When I posted this Zenith 183-192 laptop, I gave its backstory as a laptop I wanted to turn into a writing laptop but never got around to fixing up that way, and said I was selling AS-IS. What I should have added, for all the app-based selling locations, was: if you’re seeing this ad, it’s available. Cash and local pick-up only. I still don’t understand the appeal of selling on new school social media platforms.
The “is it still available?” is a lazy, auto-fill response button.
It makes sense to have that question lead to a conversation where your social media ranking compares with my social media ranking in an age where we feel uncomfortable talking to strangers. It’s still difficult for me. I just keep the personal information out of the equation. I don’t give my cell phone number until we set a place and a time to sell the item. I’ll give my car’s make, model, and color if we’re meeting in a parking lot – I suggest a grocery store parking lot – unless we’re meeting somewhere like outside that grocery store or inside a shopping center.
I had three of these auto-responses before I sold the laptop.
One had asked me about payment options, and after I said cash and local pick-up only, he was disinterested. I should have asked what payment options he was thinking – beef jerky? social media subscribers? followers? – but I haven’t been thinking that quickly lately. I noticed that the ads I posted for this laptop on the social media-based apps had a few hundred views, which was more than the tens of views I’ve received from other things I’ve posted. When I used to buy things through, as soon as I saw an item, I’d start the ball rolling.
What’s the point of viewing it, waiting, and never reaching out?
I suppose it’s all part of this shy culture we have where we have to hide our emotions and true-selves behind avatars and apps that make it easier for us to reach out to others. I will admit it’s helped me and there are certainly times when it’s easier for me to send an email than to call someone or see them in person. We should be careful not to rely on these social crutches when we can make so much more progress by just cutting out the chase.
If you’re interested in something, go for it.
Even though craigslist uses an email buffer, so you sometimes don’t see what their real email is, you can still see their full name. When “Sam Kibwe” reached out, I did some research to find he was a high-ranking technologist at some company, and through our emails found he was difficult to communicate with for a meeting location and time. People are sometimes unintentionally stubborn. I started one email with “Well, like I said before,” which was the less politically correct version of “per my previous email,” because it was getting to the point where I would have rather sold the laptop to someone less persnickety.
The sale turned out well.
“Sam” was just that socially awkward sort, which I can certainly relate to, where it’s easy to read into things that aren’t there about him being rude when he’s just thinking of something. As I like to do when I sell off pieces from my collection to strangers, I asked him what his plans were for the laptop. He told me that he had another laptop that was dying on him and he wanted to get one of these two working again. I wished him well in that regard, wished that both laptops worked, and even in the rain, I sent the laptop off as best I could with a bag covering it from any rain.
I remember buying the laptop from a thrift store on a lunch break.
I never did get around to trying it out, and using it as a writing laptop would have been a funny sorta idea, but I’m rather glad the laptop went to someone that will try to use it for its intended purpose. These old computers I collected still have value to the right people. Just because I find no value in something doesn’t mean that there isn’t value at all to it. We just have to decide when that value has dissipated for ourselves that it is time to get rid of it. The laptop had sat untested for all those years. If I knew then that I wouldn’t have done anything with it, I wouldn’t have bought it, because even though I did end up making over double the price in profit, that was over five years of taking up space.
How much better could I have used that space?
The shelf it resided in for my first year living in the apartment-mansion is now filled with other miscellanea that I need to sort through to downsize, sell, or keep. The space it resided in within my selling staging area now has other items I’m looking to post or repost. It feels nice clearing out this space, and although I never follow up with the buyers about whether they were able to get my former possessions to work as they had intended during our meetings, it’s nice to have known these items for even that amount of time, because then I can remember them both here and in future visits to thrift stores.
It’s easier for me to decide before buying something now.
When I pick up things now, I ask myself about potential use cases before I take them to the register. With a laptop, would I want to write on it? If not, what would I use it for? Gaming? Accessing old files? I’m closing that old computer repair chapter of my life by selling all this old hardware, so laptops like this wouldn’t pique my interest as they did all those years ago.
Maybe, someday, buyers like “Sam” will see these essays?
|Quotes: Cited in-line.|
|Sources: My selling experiences.|
|Inspirations: I guess I’m writing about every item I sell now? I had wanted to write about how it’s silly that people just reach out with canned responses, so this is all amalgamations of my current selling experiences.|
|Related: Other Selling Zeal essays.|
|Photo: I took many more photos of this laptop from various angles, but I only had the energy to publish this one.|
|Written On: 2020 February 06 [11pm to 11:35pm. Dragon Quest Symphonic Suites.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 February 06 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|