Thanks.

.....Uh, what part of "I'd be interested in buying" was unclear? Of course I want to look at it...

My second email:

Yes, I'd love to buy it.

Seller's reply:

Okay well I am home all day except for this tues. Let me know.

...Okay, we're getting somewhere...

My third email:

I can stop by tomorrow morning. Just let me know where and what time is best for you. Thanks.

Seller's reply:

I live off kelly ln in pflugerville past falcon pointe. Anytime after 9 is fine just let me know.

...Off kelly ln where? What's the friggin' address? What do I have TO DO to buy this thing?!!!!

My fourth email:

Great. I can come by around 10am if that works. What's the address and I can map it? Thank you.

Seller's reply:

(**finally reveals address, which I will not post here, haha**)

Oh my goodness!!!!!! This could so have been a 3 email conversation instead of 8. Like:

Me: Hey I want to buy this.
Her: Great, I live HERE and am available at THIS time.
Me: Great, see you THEN.



Amanda H. said...

I have had this happen on more than one occasion and agree it is totally ridiculous. ha ha! There should be some kind of online tutorial for how to communicate between buyers and sellers...and what information is vital to closing the deal. :)

LeftyMama said...

Yes!! You have to *really* want the bargain or hard-to-find item to be willing to deal with all the run-arounds on CL. Some of my CL pet peeves include people who don't take down their ad when the item is sold, people who don't respond to inquiries, people who post the same item multiple times (in violation of terms of service & clogging up my searches), people who don't put a picture up and/or don't give you enough info about the condition of the item, and....

Mel, one way to stay on top of the new postings for whatever it is that you want to buy is to use Google Alerts or one of the free CL monitoring tools. They'll send you an email or RSS feed whenever a new post is made that contains your specified search terms. One I've used that I like is Craigslistwatch, but it seems to be down right now for some reason.

Here's the instruction for setting up the RSS feed from your CL search:

Subscribe to RSS Feeds
If you are looking for something specific, say a Queen Anne brocaded couch circa 1965, you can set up a Craigslist alert to be notified when something new pops up that fits your criteria. This is how you do it:
Go to your city's Craigslist, and click on "Furniture."
Then enter your search term(s), what you're willing to pay, and whether you're looking for something from a furniture dealer or private seller.
When you're done, click "Enter."
Scroll to the bottom of the page.
You'll see an orange button with the letters RSS. Click on that button.
You'll see a whole page of funny lookin' code in your browser window. Copy that page's URL and paste it into your favorite feed reader.
Now you can be notified via your feed reader every time an item is posted on Craigslist that meets your criteria.