Selling Games Online is Like the Wild West – But I Can’t Shoot Anyone

It truly is amazing the amount of crap I have accumulated over the years. You find that special someone, move in together, eventually get married, and one day, you realize that you have no more room to store all your stuff.

When I moved in with the girl who would eventually become my wife, we lived in a tiny fourth floor walk-up in Manhattan. There was room for the barest essentials. Not like it mattered—rent was expensive and we were just starting our careers, so we didn’t have much to begin with.

However, we climbed that corporate ladder, started making some more money, and were able to afford bigger places and the ability to buy things—Many, many things. We moved into a bigger apartment, and after a few years, an even bigger apartment. A few years later, we bought an actual house, just like grownups.

Houses, by their nature, have multiple rooms, even our quaint one. My wife and I proceed to fill those rooms with even more things. Finally, one day, the wife and I were struck at all the shit we accumulated.  We felt cramped and suffocated. It was time to unload. We made a conscience effort to de-clutter and downsize. We wanted our space again. We wanted to simplify.

Furniture, appliances, clothes, accessories, electronics, and various sundries were listed online. We became experts of Craig’s List, eBay, and our personal favorite, Facebook Virtual Garage Sales.

It’s amazing what people will buy on a Facebook Virtual Sale. Things we were willing to throw away, were listed for shits and giggles for a few dollars and to our surprise, people would buy them. People purchased things like old coffee machines, tattered rugs, scratched furniture, and all things we considered garbage. Folks were literally buying our trash.

sanford-and-son-sign

Simplifying our space even galvanized us to simplify our budget. We took the leap and cut the chord, forgoing cable for just the Internet, and we have not missed it one bit. We became a streamlined household, physically and fiscally and it feels great.

Of course, I did my part as well.  There were many gaming related items that I decided to unload. Old physical copies of games, various accessories, consoles, you name it—they were going to be put up for sale.

Selling games and hardware online was not something entirely new to me.  I’ve done it a few times before, but I was more apt to trade things in at GameStop for credit. This time around though, I was going to attempt to get top dollar online for cold hard cash. CAPITALISM!

monopoly

The first thing I noticed is that selling games is going to attract a very different audience than selling a coffee table. Soccer mom’s are interested in coffee tables, because they read an article in Better Homes and Gardens on how to turn old furniture into shabby chic masterpieces and they are looking to do a project. Meanwhile, freaks, mouth breathers, criminals, and generally people without a modicum of social skill came out of the woodwork for my gaming stuff.

Take the PlayStation TV I listed for example. I got guys who wanted me to deliver the item to them, 50 miles from my house. I got guys who wanted me to ship it to them. I got guys who acted seemingly normally, until it was time to arrange for a place to meet and then got cold feet when I said to meet me at a public place, perhaps because their master plan involved stabbing me in the face.

I eventually sold it to a guy who refused to get out of his car, I had to hand the PlayStation TV to him through the window and he handed me cash. If the police drove by, they would have thought that I was selling this guy crack or a blowjob.

drug-dealer

Then there was the guy who wanted to buy a PS4 controller.  I was selling the controller for just $30 and it was like new and hardly used, but he kept trying to talk me down. I finally told him that the price was firm and I was moving on to the next person. He capitulated and agreed to meet at a public place. After showing up 30 minutes late, he looked over the controller, and asked if I’d take $25, I took it back and began to walk out when he agreed to pay the agreed upon price.

The weirdos really came out though when I listed my Xbox One Elite controller. I used it only a couple of times and realized that my meat hooks and sausage fingers were just too large. I kept hitting the bumpers accidentally and removed them. I paid a premium for what is essentially a nicer Xbox One controller, so I decided to pack it all up, put it back in the box and listed it on Craig’s List. This was a mistake.

The Elite controller is a hot item apparently. It’s pretty much sold out everywhere. Not to mention, the one I was selling was practically new and listed for $125 a savings of $25. I started getting responses immediately.

Craig’s List, is supposed to act like a local classified. I would post to the North Jersey page and people from North Jersey would find my post and then contact me, right? Why then, are there people from the next fucking state responding to my classified?

Will you Ship

This guy was my first respondent, so I was relatively nice to him and simply told him no. He tried to get someone local to meet me, but could not work it out, which is a shame, because the guy seemed normal, so I moved on.

The next guy was possibly illiterate, as he kept asking me questions that would have been answered if he simply read my post. He also was trying to lower the price, which was firm.

He finally agrees on the $125 price, and we make arrangements to meet, and then I get the following text.

Buyer Text

What’s funny is after all this back and forth; he flakes out and asks to meet at later times twice. I know that shit happens, but this deal became to sour in my book and I moved on to the next person. What’s funny is that this flake never contacted me again. It was like I dreamed the entire thing.

Luckily, the next person in line was normal. He agreed on the price and location, got there early, and was pleasant. No muss, no fuss.

So, happy ending, right? Not necessarily. I forgot to delete my Craig’s List post and got a few more responses, including this gem.

You Take 80

This dude struck a nerve with me. I love the written word and take umbrage when people butcher it.

Also, how does distance impact the price of something? Where the fuck did you learn how to haggle? How does distance impact the price? How is where you live my problem? Why don’t you go ahead and watch more American Pickers or Pawn Stars on the History Channel, because all of the sudden, everyone is an expert in dickering.

