Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sketchy McSketcherson

Have any of you bought things off Craig's List? We have.

I got an amazing bike for $40 and on Memorial Day, we bought a TV. Not just any TV, either.

We'd been talking about buying a new TV for our bedroom. Ours is so old, we can't hook up our DVD player to it. We wanted a 32"er and something flatish. We were discussing spending around $500-600 for it. My bone of contention with this is that's about 1/4 of my Lasik I so desperately want. Don't get me wrong! I love TV. Love it. Can't stand to be without it. (Although the few times I have had to go without - I got a lot more reading done!) In our house, if someone's awake, the TV's on.

So Dave's been looking on Craig's List for a suitable TV. He's also been scanning the ads for 0% financing and such. (Our living room TV took a dive the day before we moved to CO. Dave found 0% for 3 years at one of the big electronics stores. We got a 42" flat screen and they gave us an XBox 360 for free!) So on Memorial Day, he finds someone on Craig's List is selling a 42" brand new Magnavox for an excellent price! Too good, in fact. He had me call the guy and ask why he was selling. I told Dave that was silly as the guy was going to give some lame excuse and if we wanted it we should just go buy it and not ask futile questions.

We had a tough time scrounging up that much cash as the banks weren't open for the holiday and the ATM will only cough up $300 per account. Luckily, I had some cash stashed in the house. (I can't believe I'm putting all this on the internet. If you're going to rob us, you should also know we're well armed and willing to use them!) We went to go pick up the TV and D was surprised that it was in a really expensive neighborhood. The house we pulled up to was easily worth half a million. Dave asked why the guy was selling (I inwardly groaned) and the guy said they already have 3 TV's and didn't need this one that they'd just bought. We gave them money, they gave us an enormous TV. Still in the unopened box with a price tag from Walmart that was double what we were paying!

On the way home, we wondered why they would buy this TV if they didn't need it and why not just return it if they didn't want it? I'm quite sure that TV "fell off a truck" but obviously have no way to prove it.

So here's the question of the day:
If you know something is stolen, do you buy it anyway? Apparently, we would. And truthfully, we don't know it's stolen, we are just assuming so.

The week before we bought my bike, there were notices posted around our neighborhood about someone's bike had been stolen. Whenever I ride my bike, I'm always nervous, wondering if the one we bought off Craig's List (and picked up across town) is the same bike.

Enjoying the big (and likely hot) screen, Ruth!


sophanne said...

what else could you do. It's a good person who doesn't assume the worst in people (even when you know they're lying) Maybe they're not.

Nell said...

As long as you don't KNOW it's stolen, then you aren't on the hook for it. But I would keep a copy of the craig's list ad just in case. Or at least the guy's phone number.

Thanks for the comment about the sweater! That's genius!!! All is saved!!!

Diane said...

If I knew something was stolen then no I wouldn't buy it. The actual cost of your great deal just gets passed on by the stores to other consumers who didn't buy something that fell off the truck.

I'm sure the people who bought a great car stero at a wonderful price enjoyed it very much .... probably more than I did replacing a smashed window and broken dashboard.

Yarnhog said...

An interesting question. If I knew something was stolen, I wouldn't buy it. If I suspected it was stolen, I would probably go to considerable efforts to find out whether it had been stolen before buying it, and wouldn't buy it if I believed it had been stolen. But I'm kind of a stickler. The one time I scraped someone's car in a parking lot, I left my name and number with a copy of my insurance info. The woman was so surprised when she called me, it made me sort of sad. I like to believe that people generally do the right thing, just because it's the right thing, but it seems that's not the case.

About your tv, though, just because it was cheap and the story seemed odd doesn't mean it was stolen. I know a lot of wealthy people, and I can think of several times people I know have done things like that. My husband once bought a beautiful, brand new chair from a woman we knew for $5. She had paid over $400 for it and then decided she didn't like it.

Rooie said...

It could be that this guy is in deep mortgage doo-doo and trying to scrape up money. (That was my first thought when you described the house and all.) It could be a nasty divorce. It could be that he has so much money that he just doesn't care.

I wouldn't worry about it too much.

janet said...

So maybe Craigs list is a fencing ground for stolen goods. You'll never know. I do know that some people simply do not make returns. Good luck for you. Hope the TV works.

Olga said...

I guess it would be bad if you tried to return it to Wally world and get the money- then I would frown deeply in disapprovel at your blog, but- since you have no way of proving it unless you demand he show you the sales slip- just enjoy LOST in the big screen.