Monday, November 22

Frugal Shopping vs. Getting Scammed

Craigs List is a great thing. Things are less expensive than in the stores and buying used items helps preserve natural resources. We use Craigs List to sell things in good condition that we no longer need rather than send them to the landfill. Other people can use them and we get a little extra cash in the budget.

We also buy things for the house that we need - baby things that are in good condition since the turnover is so high with these type of items. People always need cribs, changing tables and toys and buying them new just to use them for such a short time does not make much sense to me. The little guys room is furnished with good quality Criags List purchases and we have never had a problem.

I met a lady at Eastview Mall the other day to pick up a toy farm set for the little guy. Great condition, great price and the lady was really nice - we had to pull a James Bond in transferring the item from her car to mine so that her daughter would not see. Kind of fun. :)

Thinking about it, we have never had a problem with Craigs List, until this past week. In our downsizing efforts, we have decided that our really big tv was not that necessary. We have totally re-arranged out living room to make it more baby-proof (since the laptop incident) and, in changing things, we decided we really just didn't need such a big tv. We moved the small upstairs tv down and it is more than adequate, and it also fits better with the size of the room.

So what to do with a big tv that works perfectly fine and has all the bells and whistles that guys like on the tv (Roy bought this as his personal housewarming present when we moved it. I got a lawnmover). We listed it on Craigs List and waited.

In comes Betty. Betty, apparently, was a business lady currently on a business trip in London. But she wanted the tv. She even wanted to pay us $20 over our asking price to hold it for her, presumably, until she got back from her trip. Ok, thanks!

Her next email explained that she had to send a money order. Well....... I guess thats ok. Email three explained the "terrible mixup" that her assistant made by sending us the wrong money order for more money that it should have been for. (Dumb assistant). So when we got the money order could we please cash it through our bank and mail her the difference, minus our asking price and $20 holding fee. Um, no.

Roy and I sent her the following email:

I am sorry that you are having trouble with the payment. Give me your address so I can return your money order. Or, please pick up the tv within 5 days and we will return your money order to you then and you can pay us cash.
Thank you.

We have not heard anything else, or received a money order. And I reported the problem to Craigs List.

Another lesson in homesteading, as well as in life. Living more frugally and with conscious purchases is a good thing with great benefits. Unfortunately there are people in the world who do not think twice about taking advantage of others. In our efforts to consume less and shop locally through these list posting sites, we have to remember that not everyone using them is doing so for the same reasons we are.

On a good note, we did sell the tv to a very nice young man last night who is furnishing his new home with his fiance.

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