*May 28 - 00:05*

I especially like how in the end, he throws in how he already bought one for $70 and was no longer interested, all this in a span of eleven hours, in the middle of the night. Some people just feel the need to make it seem like they won. So I did what I do best. I gave a passive aggressive sarcastic response.

Fortunately, I think I’m done selling stuff, at least for a little while. The wife and I feel like we purged enough. When the time does come to unload more stuff, I think I’ll avoid Craig’s List. It’s not worth the aggravation. Simply put, it’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy. (Gratuitous Star Wars Quote)

Have any horror stories of selling used games online? Let me know in the comments.

 

Home Ownership Sucks… But The Game Room is Nice

Nine years ago, my girlfriend and I were renting a small apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan. It was a fourth floor walk up, had one bedroom, a minuscule bathroom, a laughably small kitchen, and barely enough living space for a couch and TV. It was also the best place I ever lived.

Over the years, the girlfriend and I moved into larger apartments, slowly heading further west, over the river into New Jersey and eventually purchasing a house of our own. The girlfriend is now my wife and we have a 3 year-old running around as well as a dog that tests my patience every day.

The moment I started renting, my father would remind me on a regular basis that I was wasting my money and should just buy a place of my own. It would be an investment that would help me create wealth over the years as I slowly built up equity… something like that. Most importantly, I will build a sense of pride knowing that I am part of community homeowners.

Having neighbors is also great!


This January, I will be officially a homeowner for 5 years, and I can tell you with utmost certainty that it is shit. Sometimes, I look back to the time when I was renting and think of all the things that bugged me about being a renter, and how they seem trivial now.

When I was renting, I took for granted how much goes into maintaining a home, mainly because I wasn’t responsible for maintaining anything. If the water heater broke, I’d call the landlord. Saw a mouse in the basement? Call the landlord. Is the thermostat not working? Call the landlord. I wasn’t even responsible for shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. I paid my rent and utilities and that was it. I was happy.

Bleeding walls? Call the landlord.

So why ruin such a good thing and actually buy a house? Over the weekend, my furnace stopped working, for no apparent reason. After spending a Sunday morning and evening trying to fix the problem myself, I capitulated and called the HVAC specialist. Turns out, it was a broken valve on my oil tank, a part that only costs a few dollars. The HVAC tech charged me $125 for twenty minutes of work and now I know how to replace an oil tank safety valve. Please excuse me while I go kick myself in the head.

What I find most annoying is that I do consider myself a handy person. My father is a contractor and I worked with him for years during summer breaks and part time during college. I learned a lot, albeit not enough to be an expert in everything, but enough to become an expert in a few things, and knowledgeable enough in a great many things that fall under the umbrella of home improvement, like Bob Vila.

bob-vila-featured
These skills have been indispensable as a homeowner, because I don’t have bags of money laying around the house that I can give to a contractor when a simple light bulb burns out.

Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to being handy. I grew up with a stocked tool chest in the garage and when I bought my first home, getting a set of basic tools and assorted hardware was a priority. Also, having a garage full of tools just looks cool and makes me feel like a REAL MAN. Over the years, I slowly added to my collection–a power tool here and hand tool there. I have now become saddled with the reputation of being handy in the eyes of my in-laws.

Here’s a case and point. A few weeks back I’m at my in-laws when a towel rod in the bathroom breaks and I get called in to fix it. I assess the situation and state that it’s a simple fix and I need an allen key set or a small flat head screw diver. I was given a butter knife, a box of toothpicks, and some paper clips, like I’m motherfucking MacGyver.

macgyver

It doesn’t stop there. As I was inspecting the broken towel rod, trying to repair it with assorted crap from the kitchen junk drawer, it was pretty obvious who installed it. The brackets to which the towel rod was attached to were upside down and the rod was forcefully screwed into the underside of the flat metal bracket. This was clearly the handiwork of my illustrious father-in-law.

My father-in-law is of the belief that he can build and fix anything, because he owns many assorted tools and hammers of various sizes. He can construct just about everything with brute force, hammers, nails, and Krazy Glue.

it-isnt-brain-surgery-drill-head-asian-games-rerun-stupid-human-1295053064
Last time I saw him; I was visiting his home where he proudly showed off to me the new storage closets he built in his garage. These were storage closets in the most general sense of the word, in that they were large boxes, constructed out of wood, some screws, but mostly nails, rudimentary doors, and had an interior in which random stuff could be stored inside.

He then mentioned to me that he now had a project for me though, as his Internet was painfully slow and his frequent calls to the service provider indicates that there is nothing wrong. It was then that I had to tell him that he built his precious closets in front of his wireless router and circuit breaker box and he now has no easy way to access either of them. Later that night, my wife lectured me on how I could have told her father that his closet design was faulty in a more delicate way.

So as you can very well tell, owning home a sucks, as a great many things can and will go wrong, in which you will have to fix yourself, or pay someone handsomely to fix for you. Also, if you show any aptitude on being ‘handy,’ people (the in-laws in my case) will coerce you into fixing shit in their houses for them, FOR FREE!

So you may be asking yourself why would anyone want to buy a house? The only reason I can give you, and this is a damn good reason, is that you can build yourself a killer game setup in the basement, crank up the volume, and scream bloody murder when you die, because no pain in the ass neighbor is going to complain.