08 May 2011

haunted by a craigslist ghost

I'm not a big fan of the term "fail",
but this one has been haunting me for a couple weeks now.

For a while I was a little too addicted to searching craigslist ads.
Thanks to my droid phone,
I'd check it a couple times a day.
If you do this,
you realize there are things basically given away,
by sellers that don't realize what they've gotten.

Sometimes these ads only last 20 minutes or an hour or so.
This one hurt.

perfect craigslist ad

Its tough to see,
but if you enlarge the picture,
a purple title will read...
"stereo power amplifier"

These are the best ads to check out.

So clicking on it this popped up.

craigslist audiophile holy grail

If you enlarge this photo,
you will see an amplifier,
wood sides, big black VU meters, beefy connectors.
Also you will see a phone number.

More importantly,
the time listed was 5:32 PM.
I actually saw this ad about 5:45 PM,
probably one of the first people to catch it.

So what did I do.

I text the guy.
If he knows how to post, he should text right?

I study online to find out what it is.
in about 7 minutes I realized it was something super cool.
An Accuphase p-300v amplifier,
from about 1987 or so.


accuphase p-300v -yep.

A 180 watts per channel monster amplifier,
built by a (once) subsidiary of Kenwood
 to rival McIntosh and other high-end companies.

accuphase p300v rear - a match!

Holy chit.
For $40!
Why the hell didn't I call the number right off the bat!

accuphase p-300v nudie shot

So I call the number, now its 5:53pm.
An older mexican dude answers.
Says "Yeah we're selling it, but a guy is coming over at 7pm!..."
I also find out his son had listed a bunch of stuff for him.

And here's where I drop the ball the 2nd time.

I've been in this situation enough times to know what to do.
 1 - ask if you can meet at similar time
 2 - offer the guy more money
 3 - if he refuses, tell him its worth more money...

I've been on the way to look at stuff,
and the seller will call and say "oh i'm going to relist it for more money"
or a couple other variations.
I've been at someone's house and the wife comes out and says -
"honey, a caller says he'll give you $xxx for it..."
Yes I have gotten a few great deals, but I have lost or paid more for them as well.

For some reason, probably karma,
 I just told him I'd call him at 7pm if he didn't sell it.
Dumb ass!
Than I went and played "Butt's Up" with my kids for almost an hour thinking about it.
I did try calling him back a little later but it went direct to voicemail.
He did call back and say it was gone though, about 7:08.

I beat myself up for it all night.
Talked to a friend (McIntosh addict) Chip that made me feel even more like a dumbass.
Thanks Dude!
He's laughing cause its been 3 weeks and I'm still thinking about it!

The worst part is the son left the ad up for a couple days after that!
I searched CL using their phone number,
and they were selling a washer, dryer, junk for twice or more the amount of the amp!
Wonder how many calls he got telling him he screwed up!
Oh well.

Its not totally about the money.
Sure it was worth way more,
but I wouldn't have resold it,
probably would spend more money to find a pre-amp to actually use it.

The real problem was recounting each step of how an easy win turned into an epic fail.
For a while,
I loved to play poker at a card room in Ventura - the Player's Club.
I played enough to know how to win,
but I got played enough to know how to win!
There's a "not good" feeling that you get in your gut when you lose,
and you are able to recount every mistake that you made to get in that predicament.
Like a monkey getting shocked when pushing the food button.

old days winning a Player's Club tournament...

So anyway the miss has helped me.
Now I don't check CL nearly as much,
and the weeks after I really powered out on my own projects.
I've also gotten rid of a bunch of junk,
either sold it or just left it in the alley,
just to clear my head of some clutter I guess.

Sometime's you gotta eat chit to poop, right!


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