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Posts Tagged ‘Barter’

Craig’s list, the internet commerce phenomenon (www.craigslist.com), is a regular internet bazaar of secondary goods. I frequently consult Craig’slist when looking for a random used, cheaper version of this or that. The site is awesome for finding almost anything, from goats (seriously, $60 well spent), to Harley Davidson’s. What I’d like to illuminate for you all today, however, by taking you on a tour of sorts that dares to venture off the beaten path of simple quid pro quo, is the bizarre and awesome world of the Craig’slist underground.

Stop 1: The Free Listings

Craig’s List includes a section of things that are free. Good deal right? In theory, this would save you the trouble of having to dispose of something, and could result in you providing some degree of happiness to a stranger if you’re into that kind of thing. I recently listed an old mattress that I happen to still have laying around my apartment. I have had the terrible luck of having to correspond with perhaps the most particular connoisseurs of free mattresses in history. The body of potential buyers (but not really, its free) has thrown my way a plethora of very particular inquiries concerning the mattress that I am trying to give away, mind you, for free. Its been 3 days and I still have my 1980’s Sealy. The mattress is a pretty standard listing but its “free stuff” listing companions are a bit more laughable. One of many awesome items for (not) sale:

Kids Size Large Pocahontas Shirt

Kids Size Large.
Clean
Has Pocahontas on the front.

I contacted the seller.

Dear Craig’s Lister: Sorry for staring, but I couldn’t pass up your free Pocahontas shirt on Craig’s list. I do have a few questions however. 1) Approximately how many times has the shirt been worn? 2) What is the diameter of the chest portion of the shirt, measured in decimeters, armpit to armpit? 3) What kind of detergents has the shirt been subjected to during its existence? If there has been more than four different types, or one of the less than four types was Bounty, I am no longer interested. 4) Would you consider sweeting the deal a little bit and throwing in some other piece of Disney related memorabilia…I am very interested but I’m not sure if I will have the available funds to acquire your shirt. Please mail me a letter in response.

Stop 2: Barter

The assortment of goods in the “barter” subheading, while less eclectic than the selection in the “free” category, still provides solid entertainment. What interests me here isn’t quite the goods themselves, but rather the equivalences specified by the listers (e.g. will trade x for y). Like a game of redneck word association, the barter section plays out just like you think it would. Here are a few of my favorites:

Have Freezer Want Shotgun.

Chain Link Fence for Wood Heater.

Mink Fur Jacket for Treadmill (or anything interesting of equal value).

Rosetta Stone Spanish Set for Gold Rings.

1 Year Old Male Husky for X Box

I couldn’t pass up the mink coat…but I myself have an endgame.

Dear Craig’slist Barterer: Hello. I am so happy to have come accross your listing. I have this treadmill in my basement, and I have been wanting to get rid of it in exchange for a fur coat made of mink. How convenient is this? P.S. If you know anyone who wants a mink fur coat, I would be interested in trading it for a shotgun. I need to kill my neighbor’s husky (won’t stop barking), I wish he would have invested in an Xbox in stead…and after that i’m going to need a freezer. Gracias. I learned that one on Rosetta Stone.

Stop 3: Missed Connections

Have you ever creepily stared and/or followed someone with the intention of talking to and/or killing them later, but your ambitions were foiled by that person’s timely exit from the wal-mart or split second decision to board a subway train? Missed connections is the solution to your problem. It exists to help people who have had a moment in public but never managed to build a bond of mutual recognition re-connect. In my casual perusing of the m4w (men four? women) section, which was an easy choice over m4m, w4m, and w4w, as desperate men have a nasty habit of being worthy of being stared at, I came across some very legitimate attempts at re-connecting. Here’s one of many:

Hottie at Taco Bell – m4w – 27

“I saw you this past Saturday at the Taco Bell on Gaines School Rd. You were with two little girls and a woman whom I think was your Mom. You were so damn sexy, I could barely eat my food because I couldnt stop staring at you. I remember you saying something about not going to the movies, because one of the little girls was acting up. If you remember, I was the young black male sitting adjacent from you. If you remember me. tell me who I was with at the time. I hope you see this and write me back if you do.”

From what I can gather, this guy’s thought process goes a bit like this: “Sorry for staring, but…well actually not sorry for staring. You know, I shouldn’t say hey to her…I should just go post something on missed connections…I hope she remembers that I was sitting with Bill Clinton..”

Sorry for staring, Craigslist, but I bet you didn’t quite have something so awesome in mind when you started. Congratulations, from me to you.

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