If you know me well, you know Craigslist is to me what Amazon is to most people. I’ve successfully bought and sold many things on Craigslist: cars, couches, bicycles, grills, books, etc. My mission this time was to purchase a new set of bedroom furniture. After searching through the ads, I found a set I wanted to look at. Either because it would save us a bunch of money or just to shut me up, my wife agreed to look at the set as well.
We set up a day and time to drive over and take a look. As we were about to leave our house, I received a call from a friend inviting me to a baseball game at eleven o’clock that morning. My thought was we could look at the furniture at 10:00, then be downtown for the game by 11:00. We loaded up the two kids of ours that weren’t in school and headed across town to look at the furniture in person. After looking things over we decided we would take it. At 10:30, it looked like a beautiful day of baseball awaited us, we just needed to get this furniture home first.
As we moved the furniture down the stairs. I swear it was growing larger and getting heavier with each step. As we loaded up the van, it became clear that only a few of the pieces were going to fit. At this point, I decided we should take a few pieces of furniture home, then rent a truck from Home Depot for a second trip. As far as the status of the game was concerned, it looked like we may miss the first three innings.
We hopped in the van to take first load home and the van wouldn’t start. Apparently keeping the van doors open, with DVD player on, quickly drains the battery. The sellers were nice enough to jump our van for us. A minor 20 minute setback.
After unloading the van of furniture, my wife, and my children, I headed to Home Depot to rent a truck. Surprisingly, they only wanted a $25 deposit and copy of my insurance to use one of their trucks. It was an easier process and less invasive than buying Sudafed from Walgreen’s. Finally, I got the truck back across town, only to realize the furniture still was not going to fit. Not wanting to chance the dresser mirror in the back of truck, I knew I would need a third trip. Any chance of me taking my kids to a baseball diamond that day was looking slim.
Back at the seller’s house, I loaded up most of items, and as I drove away, I noticed a bit more wind than earlier in the day. A few minutes later, a gust of wind blew the dresser part of the way out of the truck, taking a good size chunk of wood with it. I pulled into the nearest hardware store and bought every bungee cord they had to hold it down. After a long, slow drive, I finally made it home. As I was pulling in my driveway, I received a text from my friend telling me the game just ended.
Once home, the furniture looked bigger than it did before. My friends and I struggled getting pieces into the house. As we tried to carry the 250 pound armoire up the narrow stairway to the master bedroom, it got stuck. We went down the stairs and back up again and it got stuck again. For two hours we tried. In the process, we scraped the walls. dented the furniture (again), removed the handrail off the stairwell, and even took a piece off of the top of the furniture, only to get it stuck once again.
After two hours I sent him home, us both feeling defeated. I made one last trip to the seller’s house to pick up the mirror. Later that evening, ten hours after this ordeal started, I called another friend of mine to help. After another hour of trying, still no luck.
For two weeks I stared at that armoire, every day I would walk past it my blood pressure would rise. We decided to put the entire set back on Craigslist, slightly reducing the price due to the damages we caused to the furniture. Eventually it sold. The young couple we sold it to got a good laugh as I told them the story of why we only owned the furniture for a couple of weeks. I told them as much as I liked the furniture, I couldn’t wait to never see it again.
As frustrating as the entire situation was, I did learn a couple of things that day:
1. Unlike Amazon, Craigslist has NO return policy.
2. If you get a chance to take your kids to a baseball game instead of doing something you think is productive, ALWAYS choose the baseball game.