Occam’s Razor reversed: or how to make something simple complicated

I am continually trying to clean up / clear out / streamline my beautifully renovated Dupont Circle Coop.

To that end a few MONTHS ago, I posted a note on my apartment message board that I was selling a bunch of furniture.

Someone inquired about an old camping table I was selling. Originally purchased for about $50, I was offering it for $15.

camping tableThe conversation on said $50-reduced-to-$15, used once, snap-together table went like this:

Washy: I’ll be home after 6, apt. #12345 – I was asking $15 but it’s negotiable. I also have an ikea coffee table!

Tablebuyer: I’ll tell one of my sons to stop by.

How much was the table new?

Washy: Actually, I just looked it up and saw it for $58. I paid a little less than that I think, but do think it was close to $50 – so bargain! glad you inquired.

Tablebuyer: how many does it seat?

Tablebuyer: (one minute later): and the measurements?

SEVERAL emails (one asking “how about $12?) and two phone calls later and two hours after I said would be a good time to come, Tablebuyer’s goatee-sporting son showed up to peruse the table. I showed it to him, in its carrying case, with instruction manual, ready to roll.

He had questions.

Then he had to call his mom.

Then he wanted to know if my typewriter was for sale. It wasn’t.

Then he had to CONSULT with his mom.

TWENTY minutes later he was back.

Tablebuyer’s son: “She’ll take it for $9.”

Me (having to go meet someone): Okay, I’m not going to quibble with you over a few dollars. Fine. Here it is.”

Tablebuyer’s son continued to talk. I had to go.

Me: Enjoy the table!


Flash forward to TWO MONTHS later. Two (2). Months (months).

Tablebuyer (via email) : is that top the right one for the legs? It didn’t seem to fit correctly.

Me: Yup. I know it snaps into place. I used it only once but it did work. Let me know if you can’t get it worked out and I’ll take it back and refund your money ($9?)

(In other words, are you f’in kidding me??)

Tablebuyer: Thanks for your answer Washwords. Maybe you could come by on Sat or sun to show me how you got it into place?

Dear Readers, I beg of you, how should I reply? Please! Help! Me!

I have several thoughts but none of them are nice. This is not providing the simplification I had hoped for.

Love, your pal, Washy (who advised you to take your $8 table and jump in a lake!). Smiles.

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5 Comments

  1. Ali said,

    Wrote on May 13, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

    This made me laugh so hard! Thank you for the pick-me-up… and as far as a reply… “No, I will NOT come by on Sat… go ahead and buy the one for $58 new, I’m SURE that top fits just fine”

  2. washwords said,

    Wrote on May 13, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

    ha ha haha. glad you liked it ali! I was afraid i was just being a bee-atch! (maybe i am but at least people got why!) 🙂

  3. cigarsmokingman said,

    Wrote on May 13, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

    I would block tablebuyer’s email address and never worry about them again.

  4. Candelaria said,

    Wrote on May 13, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

    Ahh, a friend of mine recently had a similar encounter on Craig’s List and ultimately didn’t buy the item.
    You sold it, in good working condition, you should let it go. What an invasive follow-up from the purchaser.
    One thing I’ve learned from several Craig’s List purchases and from a sale – overprice a bit so if you’re haggled down you still get something reasonable. So many people are all about the haggle that they become disrespectful.

  5. Herb said,

    Wrote on May 15, 2008 @ 7:30 am

    I have learned that the greater the bargain is on Craigslit, the more freaky and demanding the buyers become. I’ve given up on placing items in the “Free” section after a couple of nasty encounters. Jack up the price a little next time.

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