Be Good-at-Selling

We wanted to get rid of our shared standing desk. The desk, if you remember, from my husband’s dream of the desk-share.

“It just never worked the way I had envisioned it,” he said. “I thought we would sit there working together.”

But often I worked at the kitchen counter and he worked in the boffice (I hope this peaks your interest; perhaps a future post will cover the boffice).

The Co-Desk was a dream that turned into a storing place for papers and files.

Now Axel said the desk had to go. I didn’t protest.

He used his Photo Shop skills to create a flyer, which our condo manager approved for us to post in the building. We like to follow the rules, you know.

We waited.

Two weeks later, an email came from Bud, inquiring if the desk was still available.

“It is! Do you want to come see it tonight?” Axel replied in what might be the quickest email turnaround I’ve seen from him yet.

Please, Bud! Just come take a look!

Maybe we were too eager. We never heard back from Bud.

It was time to widen the search pool. No one in our building wanted a huge desk – I suspect most of them are minimalists anyway.

“It’s going to go fast once we post it on Craigslist,” Axel said.

Famous last words.

I urged him to post it on Friday, maybe even Thursday, so that we could get it out over the weekend.

“I think we better wait until Saturday,” he said. “Once we post it, someone’s going to want it right away.”

Ned and Charlotte were in town (disclaimer: they have only visited once this year, but a lot of stories came out of their visit). They both had tales of selling Honda Civics on Craigslist.

“People were calling me the minute I posted it,” they both reported.

We listed the desk Saturday morning. Then we walked to Spy House and waited for a deluge of emails.

Nada.

“We might have to lower the price,” Axel said.

Our Geek Desk was no Honda Civic.

I negotiated a 2PM price drop time.

2 o’clock came. I wasted no time in lowering the price by $60.

“But we paid so much for that desk,” Axel lamented. But like Dan Ariely says, people overvalue their own possessions. He calls it the “endowment effect.”

We might think the desk is worth a lot, but Craig and his list sure don’t.

Eventually we had a taker. One taker. Roy didn’t even try to negotiate on price. Perhaps he knew the worth of a Geek Desk.

We agreed that he’d come on Sunday around 1PM.

Sunday morning , I started to worry that he wouldn’t show.

“Should I text him?” I asked from the backseat as we returned from a delicious lunch the following day around noon.

“No, don’t act too desperate,” Charlotte advised. “You don’t want him to know he’s your only option.”

At about 12:20, my phone beeped.

“Roy texted!” I exclaimed.

With some coaching, I texted back that we’d bring the desk down to the  driveway so that we could use the outdoor outlet to demonstrate its raise and lower function.

“This is kind of like dating,” I reflected. “Sitting around waiting for someone to text, wondering what to respond.”

Then we moved on to the next stage of dating-like Craigslist behavior: trying to figure out who our (blind) date was.

Standing in the parking lot, the four of us surveyed each car that pulled in.

“Oh, a pickup truck! That’d be good. They’d have enough room.”

But then the pickup truck parked and a couple entered the building.

A sedan? Definitely not.

And then…

A Subaru?

“That car looks like it might hold someone who appreciates a standing desk,” I told the group.

A man wearing a beret and ergonomic shoes got out and looked around.

“That’s him!” Ned said.

A text came. “I’m here.”

We waved.

“There’s no way this desk is fitting in that car,” Charlotte said.

I feared she was right.

Fifteen minutes later after removing the desktop, it was in.

Just barely.

Roy closed the trunk and handed me a stack of twenties.

He drove away, and we walked back inside and hugged. It was like we had just won a championship of some kind.

Of Craigslist?

Empty space!

 

Upstairs, we noticed how different the office looked without the desk.

“It’s so empty,” Ned said.

“Oh my gosh, what is that?” I asked.

If your eyes are really good, maybe you can see those brown streaks coming down the wall...
If your eyes are really good, maybe you can see those brown streaks coming down the wall…

 

Instantly I knew. Someone spilled their tea many moons ago, when the desk was raised, and apparently the tea dripped down the wall.

Sadly, I knew that someone was me.

Charlotte and Axel cleaned the wall with vinegar while Ned and I broke out the celebratory kombucha.

We toasted to the great accomplishment of the day.

Thanks, Craig, for making it happen.