It takes a special kind of courage to meet with someone you’ve only encountered on the internet. Or is it just recklessness?
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1. “Come into my basement…”
About three months ago, a guy posted an online ad for a free laptop. I figured it was broken, but I could fix it and maybe use it.
When I got to his house, he led me into his basement where I discovered he actually had about 200 laptops. He told me I could take as many as I wanted. I only took one, assuming they were stolen.
I later Googled the guys name and it turned out he ran a computer repair shop that went out of business. He was just a nice guy trying to give away thousands of dollars of free hardware. I still use the laptop. But it was really weird.
2. Slither in.
A guy sold me a computer desk and when I was loading it into my truck, a snake came out. He was trying to reverse shanghai his pet snake into being my responsibility!
3. Made in Manhattan.
I was buying some bicycle parts off a kid in Manhattan. I show up at the corner where we’re supposed to meet, and a guy walks up looking for someone. I assume it’s my guy and we start walking down the block and chatting.
Eventually he asks what he can do for me, and I’m like, “Im here for the crank arms?”
“The crank arms… wait, are you selling bike parts?”
Turns out that corner was double-booked for a drug deal too. The guy was nice though; we laughed it off and found the people we were there to meet.
4. Out of his shell.
Bought a turtle once on Craisglist. The girl who was selling it was very sad to be parting with her pet, which she’d had for over 10 years, but her parents were getting a divorce and her living situation was in transition.
Kept the turtle for a year, then had to get rid of it myself, so I posted it on Craigslist. (continued…)
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Guess who the first person was who responded? Humphrey and his original owner were reunited after a long year apart. It seemed a serendipitous ending, and I felt quite good about it at the time.
5. Reckless, abandoned.
My mother was buying a used camera from someone online. Nice camera, $50. Of course she can’t be bothered to get it, so off I get sent. I was 32 (male) and doing my mother a favor.
Well, she told the person to meet at some restaurant nearby. Turns out it closed down two years prior and now was a dilapidated building surrounded by a similarly dilapidated fence.
Seller shows up and is clearly (rightly so) scared out of her mind. She was a petite woman, barely 20, in an abandoned parking lot with some guy who was not the woman she was supposed to be selling to.
She barely cracks her window and I go full apology, explaining that I have no idea why on earth she had us meet up in literally the most creepy place we could possibly be and that I honestly just want to pay for the camera and go.
She relaxed, I paid for the camera and then informed my mother I wasn’t picking up anything for her again unless I set up the location just incase she picks a crack house next time.
6. Just like a drug deal.
My parents’ dachshund died and they put an ad on Craigslist looking for another.
A couple of days later they get a call from a guy who says he might have a dog for them and they decide to meet in the lot of a Pet Smart. He gets out of his truck and hands my dad a beautiful 1-1 year old long-hair. My dad says “this is a nice dog.” The guy says “cool.” Then he hands the dog to my father and drives away without another word. No introduction. No information. No questions asked. That’s the internet.
7. Explosive potential.
I was selling a cheap microwave and a bunch of other stuff when I moved in with my now wife. The guy has some off beat questions about it but wanted to meet and take a look.
When we meet he’s a mid-late 20’s guy in a very nice Porsche.
Seems like a good dude. He gives it a good look over, and starts to giggle. I ask what’s up and he replies, “oh, I can’t wait until they see it explode”. RED FLAG!
I ask what he means by that and he explains that he’s a chemistry teacher at a local (yet nationally known) technical high school. During his summer session they’ll use it for lots of various things, but at the end of the session, they’ll take it out to the middle of a field and blow it up. They’ll record it with high speed cameras and do an analysis of the reaction.
In the end I got my $20 and some smart high schoolers got to explode stuff. Win/win!
8. Never judge a book…
Traded my Xbox One for a PS4 last year. That itself wasn’t weird but then I pull up to the house and it’s a 6’4” 400-pound muscle-bound guy with tattoo sleeves and a giant beard.
Needless to say I was a little bit apprehensive at that point , but I went into his house anyway to test everything. I asked him why he was selling his console and he said his kids wouldn’t use it. That turned into a two hour long conversation spanning marriage, kids jobs, politics, and everything else.
This guy turned out to be one of the biggest teddy bears and nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. He even texted me to make sure I got home okay. Never judge a book
9. Gone in 15 minutes.
My in-laws were replacing all their kitchen appliances. Their old oven was better than the one we had so I hauled that home one weekend and installed it in our kitchen the next weekend. I took a couple pictures of our old oven and put it on Craigslist for ‘free at the curb’.
I got my neighbor to come over and help me carry old oven outside. As I was thanking him for his help, a pickup drives up, and guys jump out. “Is this the free oven?” “Yeah.” They heave it into the pickup and are gone before my neighbor makes it home.
I immediately went upstairs and took the ad off craigslist. The ad was live less than 15 minutes.
10. The gang’s all here.
I had an entertainment center advertised online and a woman asked to come over to have a look at it. We set up a time and when the time came, she didn’t show up. I texted her and a couple hours later. She replied and asked if it was too late to come by. It was 10pm but I said okay. She hadn’t shown up by 11pm so I texted again and said we would have to do it another day.
She replied that she was just pulling up. I go to my front door and sure enough she is pulling into the driveway. But there are 4 or 5 other people in the car with her. (continued…)
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They all get out and start walking towards the door. I ask them what they are doing, and the woman says they all want to see the entertainment center. I tell her that only she can come in, and at that point I wasn’t sure I even wanted her to come in. She says she needs at least one other person’s opinion. I say no.
