Tis the season to be stupid…

In all fairness, stupidity is apparently season-less. But my particular gripe is currently reserved for those idiots who haven’t the foggiest idea how to conduct business on Craigslist or Ebay. However, before I go into detail, I must say there are two classes of idiots: there are those selling the goods and there are those buying the goods.

First of all, if you’re going to buy products on Ebay or Craigslist, you’ve really got to ask yourself what it is you’re trying to accomplish. If your goal is to spend as much money as you’ve got, then by all means carry on.

If, however, you’re looking for a bargain, then shouldn’t you first do your homework to see what the going rate is for the particular item you’re trying to buy? One could rationally deduce that a bargain is getting an item for less than the going rate of retail. But an item might be priced the same as elsewhere. But the combination of free shipping and zero taxes could also help to make something appear as a bargain. But under no circumstances would I ever consider a bargain to consist of paying more  for an item along with jumping through more hoops. That just seems silly to me.

Despite my plea to rational thought, I never cease to be amazed at the copious quantity of people who routinely bid more than retail on an item on Ebay. Perhaps they’re simply caught up in the competitive aspect of outbidding another. I’ll leave some room for that possibility. But if you’re an adrenaline junky, you might be better suited to other vents– possibly Online Poker or something else where you might have a chance of coming out on top.

Then there are those individuals trying to market their leftovers, castaways or simply trying to sell off their possessions during such difficult economic times. Please do me a favor and do a little research before you list your items. If, for example, you purchased a TV for $599 a year ago and that same TV or a newer model is now available for $399, you shouldn’t price your TV for what you previously paid. Nor should you price it at the current price. A used, aged TV should sell under the retail value, not at or above it.

And this is just based on a recent experience. I’ve been trying to pick up a used or refurbished Macbook Pro or Macbook Air for a while now. But I cannot get over how people are expecting to get several hundreds of dollars more than what one can be bought off the Apple site. Do they seriously believe that people don’t look there? They must. And evidently there must be people who refuse to look before buying.

Another area of gripe for me is in the area of responsiveness. If you’re going to list an item for sale and truly wish to sell it, then please use an email address that you’re going to actually monitor. I cannot tell you how many times I will get a response to an inquiry several days after I’ve made it, only to hear that the person “rarely checks” that particular address. Well, then use a different address, Stupid!

Despite these pet peeves, I still find it rather useful to live in such a day and age where good deals can be found. The other night, my youngest got a bit reckless playing a game of Wii bowling and decided to disobey one of the family rules– to use the tether on the remote. Contrary to popular belief, those warnings aren’t a myth. He actually did launch that remote through the family room TV.

Well, after dealing with swapping out a transmission on my 2007 Explorer, swapping out the breaks, swapping out the passenger side front bearing assembly and giving it its first tune-up in 130,000 miles, I was simply in no mood to buy another TV. Fortunately, Craigslist revealed needier folks than me.  I was actually able to pickup a nice 42″ Sony Bravia LCD for a mere $150. That’s a tough deal to pass up.

Anyway, stupid is as stupid does, according to Forrest Gump. So stop doing stupid things if you buy and sell online.

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