Here’s What Happened When I Went to Buy a MacBook Pro Off Craigslist
I know. I shouldn’t have used Craig’s List. Been burned before.
But the asking price of the MacBook Pro supposedly in “like new condition” reduced down to just $600 under the bold headline “Must Sell Today” in the computers section appeared to be a bargain. In good shape, MacBook Pros usually fetch around $1,000. Brand new, they can run a couple of grand — which I don’t have laying around right now since it’s near the end of football season. Playoffs are coming up and money is my tool.
Last week, I started reading posts for used laptops. I’ve blasted through (and broken) about a dozen laptops over the past five years. I’ve ruined only one this year. Anyway, one can never have enough reliable laptops, especially if you spend much of your life online as I do. Moreover, I’ve been wanting to convert over to a Mac for quite a while. Owning a MacBook Pro is like having the Lexus of computers beneath your fingertips, and I’m both narcissistic and insecure enough to admit that I want a better, faster, and more expensive toy than my neighbors. Hey, I like to feel superior because I am superior.
The ad read — “no low ballers.” Well, I like playing deuce-to-seven on occasion, but also figure the seller isn’t talking poker and is trying to ward off cheapskates who want to bargain. “Price: $600 FIRM.”
I decided to text the guy, and he shot back an immediate reply: “It’s available. When do you want to see it?”
Here’s where the jousting began. I’ve cut and pasted the entire exchange. Not a word has been altered:
ME: I can meet you around 6 today. If the laptop is in good shape, I will give you $600 cash. Will that work?
SELLER: Yes, I can be at Smith’s inside at Starbucks at Hulapai and Charleston. Can you be there at 6?
[A tiny alarm bell goes off when the seller of a nice laptop wants to meet in a public place, at a grocery store. If he was confident in his product, and trustworthy, why would be not want to sell from his home?]
SELLER: I’ll be there at 6.
ME: Great. See you there.
[So, I enjoy the afternoon and then head over to the Smith’s location at 5:45. It’s a 10-minute drive, so I arrive promptly at 5:55, a few minutes before the scheduled meeting time. I wait 15 minutes before the texting begins.]
SELLER: (at 6:10) Hey are we going to meet?
ME: Yes. I’m here already. Where are you?
SELLER: I’m still at home. I’ll get the Mac and drive over.
ME: No problem — are you closeby?
SELLER: It’s about 20 minute drive.
ME: So, you want me to sit here for another 20 minutes? I told you I would be here at 6. You said you would be here at 6 — note your text above.
SELLER: I wasn’t sure you were coming.
ME: I said I WAS coming, didn’t I? We agreed on 6. It’s 6. I’m HERE.
(silence for 3 minutes)
ME: Forget it. You are wasting my time.
SELLER: Chill out dude. I’ll be right over.
ME: Okay. come over, but I won’t be here. If you can’t even follow simple instructions amnd (sic) agreement how the hell can I trust you know how to take care of an expensive laptop?
SELLER: Are you serious?
ME: Come to Smith’s now to see if I’m serious. You can watch my rear bumper get smaller and smaller. It will amaze you.
SELLER: Look, I’m getting the Mac now and can be there as fast as I can.
ME: Too late. You missed the boat, pal. It sailed in the ocean.
SELLER: I can’t believe this.
ME: Believe it.
SELLER: You need serious help.
ME: Please. Come watch my bumper get smaller and smaller. Like a magic trick.
SELLER: I’m out.
ME: Buy a wristwatch, pal. You’ve wasted enough of my fucking time.
SELLER: Get help. You’re ridiculous.
ME: By the way, thanks — big time.
SELLER: Thanks for what?
ME: For the blog article.
SELLER: WTF are you talking agout? (sic)
ME: Check out nolandalla.com, tomorrow — happy holidays.
SELLER: You were not serious. I cant believe you get all supset (sic) because I;m running a little late.
ME: Thanks again. I saved $600 from someone who can’t tell fucking time, and also got a column idea. Check it out, man. Happy New Year!