She gets indignant and I ask her to leave. She says that I am not being a very good Christian. I say I am fine with that, went in my house and locked all the doors. Peeking out the window, I saw one of the dudes who was with her peeing on my driveway. I dont know what they really wanted, but the whole thing was super bizarre.
11. Lawn sale.
I was selling an electric lawnmower. This wacky lady comes to look at it and asked me a ton of questions. I give her an extension cord so we can start it up so she knows it works.
That wasn’t enough for her so she asked if she could test it out. She proceeded to take it on a “test drive” for 20 minutes where she mowed my entire back yard! She bought it for my asking price and I got my lawn mowed for free.
A couple years ago when I was pregnant this lady was selling brand new in the box mamaroo swing for a super discounted price. So I email her and she says yes she still has it but to text her.
I go ahead and text her, but I was still working while I was pregnant so I couldn’t go pick it up immediately. She texts me again asking how pregnant I am, what the sex is blah blah blah. A little personal, but I didn’t think it was a huge deal because she was pregnant as well.
I went ahead and told her it’s a boy I was actually due 2 days ago, but apparently he’s too happy to come out. Then like 20 minutes later she texts me again saying she has to get rid of this swing ASAP so can I meet at her house as soon as she gets home today? It actually wasn’t that far out of the way, so whatever.
However, I then got called into a meeting (I was still working) and I couldn’t make it. So I asked my mom to stop by when she got out of work and grab it for me. The time comes, my mom gets out of work and heads over there. She gets to this house on the very end of a street with no neighbors around. She rings the doorbell, and the lady is like: “I’m sorry I can’t find the swing. I’m looking now, come on in!”
My mom walks in and is texting me like didnt you say this lady was pregnant and had kids? Because she’s not pregnant and there are no kids in sight Plus this house is filthy and there is no electricity on. Red flags galore. (continued…)
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Finally, the lady is like “oh, I found it! It’s in this back room. Can you come help me grab it from the shelf?” My mom followed her back to this room with just a dirty mattress on the floor and a bunch of towels on it.
At this point, the lady (who is clearly not pregnant) makes a joke about, “how many pregnant woman does it take to get a swing down? My mom is a larger woman and she corrects the lady. “Oh I’m not pregnant. You were talking to my daughter, but she had to go to a meeting.”
The lady is appalled that I did not tell her some random woman was coming (even though she’s never met me) and blah blah. Anyway, she ended up being wrong about finding the swing in the closet in that room, and told my mom she’d text me when she found it.
My mom just went and bought the mamaroo at full price and told me to block that lady. I always wonder what would have happened to me if I went out there myself. I honestly think she intended to kidnap me and steal my baby.
13. Milking it.
My wife produced an excessive amount of breast milk after our daughter was born. She froze what we didn’t need and put an ad on Craigslist with the intent of helping other women who couldn’t produce as much. What she got was a response for a man saying he wanted as much milk as we had…..and as fresh and warm as possible.
14. Cycle of life.
My sister had her bike stolen from the communal hallway in her apartment building. She filed a police report but was basically told there was no hope she was going to get it back. So, she started looking round for a replacement. She ended up seeing her stolen bike listed on various selling sites, so arranged to view it. Once she saw it in person she knew for sure it was hers, so she hopped on it, stuck two fingers up at the jerk trying to flog it back to her, and peddled off.
Responded to a job posting a while ago. The ad says warehouse work so that’s what I assumed it was. Get a call with an address to go to for an interview.
Two days later I show up to this half vacant strip mall and go to the address. It’s clearly not a warehouse but I thought it could just be an offsite office.
Go in and there are about 5 other people there all for the same reason. This lady comes out and hands all these packets of paperwork. Usual stuff except for the huge 20 page personality questionnaire. It takes an hour for me to fill it out and at this point I’ve got major questions. (continued…)
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The lady says the boss will answer them. On to phase two. We all get ushered into this room to watch some kind of video. Safety video? Nope. Orientation video? Nope. It was some generic video on how to effectively sell stuff that looks like it was produced in 1983.
Now I’ve really got questions. Finally get to talk to the boss and he is dodging the most important question. I finally get him to tell me what the job is.
Door. To. Door. Meat. Sales. I just stood up and walked out. 2 hours of my life.
16. Saving face.
The furniture from our first apartment in college came from Craigslist. The guy said he wanted one of us to walk on his face barefoot for 20 minutes and he would give us a couch and side chair. There were 5 of us in the house and we all drew straws. The guy who lost said it was weird but not uncomfortable.
17. Cut it out.
I had posted a personal ad, and I got a response from a guy who wanted to pay me $350 to talk him out of getting circumcised. We talked on one of those chat apps for a bit, and I gave him a bunch of anecdotal evidence of why it was better not to do it. And then $350 showed up in my account.
18. Hero or heroin.
Her post was a picture of a dining room, titled ‘$90.’
I was trying to buy a table for my dining room, and emailed the person selling it with the subject line “interested in dining room table.”
I get a weirdly quick reply quoting me prices on everything from cannabis to heroin. I politely declined, and asked if she still had the table for sale. (In my defense, it was a nice table.)
Her response was, “I don’t do that anymore, find another fool.” Oooookay?
19. That’s a fair trade.
Traded a low rider bicycle for a home-made cheese-cake. I just wanted the bike out of my house. Still have the plate she delivered it on. I win.
20. Well…it was a steal.
I bought a ps3 with a ton of games and 4 controllers for $200. Huge steal. The guy said his kids were doing horrible in school so he was selling their ps3 as punishment. When I showed up to pick it up, his kids were absolutely bawling. While the dude was packing it up, the kids were just watching and crying the whole time. As I was walking out the door, they were screaming at me “DON’T GO, PLEASE”. Most awkward purchase of my life.