Tuesday, July 19, 2005

An ad in the hand, beats two in the bushes

There is a saying that one person’s junk is another’s treasure. I love this mantra. My qualities are contradictory in that I like to both purge, but hate to toss things into the garbage. There are too many land fills overflowing with crap that other people could use.

I recycle everything I can in our house. We got a new bin that allows for all types of paper, so I now collect everything and toss it; opened envelopes, paper towel tubes, old cereal boxes. This drives Larry crazy and I go splunking through the waste cans picking up his discarded items. “It’s like we’re on welfare,” he says. Whatever!

Craigslist is my new obsession. It has surpassed eBay as my recreational cyber adventure. It’s like Outward Bound, but for lazy people. Craigslist in its simplicity is just an online bulletin board. It allows people to communicate publicly; exchanging information and developing relationships.

The communities are created locally and everything on it pertains to your local area. There are job postings, personal ads, housing information, discussions, and most importantly, items for sale. And the gem inside the “items for sale” is the FREE Section.

I sell a lot of items on both eBay and Craigslist, but when they don’t sell, I give them away. It’s like chumming for frugal people. You can dangle anything out there and people will snap it up.

Yesterday, I gave away two pillowcases that were about 10 years old, separated from an old sheet set. Once someone picked up two old lamps that needed rewiring. Another person received a broken VCR. Many times, I arrange for the person to pick it up on my doorstep while I’m at work. Like some illegal adoption, the exchange happens without anyone having to even meet.

The piece de resistance was the day I got rid our bushes. Yes, as in the bushes in my front yard. I want to redo the front yard, but we have… sorry had… these two 30-year old andromeda bushes. These bushes were great, but they were old and wouldn’t go with the new theme. (I’m gay, we have themes, okay!) Plus, I just did not want to dig take them out.

Enter Craigslist. Within ten minutes of posting a “Dig out your free bushes” ad, I had eight people lined up. I picked the person who lived the closest and offered him the bushes along with my address. Two days later, I came home to find my front yard devoid of bushes with just two small holes as proof of their existence. The deed had been done.

Larry finds the whole process a tad creepy. I think it just meets a need. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I post an ad, you dig out my bushes.

Tom Sawyer really did know best.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story -- except I happen to know that a wonderful and dear, dear friend of yours told you a year ago that she wanted those bushes if you were ever getting rid of them!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Craigslist and have bought things off of the list. My favorite part is reading the nasty comments others post on the site about people who don't call back, raised prices etc. There is nothing better than an online bitch session. I have a tree in the front I don't want and now I am going to post it on Craigs. Thanks for the suggestion.

2:13 PM  

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