A number of months ago, I spotted a 6 ft long (27 cu ft) chest freezer posted for $50. That’s a great deal and I jumped all over it. When I called, I asked if it worked well and if there were any problems with it. The girl told me it had a little rust on the top but that it worked fine and had no problems. There was no picture, so I wanted to make sure that everything worked well. In my haste, my probing fell a little short.
After about a 20 minute drive, I showed up and backed into the driveway. When I got out of the van and started walking towards the garage, there sitting up against the wall was the rustiest, ugliest chest freezer my eyes have ever seen. Part of me wanted to laugh. The other part of me wanted to cry at the thought of how much this freezer could have been worth in great condition. In a straight face I told her I wouldn’t pay a nickle for the freezer. Before I could even take a step towards the the van, as if she knew what my response was going to be before I even arrived, she offered the freezer for free if I would haul it away. I said sure, already calculating how much 300 lbs of metal was worth. I got about $34 for it in scrap metal early the next morning.
When buying something on Craigslist, be very specific about your questions. Your time and gas are valuable. I was fortunate in this situation to make money on the scrap metal, but this was an exception. This lesson will be learned over time and it doesn’t just pertain to buying appliances. Whatever you buy, you cannot be specific enough in your questions. It’s the little details that make a big difference.