Second Hand Buying: The Chess Set Continued

by Sandy L on July 22, 2011

So after my little rant the other day, I thought I’d update you on my little craig’s list adventure.   Mr. Chess set guy did come back to me with a price that was $5 lower than his original offer. Due to sheer laziness (he was in town and the others were a drive), I decided to go with the local guy.  Since it would be hard to get a decent new set at this lower price, I decided to go with him after all and I’m so glad I did.

The guy is a young Russian immigrant and an avid chess player.  He got laid off from his job last year and is moving to Canada with his wife because he finally landed a new assignment.  He had been coveting this particular chess set for some time and when he finally got around to buying it for himself, his wife ended up buying the exact same one for him as a surprise gift. He said he started playing at age 7 and was in tournaments by age 12.     I’m so glad that I bought it from him instead of  a big retail store.  It was a win/win situation.   I’m also glad I didn’t give him unsolicited advice about his statement around losing money.   He was a very nice guy and I’m happy I didn’t ruin my chances of doing a sale with him.

My son's B-day Present

In the end, I did end up finding the exact model he sold me and it’s retailing for $70, so it is indeed a good deal at $25 for the size set it is and it’s still brandy new in the box.

Lesson learned.  I’ve got to remember that not everyone is in my situation.  Yes, some people are using Craig’s list for de-cluttering but others are doing it to raise money they desperately need.  Some people are parting with cherished possessions to be able to pay the bills.  The whole transaction was humbling.  From now on, I’m going to try to be a little more empathetic. I’ll still try to get a deal, but with a little less edginess.

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle July 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I sold a car on Craiglist a year and a half ago or so, and it was completely discouraging as I was getting stupid offer after stupid offer (and dumb questions sprinkled in just for kicks) and was about an hour away from just pulling the ad when someone e-mailed, and I could tell was different. She was looking to buy a car that she could use and eventually pass on to her son who was coming into driving age, she was local, she was awesome when we met in person, and she handled every bit of the transaction above and beyond what I had possibly hoped for. Sometimes Craigslist makes you sift through a bunch of bad before you find someone truly good. Glad to hear you had an experience that not only yielded a chess set, but also some food for thought.

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Sandy L July 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Money Beagle – yeah, I love when the relationship clicks like that. I sold my car to a girl going away to college. She and her dad were shopping together. It was so cute.

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Teresa Grabowski July 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Up here where I am in Canada I frequent Kijiji (means village in Swahilli) . It run’s like Craigs list. I have been burned a few times.But overall Ihave come out ahead and been pleased with the assortment of items I have purchased.

As an example ,I purchased at the beginning of May, a new to me wooden kitchen table and 6 chairs. (Immaculate condition, used as a dining room set by a couple with no children).I asked why they were selling. The woman mentioned it was the first item they were selling to raise funds for the two years they were going to Bolivia to work in a woman’s shelter, she as a counsellor , her husband as the building maintenance person. I was so impressed I actually gave her a donation for their work. When the official receipt was sent to me it showed a greater amount donated , they had included a portion of the amount I had paid for the set. Gem of a lady, she gave me a loaf of homemade bread to take home.

When leaving her home,at the end of her street I took a “wrong” turn. I told myself the first person I saw I would stop and ask for directions. The person I saw and stopped was a friend that I had lost touch with in recent years, this area of town was no where near where she or I lived. She happenned to be there on an election day to assist with an election.

What a delightful surprise, we have reestablished our friendship in recent months. All because of a serendipitous meeting through Kijiji.

I also purchased a 20.5 foot leather sectional (down filled/ high end) with matching chair and ottoman for $650.00 delivered. It’s amazing, I have a large family room that I needed a large piece for and to seat the 6 of us.

When I brought that home my husband stated ” You have out done yourself this time.!”

I love the hunt, the stories of the sellers and the good pricing ( no taxes).

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Sandy L July 22, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Teresa – I definitely think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy shopping the second hand market so much. There are a few losers out there but for the most part, I do love the stories that come with the stuff and of course the thrill of the hunt.

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Niki July 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM

You have the best Craigslist experiences.

I love that chess set and it has a great story.

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Sandy L July 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Niki – yeah, this was a great one.

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Nicole July 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Awww!

So very much like an O’Henry story. I wonder why they couldn’t have returned one of them to the store.

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Sandy L July 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Nicole – I know. Who would’ve thunk the story would end up this way. I think losing the shipping costs both ways was a deterrent. The set is big and heavy. It’s not something that was purchased locally but online.

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Mutant Supermodel July 22, 2011 at 1:18 PM

LOL! That’s awesome. I love when these sorts of events unfold.

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Molly On Money July 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM

My favorite is when I’m trying to give something away on CL for free, like water iris’s. I always get that one person that calls several times (ya know, follow up questions!), promises to come by, calls that she/he is lost, gets the same clear directions (but tries to listen this time without interrupting me by telling me how to get to my house), gets lost again and goes home and than calls again to see if she/he could try again. This has happened more than once!

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Sandy L July 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Molly – Ugh, I know. It happened to me too. It’s always the ones that are the most desperate to get the stuff that end up being the no shows.

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kh July 22, 2011 at 8:58 PM

“Lesson learned. I’ve got to remember that not everyone is in my situation. Yes, some people are using Craig’s list for de-cluttering but others are doing it to raise money they desperately need. Some people are parting with cherished possessions to be able to pay the bills. The whole transaction was humbling. From now on, I’m going to try to be a little more empathetic. I’ll still try to get a deal, but with a little less edginess.”

Which, I guess, is the whole point I was trying to make, but less elegantly. :)

Congrats on a good deal – in every sense of the word.

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Sandy L July 23, 2011 at 6:14 AM

KH – I thought of you as I was writing this post. I can be stubborn and opinionated, but I’d like to think I do admit it when I have a change of heart on something.

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Everyday Tips July 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I am so glad you shared the follow up to this story. I am also so glad you bought the chess set from this man. I love learning about other people’s lives, and I am glad your money went to him. It is funny how once you know the back story of something, money doesn’t matter nearly as much.

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frugalscholar July 25, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Hope more good thrift karma comes to you.

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gbuddha2012 September 5, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Buying second hand is very patriot… not only is it buying American no matter where the product is made (because it has already been bought firsthand) – but because
it is cheaper and keeps money here…

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