Reblogged from Norm de Plume

I had to move to a new palace of residence; so I recently tried to sell some items that couldn’t come with me. One of those being the small freezer which had been purchased as my solution to overcome the frugality of the fridge hole in my kitchen.

My shopping alias is a modern metrosexual sort of girl who was quite comfortable with posting the items on Gumtree.  

Research of the internet indicated that I wouldn’t get much, but at least it would save me from disposal of the item. Friends warned about the time-waters, and I intended to filter them out before they got onto my property.

Elimination of the tyre kickers was only partially successful. Some people were exceptionally skilled at professing interest and making a booking for the pick-up, yet no-one every turned up to inspect the item. Wasted time accumulates and soon became much more than the price of the item. How can these perpetual browsers afford so much time and energy?

Dealing with them, is a whole new world, with it’s own language:

Beginning with the standard greeting; “ Hi, I’m interested in ‘Westinghouse Bar Freezer’. Is this still available? If so, when and where can I pick it up? Cheers.” It threw me when I received this immediately on posting my ad. Why would anyone question it’s availability after only five minutes?

Lesson one. A simple yes and address guarantees nothing, but some obscure pleasure for the compulsive time-wasters who inhabit the online classifieds.

More queries followed. Often they deliberately edited the standard suggested reply that had fooled me earlier, to a truncated version querying if it was still available, and the professional time-wasters usually whittled it down to to an non-committed “I’m wondering if this is still available?”

The answer yes often was sufficient to scare these denizens of the bright web back to their wonderment purposeless of web-surfing.

But some persisted.

“does it work?” I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask but if it didn’t, would I tell you? Perhaps they suspected me of trying to lure you in to wasting your time on inspection and an angry confrontation as my revenge on this never-ending queue of no-shows?

When I finally arranged the pickup, the buyer notified they were late leaving work. Not that they would not be coming or arranging another time for the pickup. In their case “late” seemed to be a euphemism for “I changed my mind”.

I am not sure why they didn’t just say “Okay” which by now I had been trained to understand means “all interest is terminated”.

My tactic of greeting the ploy of asking “what is the lowest price you will accept” with “make an offer and find out” produced no response from enquirers, and I was disappointed that I never had the opportunity to suggest they pay a fee if they wanted assistance with removal.

The pickup was usually demanded to be immediate. I don’t know whether this was from fear of a sale to someone else or an immediate need or a limited attention span due to too much internet, but it seemed to be more related to their lack of consideration for others.

For example one demanded for immediate pickup in their lunchtime. They didn’t recognise that I may be at work or that they should confirm prior to when they wanted to rush around. Their demand morphed into a suggestion of payment by EFT so that it could be left out (so much for their concerns about whether it works and cleanliness and size). When I refused because of unclear situation of waiting for payment and liability for freezer left outside; it became too hard “mate”.

You know that it has gone cactus when the dreaded m-word pops up.

When I consider all the time I have wasted being permanently on-call to provide immediate answers the digitally deranged it is no wonder that whitegoods are often discarded in the street. I don’t want to unnecessarily pollute the planet. I would like to recycle my little freezer to someone in need.

However; I suspect my mountain of failure conceals the real purpose. There is a gang of buyers encamped in front of my house waiting for the opportunity to kidnap my poor little freezer from the nature strip.

There will be a streetbattle that will result in these artful dodgers scampering away with pieces of freezer to mount in their trophy cabinets, along with all the other bargain items of no value that they have freely procured from the internet shenanigans.

Another free testament to their purposelessnessitude.

UPDATE: I did mange to sell the freezer, and two weeks later second-hand freezers became as rare as hens’ teeth, because of the hoarding for the corvid apocalypse. Someone got a bargain.