In the last few weeks, I’ve really kicked my craigslist vintage shopping into high gear. I’ve been checking a few craigslist-like sites for vintage shit on an almost daily basis, and the results have actually been great. I’ve scored some really neat things at good prices but what is most noteworthy is that a few of the recent craigslist interactions have not been total fuck-arounds. Astounding, I know, but true.
First, several weeks ago I contacted a guy about some beautiful old vintage tins he had for sale. There were very reasonably priced, and the seller ended up being a very interesting guy who was knowledgeable about a great many things, and his house was absolutely full of beautiful old stuff. Virtually everything I looked at was worthy of consideration. He was happy to show me a bunch of his neat stuff, and we commiserated about the trials and tribulations of dealing with craigslist dickheads. He hated them at least as much as me, possibly even more, so that was funny. I probably spent close to an hour just BS-ing with the guy. What a welcomed change that was from the usual craigslist freaks one must contend with.
Something this first guy said really resonated with me. He said he had accumulated tons of this vintage stuff throughout his life, and now as he is getting older, he decided it is better to sell it to ensure it gets into the hands of new owners who will hopefully cherish it as much as he did, rather than hold onto the stuff until he dies. Because when you die, he pointed out, your family doesn’t care about your vintage cookie tins. They’ve got a whole damn house to clean out before they can head back to Vancouver so they’re going to toss everything that is not obviously valuable in the trash. To someone like himself who cares about those items, that’s a sad waste of beautiful things. So, this fellow reasoned, he’d rather sell it now, make someone happy, and use the money to do something fun like take a trip at the end of the year. I loved it. Sage wisdom.
Second good recent experience: I posted something for free on the local used stuff site about a week ago and instead of the usual “gimme gimme gimme” responses that never follow up, someone came and picked the items up when they said they would. Wow!! They even emailed me afterward to thank me and tell me how sweet our dog was. That was lovely of them.
And third, today I had an experience similar to the first one I just mentioned. I bought a bunch of vintage xmas decorations from an older couple and spent about 30 minutes with them, chatting about the family history of the decorations I was buying — how and where they hung them, who in the family liked them most, how carefully her mother put them away each year, etc. They also took the time to show me how to set them up, which I really appreciated since some of these things were like a Rubick’s Cube. I ended up telling the old couple what the first guy had told me about getting these things into the hands of people that appreciate them instead of leaving it behind to get thrown out, and the old couple agreed wholeheartedly. So it’s been nice to connect with a few people through craigslist that I have some things in common with.
However, it’s not all roses, of course. The items I gave away for free to the grateful person were two partially used natural deodorants — it was sort of an experiment to see if anyone would actually want used deodorant (one time, Bill gave away a half-used bag of kitty litter and I always found that gross and wanted to outdo him) or if the ad would get pulled over breaking some kind of ‘no used personal hygiene items’ rule. So that was kind of interesting.
Don’t put anything past a hippie, I learned.
And I did have a bad experience with some clown who had a cool old vintage vase that I wanted but they were terribly inconsistent about replying to emails, took multiple emails to give me the info I asked for right at the start, and then never answered their phone or responded to text messages. At one point in the middle of our two-week long back-and-forth, they apologized for their tardy reply and said they had been dealing with a family emergency for the last several days. I’ve been pretty clear on how I feel about the old ‘family emergency’ bullshit craigslist excuse so I pretty much gave up on the stupid fucks (shout out to golda for that little gem) after that.
THE FUCKING VASE I WANT. JUST GIVE IT TO ME, PLEASE.
But shit, you can’t win ’em all, and with three good recent craigslist experiences, I really can’t complain. I’ll save that until next week when things go right back down the shitter in the usual craigslist fashion.