Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Well Worth the Wait

I have had lots of Craiglist experiences. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Matt and I sold a bunch of our unused stuff in a last-minute attempt to raise money for our wedding and a down payment on our house.

And for the record, I have never had a sketchy Craigslist encounter.

Until last night.

As I mentioned in a different, earlier post, I've been on the lookout for a used crock pot. I was obsessed with buying a used one because it's better for the Earth and the pocketbook.

And lo and behold, there were lots of crock pots to choose from. However, there was only one crock pot that didn't have a god-awful floral theme. Plus, it came with a free dip warmer (which can also be used for fondue). And it had never been used (it was an unwanted gift). And, it was only $16 (the original version was in the $40-$50 range).

The woman and I e-mailed back and forth several times. I was trying to make sure that the "new" crock pot she was advertising was in fact "used." I was desperately trying not to contribute to the production of new goods, so I didn't want to support her if she was somehow pawning brand-new machines to lots of different people.

After all the e-mailing, it turned out that she was selling it to someone else. But then that person never showed up so she decided to sell it to me. And then I gave her my phone number but she insisted on repeatedly e-mailing me instead. Then she didn't want me to come to her house; she wanted to meet me at a restaurant parking lot instead.

Long story short, I was standing in a parking lot after it had gotten dark with only $16 and my driver's license (I left the rest of my wallet at home in case the situation turned shady). I was on the phone with my best friend in case I needed some backup (although he was in Florida, so there's not much he could've done). Matt, by the way, was playing soccer with his community team.

And then the woman I had been communicating with was suddenly a man and I followed him to his car to get the crock pot. (Wow, I feel this story growing more dramatic than it was. The guy was really nice, and I stayed a good distance behind him to make sure he really did have a crock pot).

Honestly, talking to my paranoid best friend made the situation worse than it actually was. After all, I was in a public place, I had talked to the woman once on the phone, and I kept my distance.

Matt is now having a similarly sketchy experience with Craiglist (he's trying to get new sunglasses since his old ones fell under the wrath of our dog). I pointed out that all of our good Craigslist experiences were in Denver, so maybe Houston is just weird. Matt pointed out that Craigslist is really just a "person-to-person pawn shop" and that makes it weird.

Anyway, I now have a crock pot! I'm so glad I resisted the urge to indulge in a shiny new crock pot last week at Target. I only had to wait a week, and now I have one (and the anticipation makes the reward even sweeter, I suppose).

My first project is going to be apple butter. I plan to give it away to the neighbors as a holiday gift. I'm going to make it now and attempt to can it. (P.S. If you live in Houston and have canning equipment that you would be willing to let me borrow for a day--and you're not sketchy--please let me know!).

And as I was searching around for recipes and canning guides, I came across a wedding on This Young House that featured apple butter wedding favors!

Photo courtesy of This Young House

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Jess said...

I have started cleaning out my collection of "stuff" that I used to say I would use someday... We've been putting a lot of it on Craigslist. It was interesting to read your post from the buyer's side; I find selling on Craigslist can be just as creepy. I am loathe to have people pick up goods at my house because you never know who might be scouting for trouble. When I do have home pick up, I make sure my husband is the one who handles the transaction, even though I'm the one who communicates with the buyer. So maybe she was just in the same boat?

I'm glad your transaction went safely... And that you scored an awesome crockpot out of the deal! Let us know what you cook up. :)

Hannah said...

Wow! I don't think I would have followed him to the car! I'd woulda started the car and took off haha. But I'm a pansy!

Heather said...

Have fun with the new crockpot! Have you ever heard of the website freecycle? People list what they have to get rid of and or what they are looking for. I've gotten rid of a bunch of my stuff that I no longer need and so far nothing shady or suspicious. Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

While Eric was off of work, we got rid of a bunch of stuff via Craig's List. The worst ones were the freebies though. We'd post a bunch of free stuff only to have dang near everyone of them flake. And here we were trying to be helpful.

And yeah...none of them want to actually call you. It's so bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! That shows your other side...being creative.

Becca said...

Sara - I've had a crock pot on my wish list for a while. And I love craigslist (I got my microwave, kitchen chairs, and even my first job at this company from CL!) But until this post, I hadn't thought about using it for basic kitchenwares.

Tonight, I'm picking up my deluxe, highly reviewed, never-used crock pot from a CL post ($25, down from $50 retail). So thank you for the idea! My fingers are crossed that this works out and I can't wait to cook winter yumminess! I think my post-Christmas CL purchase will be the breadmaker I've been coveting...

Sparkle said...

Jess, you make a great point! I was just thinking how funny my own laptop computer purchase from craigslist went down with the father of the kid selling it eventually meeting me in the parking lot of a local Mac store (my idea after having said Mac store inspect it), and my frustration that he refused to write me a small receipt (for $700, something I DID write off on my taxes)... now my story sounds pretty funny too, but the computer has had no problems whatsoever in the 17 months I've owned it thus far, despite my boyfriend (now fiance)'s naysaying about the whole idea. It's true though, I much prefer to have him handle a final transaction when I'm the seller..

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