Friday, August 06, 2010

A Missed Connection

I’m gearing up for a Sept. 1 move, so it’s time to start liquidating my possessions. Several months ago, I bought an old-school blender/mixer/food processor/meat grinder on Craigslist, but I rarely used it (I guess I just prefer to buy my meats pre-ground). So it was back to Craigslist.

I took some photos, wrote up a description that made it clear this set included all its parts except the bowls and slapped a $40 price tag on it. An enthusiastic woman emailed me asking if she could pay $75. Okay? This was obviously unusual, but I would accept whatever she wanted to pay.

Whenever I buy electronics on Craigslist, I ask the person to plug it in and show me how it works; really I just want to see IF it works. When this woman came to my apartment to pick up my Oster Kitchen Center, she just asked that I bring everything down and put it in her car. This seemed weird, too. Didn’t she want to make sure I wasn’t selling her something broken?

A couple days later, an email. She thought I had scammed her. She thought it was a newer stainless steel model with bowls. “I learned a lesson about checking everything and trusting less.”

I felt awful. My description was completely accurate, but I should have asked why she wanted to pay me double. So I felt like I did mislead her. Why oh why did I take her money? This transaction was not good for my karama. She was right. I had not been a trustworthy person.

I emailed back apologized for the misunderstanding. I told her she was welcome to come back for $35. I included my original posting and told her she was right, checking things carefully was a must when dealing with Craigslist. And that there were scammers on Craigslist, but I didn’t want to be one.

A few hours later, she responded. “You restored my faith in mankind!!!! I most likely responded to another posting. Keep the extra and use it to do good, it will come back to you ten-fold!” I felt better. I told her I would use the extra cash to buy books for the kids’ book drive at work. And I will.

No comments: