It started because both Maggie and Declan had played the XBox over at friend’s house. Maggie played GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and Declan played some WWI game. Further, our Wii became a Netflix player after my niece thought it was a candy machine, putting two nickels and a quarter into the disc slot in hopes of getting a piece of candy or gum. No candy appeared and now more games. But the Wii continued to stream video.
Maggie raised the issue of buying an XBox daily. I agreed to pitch in a third of the cost. It was up to Declan and Maggie to raise the additional funds. With a high potential for earnings from babysitting, Maggie was worried about Declan raising his funds for the joint venture. She pestered him about how much he had raised and how he planned on raising the additional monies. I had told them that a new XBox was around $360, so they each needed about $120 to purchase a new console. I actually don’t know how much they cost new, but it sounded right.
Then I had the stroke of genius to look on eBay and Craigslist. Maggie was skeptical of this proposition. “I don’t like those websites,” she proclaimed, having never seen anything on them. That wall came tumbling down by simply showing her a few of the postings on eBay, which were selling for around $150. Her mantra became, “Set your alarm so you can bid on it with 30 seconds left.” After three failed attempts, we were sniped with one second to go, I went on Craigslist and found a few.
I was in communication with two sellers. One east and one west from us. Puppy training is about 30 miles west. The west seller had a bundle of games, controllers, and Kinnect. The bundle and the proximity to puppy training tilted the deal in his/her favor.
In my experience with buying and selling on Craigslist, most communication, including negotiation occurs via email or text. By the time the meetup had been scheduled I had a pretty good idea of what price would be agreed upon, which was a bit less than his “very firm” price.
The meetup was at an Albertson’s next to a middle school, which, after meeting the seller, I believe he was still attending. It was a hot day and I circled the parking lot trying to find a shady spot to keep Bear as a functioning animal. Bear got to walk around a bit. I did not feel he was old enough to help out on a Craigslist meetup. After being stuffed back into the semi shaded car, I went to the entrance and got the message that the seller was heading over with his friend, who was riding a skateboard. Middle schoolers.
After he unpacked everything from his backpack, I examined the console with furrowed brow, pointed out every smudge on the game discs, and frowned at the kinnect unit. Then I called Maggie. I told her I was checking out the XBox. Hoping he couldn’t hear her excitement, I responded in a disappointing tone that it wasn’t in the box and there were some scratches on the disc. I’m not sure why I actually called her. I should have just called my voicemail or the home phone, which is technically Dec’s phone now, or any “dead” number to get a machine on the other end. Off the phone I offered him ten percent under his list price, which he quickly agreed upon (damn, I should have offered twenty percent below his list), and I went to the ATM in the store and got two bags from a checker to load the unboxed XBox and accessories into.
I hurried back to the partially shaded minivan loaded with product and was thankful to find Bear still breathing. To complete ownership to Maggie and Dec, and to keep with electronic shopping, $60 was transferred from their accounts to mine.
Preview: Declan has a lot of Legos!