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People Love Free Stuff

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Yesterday Rachelle put a bunch of stuff on Craigslist in the free section because we really just wanted to get rid of it fast. She listed one of those low-profile dual blade window fans, an old busted laptop (that was ancient when she got it like 6 years ago), some zip drives and something else I can't remember.

People go crazy for anything free! Within about 30 seconds of the fan post getting listed on the site she had about 10 people asking for the fan. It probably helped that it was about 90° outside. I love when people include their sob stories in their CL emails:

"Help, I really need this X for my Y, if I don't get it my husband/wife is going to Z!!!!11!."

One woman felt the need to tell us that she, her husband and her cat were melting and really needed the fan.

The laptop got a bunch of interest too. It didn't exactly work, when you hit the power button it would let out a beep code and blink all its lights at you. But someone could've fixed it or used it for parts. Since it was going to be free I took the hard drive out because Rachelle had used it for a couple years when we lived on Rosedale and who knows what was on it. Our old puppy Miles chewed on the power cord (or course!) so I had to solder the connector back on and tape it up. It was looking really frowzy. The laptop was gone in about an hour. I still don't know the name of the kid that took it though, he didn't say in the email to me, he didn't say when I talked to him on the phone (even after I introduced myself) and he didn't say in person when he picked it up. Strange.

Speaking of staying somewhat anonymous, one of the people who emailed about the fan simply said "If it's still available please call me: 867-5309". At that point the fan was already gone so I emailed back (like the nice guy I am) saying that it was gone already. But my email bounced back because the from and reply-to addresses in their email were <something>@microsoft.com even though the email originated from a Frontiernet connection. At first I didn't understand this, but the only conclusion I've come up with is they don't want their real email address getting out and wanted to work over the phone. Pretty slick, but I like to operate the opposite way; I'd rather work over email and not talk to people on the phone.

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