This week was a lesson in patience and learning. Mostly in patience.
You may recall my coveted glass-front cabinet that I bought for a steal at Ikea, that now houses some of my favorite heels (some that are more suited for display purposes than wearing purposes, if you know what I mean). Ever since, I’ve been hunting for the two matching gray-brown dressers to complete my bedroom furniture ensemble.
First, back up story. Why would anyone want to replace their current furniture for not always cheap brand new furniture? Yes, Ikea is most people’s cheap version of furniture, but sometimes that can even be a stretch for those on a limited budget. The answer: I simply didn’t have furniture. I used to have really large/sliding door closets and would hang most of my clothes, and any leftovers, simply store in laundry bins and hide those in my closet as well. Pretty classy, huh? Oh. I also had grabbed a previous tall-ish dresser from Ikea about 9 years ago with 5 drawers and see-through front panels. Clearly, this piece needs to go! They don’t even make this piece at Ikea anymore!
I purchased the 3 drawer dresser from Ikea brand new, unassembled, mostly due to the cheapish price ($150). However, the larger, 6 drawer dresser would hold my remaining clothes, and clear the remaining clutter in my room. I decided this was more than necessary, and visited Ikea many, many times to see if one would end up in the “as is” section. No such luck, at least in the gray-brown color. So I started hunting on Craigslist. After about 3 weeks of searching and revisiting the site 3-4 times per day, I finally found one. The seller was listing it for $180 down from $250 brand new, and I made an offer of $150 for budgetary reasons. The seller accepted, and we made plans to meet several days later, on Saturday morning at 11:00am. She gave me her name, address, phone number, and condo unit #, which ended up being just over an hour from where I live. It was still worth saving $100 on the piece, so I went for it (plus it was put together, and I just don’t have the patience to do that on my own and would have to bribe someone to do it for me)! This was Wednesday night when all of the details were settled.
Saturday arrived, I borrowed a truck, gassed up (jeez gas is NOT cheap BTW), and made sure to leave in plenty of time to account for the multiple pro sports games that were taking place in the city that day, and also numerous St. Patrick’s Day parades also happening concurrently in the city. Arrive at the condo building, and of course have to pay for street parking in the city. Annoying, but also worth the dresser, you know? Buzz the concierge, get into the lobby, have concierge call seller after giving my info. Concierge relays my info to seller, then gets a confused look on her face and asks me specifically what furniture I am there to pick up. I rattle off “Ikea Hemnes dresser in gray-brown” as I’ve been hunting this ridiculous beast for weeks in person and online it was like saying my own name at that point! Am then informed by concierge who has just hung up her phone, that the seller “apologizes profusely but she sold the dresser last night to someone she thought was you.”
Really chick? You thought someone with a different email address, a different NAME, and a different pick up time, and who offered a different price was me??? And to make your concierge CYA for you??? I was literally standing there in shock for a second, then recovered, and told the concierge thank you for her assistance, and noted that it would have been helpful to know before driving up to get the dresser from an hour away and filling up my friends vehicle with gas (yeah…that was $60). It was apparent the girl was not going to come down herself and tell me that she actually decided to sell the dresser to someone who was willing to pay full price and pick it up earlier than I was, which is what I know happened.
I went home, pretty disappointed. Not about the dresser, but about putting a lot of time and energy planning the pickup, borrowing a truck, filling it up, and spending 2 hours round trip to the location and back home. I did get an email back from the liar, I mean seller, noting she had someone “shopping” in her condo, so she couldn’t come down to the lobby and tell me herself what happened, and she had “somehow” gotten my email confused with another person’s.
So, lesson learned, I will no longer be trolling Craigslist for furniture. The only other time I attempted to purchase an item off Craigslist, was 2.5 years ago when I was in desperate need of a car. I was looking for a used honda/toyota sedan model, after my car died on the highway, and found a seller after weeks of searching, in the city (so about an hour away). For some reason at this time, the cars I were searching for and calling on were getting snapped up within hours of being posted, or after I called on, would sell before I physically got to the cars location (and of course the seller wouldn’t call me to tell me, but instead waited until I arrived to tell me, in order to attempt to sell me on another vehicle). That was actually a legit car dealership that tried that little trick. But in my opinion, lying to a customer and pissing them off is generally not a good sales tactic, so i continued on my search.
Back to the original sketchy seller from this car story. I find the exact car I want, call on it, make an appointment later that day to see it in person, get there later that day, and miraculously the car hasn’t been sold when I arrive. That was shocking-for my experience at least. I test drive the car (runs great), and I note that the only thing I want is to have a honda mechanic do a basic inspection that I will pay for ($100) at the girl’s convenience. She said she could take it in the next day, and I would call the shop and give my credit card #, and then we would make a payment arrangement for the car. She said that was great and had no problem with the inspection and would call me the following day from the honda dealership.
As I’m driving home (again, it was an hour away from where I lived at the time), I get a call from the girl, but wait until I get home to check the message. The girl notes she’s “very sorry” but has sold the car to the people she had an appointment with after mine, as they gave her cash up front without asking for a mechanic to look it over.
So after these two gems of experience with good old Craigslist, I’m done. And maybe I’ll wake up one day, walk around the corner, and find my dresser waiting for me! Or end up buying it brand new. We’ll see.