Twice I’ve tried to give something away on Craigslist. Twice I’ve failed. It’s not for lack of interested parties–it’s for lack of follow-through.
I don’t think I’m going to try again.My most recent effort was an attempt to give away a console TV. It’s old but works fine. For five years it was used only to watch the World Series, and for another couple of years it was used less than that.
I got a flood of requests right away, so I took down the ad quickly. With seven responses in 30 minutes, I didn’t want to have to end up telling 100 people no the next morning. So I started making calls.
The first was two brothers who wanted it for their mother. They said they’d be right over. And they were. The problem was neither of them had ever seen a console TV before. They thought a 26-inch TV would fit great on a table. Not this one. At least they were nice about it.
OK, so I thought I’d contact the next person in line. No response.
Number three? He also wanted it for his mother. But when he called to tell her, she’d already sent her other son to go buy a new TV. So much for that.
After another no-response, I spoke with someone with a heavy accent who wanted it. He asked if it would fit in a Honda Civic. I tried not to laugh. I said no. He said he had a friend with a bigger car. I said he really needed a truck or a van. He insisted it would fit in a car. I had the TV sitting right in front of me, I’ve moved it five different times and it won’t fit in any car I’ve ever owned, but what do I know, right? I e-mailed him dimensions (both in English and Metric) and asked him to verify the TV would fit in the car. I never heard from him again.
I guess that’s just as well. The TV feels like it weighs 100 pounds. I’ve moved it five different times, and each time the guy helping me moved it has said he’ll never move that thing again. So I wasn’t about to try to wrestle it into whatever this "bigger car" was. With my luck it would have been a Toyota Camry.
My wife talked to one of the people. As soon as she explained what a "console TV" is, the interest evaporated.
Someone else was interested and said he’d pick it up right away. I said great. He said to call him, and of course the number was long-distance. I called. The phone rang about 12 times before I got an answering machine. I left a message. And you’re right, he never called back.
I guess people see "FREE" in an ad and go nuts, but then when it comes time to actually come get it and they have to do a little work, they don’t want to do it. It’s disappointing. All I wanted was to give the TV to someone who needed it more than me. It still works and I hate to see it taking up space in a landfill just because it’s out of style (and was out of style the year it was made, but that’s another issue).
Well, that’s five hours of my life that I’ll never get back.
The TV’s sitting in the corner of the living room now. It looks good there. We have another TV in the family room (that’s why we were trying to get rid of this one), but since it was getting to be too much of a chore to get rid of it, we’ll just keep it there for a while. Besides, it picks up channel 30 (the local ABC affiliate) a lot better than the other TV does.
Maybe I’ll hook an Atari 2600 up to it and pretend it’s 1982 again.
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