Friday, August 24, 2007


So I am trying to buy a dining room table off of Craigslist. To get a second opinion, I sent the posting to my friend Mary Byrne. Rather than try to tell the story, I'll let it tell itself. Below is our e-mail exchange yesterday afernoon:

Me: "What's the most you would pay for a used but BEAUTIFUL dining room table? It's got a butterfly leaf and 4 chairs, all a pretty rich cherry color. I am having table envy from this guy on Craigslist. He has what I want but it's too much. It has to be gone tomorrow and so I am hoping he'll drop his price in desperation. I've been emailing him all week asking if he can come down. So far, no good."

MB: "I paid $XXX bucks for my dining set: table plus 4 chairs but it was a cheap-o set I had to assemble. How much does he want for it? Send me the link so I can see, please!"

Me: "I really want it!!! There is one just like it (darker but no leaf) at Target that was on sale but isn't anymore and with delivery is more expensive than this one. Do you think if I got him to come down to $(amount I want to pay) that it's a good deal? Where did you get your set?"

MB: "Here is my set - from American Signature Home. I had to assemble it. I think $(his asking price) is too much for that table on Craigslist, considering you can get a brand new one for less somewhere else."

Me: "No kidding. He told me yesterday that he had 3 people coming to look at it and I guess none of them bought because it's back on Craigslist today. I think if I got him to agree to $(amount I want to pay), and I didn't have to pay someone to deliver or assemble the thing myself, I'd be happy."

MB: "Just tell him that you won't pay a dime over that - and I wouldn't - because you could get something brand new for a similar price. You'd just have to assemble it but that's no big deal- I could help you with that."

Me: "Ha - what CAN'T you help me do MB? You're superwoman." (Note: Mary Byrne is who took me to get gas to no avail, jumped off my car to no avail and helped purchase then install a new car battery last week.)

MB: "We installed a car battery!! We can certainly put together a table."

Me: "Why don't you email him and pretend to be me. Start off offering $(really low offer) in cash."

MB: "Why don't I pretend to be someone totally different and offer him $(really really low offer)- then your $(amount I want to pay) will look like a good offer!"(Note: I like that MB would have to "pretend" to be someone other than me.)

Me: "Do it. See if you can get him to meet you in the middle at $(really low offer). Say you can buy a new one for $(his asking price) and that there are people selling 7 piece dining sets on here for that much. His is 5 piece. If he randomly agrees to anywhere between $(really really low offer and amount I want to pay), I'll just say I'm you when I pick it up."

MB e-mails Tableman: "Is your table in good shape? Any scratches? Where is it from? I am willing to pay $(really really low offer). Would you be interested in coming down on the price? $(His asking price) sounds a bit high for a used table set. I could pick up tonight or tomorrow afternoon."

Tableman replies to MB: "I'm sorry. But this table is only a year old. It's in great shape. I won't take less than $(his asking price)."

Me to MB: "What if he can’t find anyone to buy it for that much? He needs to get a grip. Wonder how much he originally paid for it."

MB replies to Tableman: "Why so much? Where is it from?"

MB to Me: "It looks just like a table from Target I’ve seen before. I’m sure he didn’t pay more than $(his asking price) for it. If he REALLY wanted to sell it he would take $(amount I want to pay). He probably can’t find anyone to buy it for $(his asking price). Stand your ground! He’ll come through eventually."

Me to MB: "It looks just like the table from Target that I WANT but they are out of. I know he can’t find anyone to buy it – he told me yesterday 3 people were coming to look at it. Three people make trips to his house to see it and no one buys it? Not to mention all the emails I bet he’s gotten. So should I email him again and say $(amount I want to pay) and not a penny more?"

MB to Me: "Have you spoken with him on the phone? I’d wait until this evening and try contacting him again. Let it sit a while longer so he gets nervous about selling it. Tell him that you have $(amount I want to pay) in cash and that you would come pick it up TONIGHT and then he won’t have to worry about selling it before moving. It’s a win-win situation. The idiot needs to understand what a “moving sale” is!"

Me to MB: "I haven’t. I wonder if it really needs to go by Friday or if he is saying that to hurry to get someone to take it. Good plan. I will call him tonight. I wish he would go $(really low offer). It's not my fault that you overpaid for the table in the first place, pal."

Tableman replies to MB: "$(His asking price) is what it is worth. You can buy it brand new for $(original purchase price - $45 more than what he is asking, by the way) at Furniture Store, but you will have to have it delivered which will cost over $100 or go pick it up in Chattanooga which will cost you $100 in gas."(Note: $100 in gas to get to Chattanooga and back? What does he drive, a bus?!)

MB to Me: "Just wait, Tableman will hate me so much that he’ll LOVE you."

Me to MB: "He told me it came from a retailer in TX. I’ll give you $20 to ask him what dumpster or salvation army he is planning to take it to when he has to move and it hasn’t sold for $(his asking price)."

MB to Me: "Haha, be careful what you dare me to do for $20! You can’t sell something at face value that is a year old! Duh!"

MB replies to Tableman: "I see. If you still can’t sell it before you move maybe we can work out a win-win situation. That way I’ll feel like I got a good deal and you could get the table off your hands. That’s what moving sales are all about!"

Me to MB: "You are so funny. I think I am going to blog about this."

Stay tuned to see who wins the Battle of the Table.


  1. good read. good luck. table envy is a wicked sickness.

  2. good job to both of you! I know who I'm calling when I need to hassle an ameteur used furniture salesman!


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