Stupid Craigslist questions: A tutorial through examples


In general, phone calls I get in response to Craigslist ads generally come from folks with no phone skills.  A typical conversation includes some or all of the stupidest questions I'll ever have to answer.  For example, I picked up a squirrel trap on CL about a year ago after a family of them took up residence in my attic.  I cleared them out and sealed up the hole they were getting in through.  No more problems, no more need: I post an ad to get rid of it.
Caller: I'm calling about your Craigslist ad.

Me: Which one?  [I usually post several at a time because getting rid of anything means I'm cleaning house (and the shed out back) so I post it all at once.]

Caller: Uh.... [Actually has to think about it.]  The squirrel trap.

Me: Okay.

Caller: You still have that?

Me: [Sigh.]  Yes.  [As though I wouldn't have immediately said, "Sorry, sold it" as soon as he stated which item.]

Caller: Is it hard to use?

Me: [Trying to stifle a laugh at the realization that he's the reason instruction manuals are so much longer than they need to be.]  Well, it is for the squirrels.

Caller: [Says nothing.  Long pause.]

Me: You put a pecan on a little flap.  The squirrel tries to get it, and that makes the doors close.  [You can practically figure this out from a glance at the picture in the ad, BTW.]

Caller: Uh, okay.  Where are you located?

Me: A couple miles south of downtown Fort Worth. [I only say this in the fucking ad right next to my phone number.]

Caller: When are you available?

Me: What about tonight?

Caller: Uh, I can't.  [No alternatives given.  I try again.]

Me: What about tomorrow?  [I don't even suggest a time.]

Caller: Yeah, I'll be around your area tomorrow afternoon anyway.  [<--Why would you not suggest this first, dipshit?!]

Me: Okay, give me a call then.

Maybe I bring these types on myself to begin with by posting things like a squirrel trap, but the call never came, of course.  Why?  Who knows?  Odds are he got wasted immediately after he got off the phone, and the night was a total blur.  Maybe he forgot the write down the number, didn't bookmark the ad, whatever.  Maybe he was just embarrassed at all the stupid questions and couldn't face me in person, acutely aware how I was judging him over the phone.  After all, there were many, many stupid questions contained in the above.


A quick review of typical dumb questions I get all the time, most of which the above caller managed to cram into his brief call.
Stupid Question: I'm calling about the Craigslist ad.
Why this is stupid: It's not even a question, and already you're being stupid.  Which fucking ad?

Stupid Question: Is this still available?
Why this is stupid: Can you read the ad?  Then yes.  Why is the assumption always that I'm too stupid and/or lazy to delete my ad to avoid additional idiotic emails asking this?  Most annoying of all is when I get this question within the first hour of posting the ad.

Stupid Question: Where are you located?
Why this is stupid: Because I write "I'm located a couple miles south of downtown Fort Worth" in every posting.  You can't get to my fucking phone number in the next sentence without reading this.

Stupid Question: How big is it?
Why this is stupid: As a practice, I always put something in the image as a frame of reference: a dollar bill, a gallon of paint, etc. In other words, something visually highly recognizable of a standard size.  I had this question in reference to the aforementioned trap earlier in another call.  Listen, if you can't understand a squirrel trap is for catching squirrels, then I don't know that you can be trusted to handle money on your own.  Don't waste my fucking time.

Stupid Question: When are you available?
Why this is stupid: Can this be any more open-ended?  Do you need my entire schedule for the foreseeable future?  Better question: Are you available tonight?  No?  How about tomorrow [afternoon/evening/whatever your schedule allows]?

Stupid Question: Any question sent by email.
Why this is stupid: As bad as the phone calls are, at least 99% of the sales I've made through CL have been to a buyer who called me.  Meaning: If you email me, you're wasting my time trying to talk you into something you aren't that serious about buying.  I usually just have fun ripping on those types.  For example, someone emailed me about the infamous futon I listed a while back:

Her:

Hi,
Do you still have this futon available?  Is it in good condition (no scratches or anything)?  Please let me know - very interested.
Thanks.
Alexis


Me:

Yes, still have it.  Yes, plenty of scratches.  The thing's huge.  This isn't made out of 2x4s or tin pipe.  You can sand them out.  Unless you're a girly girl, in which case, ha ha!

-Alex.

Note: Amy, send my apologies for ripping on your friend Alexis.  (Small world, huh?)

Copyright 2008 Alexplorer.
Back to the index