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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Open Letter to People who Read Craigslist

Dear "People who Read Craigslist",

We understand that some of you (the two of us included), just read Craigslist for fun when you're bored at work.  We know the beauty of the missed encounters section, and the joy of reading about ridiculous items for free (our favorites are the treadmill that only goes backwards, and the feral cats that are so vicious the writer was offering to pay people $20 each to haul them away).   This letter is not targeted at you.  Instead, we'd like to focus our attention on those who surf Craigslist actually looking to buy.

First and foremost, you are presumably on Craigslist NOT because you're looking for a super rare item that could only be found in certain unlikely places.  It's not like you've searched high and low at the auction houses and antique stores for the 18th century item that you just have to have that you're hoping to find listed in someone's backyard.   You are more than likely, for lack of better terms, cheap.  You want some common household item (rug, blender, couch, TV) and don't want to shell out the money you'd be expected to spend at Target, or god forbid, Walmart.  THAT just would be too expensive.   OR, worse, you're a wholesaler who is trying to buy low and sell high.  Either way, you want a DEAL, right?

Well here's your deal of the day--  We're going to give you some tips.  That's, right, tips.  You can thank us later.

1.  Don't be stupid-  items are priced according to their condition and value -  If we write on Craigslist that a fridge is $50- don't whine and complain that it's dirty, or old, or the wrong brand, or not the right color for your kitchen.  It's a fridge.   It sells new in the store for a couple hundred.  Didn't you wonder why it was $50?    Did you think *we* were stupid?    Either you're dumb, or you're purposely taking advantage of people.  We don't like you either way.

2.  Don't expect everything to be brand new and perfect in every way-  Duh.  This isn't Saks Fifth Avenue. This isn't even Sears.   If you want something brand new, go to Sears, or Target, or God-forbid, Walmart.   If you can't afford to pay $19.99 for a blender,  you can't afford to be uppity about a fingerprint or a crack.  (We aren't saying there's anything wrong with being poor, just with being snotty and poor.) You're lucky it still works.   If you keep complaining, we might just hit you over the head with it.  THEN maybe you'll get the discount you're asking for because it's "faulty."  This especially goes for kids items.  If you're looking to buy something that's for 3-year-olds, don't be surprised if it has crayon marks or drool on it.  What did you expect?  Besides, what do you think YOUR 3-year-old is going to do with it, use white gloves and inspect it under a microscope?  You'll be lucky if they don't pee on it.

3.  Along those lines--  Craigslist HAS A PLACE to list the price  --  So, when you respond to an ad that lists an item for $50, and you show up,  BRING $50.  Do not ask how much it is, and do not ask us to take another amount.   You're probably the same bozo that walks into "Everything's A Dollar" and asks how much something is, aren't you?   The other day, true story, a lady emailed us about a 4 piece solid wood bedroom set that we had price dropped (over time) from $500 to $250.  She actually asked if we would take $50 for all four pieces.   Our response to her was "Are you serious?!!?!(@*%)(@"

4. The pictures are there for a reason.  Use them -  If we post a picture of a bed, inside a bedroom, with linens on it,  why are you going to act surprised when you show up and it's inside a bedroom with linens on it?   Do you think we photoshopped the picture to make it look more realistic?   It's a marketing ploy that we use to lure in the customers that are going to spend, well, $19.99.   Yeah.  Right.  Believe it or not, this has actually happened too (the questioning, not the photoshopping!)

5.  You purposely try to take advantage of us, and we will own you -  Craigslist trolls, you are the worst.  You are professional scum, yet are so unscrupulous you don't even have the prestige of being called a true criminal.   You list things by blatantly lying all the time ("Drew Brees game-worn jersey"  for example, that was worn by someone WHILE watching Drew Brees at a game),  yet you flag and remove our post because you don't like us.   You haggle with us for an hour on prices that were more than reasonable to begin with, and then miss your appointment with us to pick up the items.   You call us every single week, because you're too stupid to realize that we're the SAME PEOPLE who had the garage sale last week, and ask us again if we have "costume jewelry" and if you can come see a "preview" the day before.  Then you bring your gold tester kit trying to take advantage of us, complain at prices of $1, and spend $8 total even though you made us come all the way out the day before our sale just for your stupid ass.  Be warned, we're not as stupid as you think we are, and we have your number saved in our phone.

Don't get us wrong- we love Craigslist.  It's been very valuable to our business.  Today, for example, we had a lady and a man both respond to ads, who each showed up within 30 minutes, when they said they were going to, and spent over $600.  In return, we treated them very kindly and gave them huge discounts.  It is a good system and does work when it isn't abused.  BUT, for those $600- we first had to deal with 25 other people who no-showed time after time, showed up late when they finally did show up, and who whined and complained the entire time leaving without spending a single dime.   They also did every one of the above five things.   True story.

In other words-- if you're going to use it, use it, but don't abuse it.  If you do, we'll have something to say about it.  And you can better believe you'll end up on this blog.

Sincerely yours,

Storage Heroes

PS - Thanks for sticking with us on this rant.  We DEFINITELY "put the RAGE in Storage" today!



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