Tuesday, December 6 , 2016, 6:55 am | Mostly Cloudy 45º


Paul Burri: Selling Stuff on Craigslist, and the Dumb Questions People Ask

I have been selling some stuff on Craigslist lately. I keep on being amazed and amused by some of the dumb questions people ask about the things I have for sale. On the other hand, I have a lot of fun answering dumb questions with equally dumb answers. Here are a few of my favorite dumb questions and answers.

“Why are you selling this?”

“Why are you buying it?”

“I heard that you needed one and so I immediately listed it on Craigslist.”

“I bought this thing and it’s a piece of crap, so I thought I’d unload it on some other sucker.”

“It doesn’t work worth a damn so I need to get rid of it.”

“What’s the least you’ll take for it?”

“One dollar, but it’s not for sale at that price.”

“What’s the most you’ll pay for it?”

“What’s the most you’ll offer me after I tell you the least I’ll take for it?”

It also amazes me how many people call me to ask if I still have a particular item, want to know all about it — including the two questions above — and then never come to look at it. (Maybe it’s because of the dumb answers I give them?) Still, if you need such-and-such an item and the picture looks good and the price is in your ballpark, why not take a look at it?

What also amazed me was the woman who was interested in a nice wooden, two-drawer file cabinet that I had for sale at a very reasonable price. (Pictures of it along with its dimensions were posted on Craigslist.) She drove about 70 miles to see it, agreed to buy it, paid me for it — and then at the last minute suddenly discovered that it wouldn’t fit into her Lexus. Duh! What part of plan ahead don’t you understand, lady? Perhaps when I get ready to sell my elephant, someone will come look at it on a bicycle.

(Then she drove another 70 miles back home without the file cabinet.)

The above reminds me about the recent hurricane disaster, Sandy, on the Eastern Seaboard. It seems that during the midst of it all, they had to evacuate Bellevue Hospital in New York City because all the power had been lost to the building.

What about the emergency generators, you ask? Well, they are located on the 12th floor of the building to isolate them from any possible flooding. Good thinking, right? But the pumps that pump fuel to them are located in the basement. And guess what? In the middle of the storm, the pumps got flooded and quit working, and thus the generators also quit when they ran out of fuel. What brilliant engineer designed that system?

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer, guerrilla marketer and iconoclast. He is available to local organizations for speaking engagements and to local businesses for business consulting and/or mentoring. The opinions and comments in this column are his alone and do not reflect the opinions or policies of any outside organization. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous Paul Burri columns. Follow Paul Burri on Twitter: @BronxPaul.

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