Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Craigs list Cronies

I promised you that I would write about our customers from Craigslist.  Each one of them has an interesting angle that I am sure you will find interesting.

Crony 1:  Here was a guy that wanted to buy our treadmill for his girlfriend. I made sure to tell him that he needed a truck to haul it.  He said he planned to bring his brother who had a truck and it would be no problem hauling it. 

At 5:00 pm, Crony 1 arrived in a car (not a truck) with brother and a gal (girlfriend who gets the treadmill) after calling us at least a half dozen times to get the address right.  I think Giri skipped a few heartbeats when he saw the two huge burly men with full body tattoos get out of a run-down sedan.  Needless to say with all the dire straits Giri had warned me about, I don't mind admitting I had a few nervous thoughts myself and asked my son and his friend to go back up Dad.  The boys took one look at the customers and conveniently disappeared into their room.  Saving my husband fell to me and I followed him outside where I found him deep in conversation with the visitors as he told them the treadmill would not fit in a car.  But the guys opened the boot and showed the deep interior and said they would manage.  Very well then, they came down, saw the treadmill, hauled it up, out the house and into the boot with half the treadmill hanging out.  Crony 1 took out $50, gave it to us, wished us a safe journey, shook our hands and left.

Very anticlimactic with all the buildup our nervous imagination had led us to believe. 

Crony 2: The next interaction with the second customer for our snowblower was uneventful.  He came, he saw, he paid and he left.  Again, no ax murderer. 

Crony 3: The next two guys who came for the couch were thrilled to bits when they saw the deal they were getting for $10.  They were almost embarrassed to give us the $10 to take away the couch.  When Giri threw in the boom box at no cost, we had a couple of happy campers! 

Crony 4: Our fans were taken away by an asian lady who came in, was very polite and wanted to ensure that both fans worked and the oscillating function was demonstrated before paying me, taking them away after wishing me a safe journey and that she understood how hard this would be for the family.  I got a sympathetic ear from our Craigslist Crony # 4

The last Crony:  This last item took 4 days to generate interest and we had almost given up hope when an email popped up from a guy who wanted the VHS player and tapes.  He came in full of life, spent a few minutes asking about our move, gave Tarun some advice about not marrying young and coming back to MI for education.  Almost like a close friend, he wished us luck, took the box and left.

Sometimes the way our mind works is so influenced by media and the horror stories that make it to the news that we are colored in our expectations of life.  I must say that contrary to our initial apprehensions, we had a very good experience using Craigslist and met some interesting characters along and way.  Would we do it again!  You betcha.........

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Connecting with Craig's List!!

We are into our second day of packing.  It is unbelievable the amount of stuff (can't call it by any other name)  we have collected in 14 years.  While most of it is coming with us, we did have a few big items that we needed to dispose.  And thus started our close encounters with Craigslist.  My first hurdle was to convince my husband who believes that this is like extending a personal invitation to the dark side and that we are asking for trouble.  However, when I told him that we would leave in 2 weeks and the dark side would have a long way to travel to reach us, he relented.  As a parent, I am always looking for real life opportunities to teach my children.  so I presented my 16 year old son,Tarun with a project.  Establish a Craiglist account, take pictures of the items to sell and post it.  If we get any takers, the money was his to keep.  Of course, being the typical teenager with expensive tastes, he embraced the project with open arms. 
Tip #1:  When you place ads on Craigslist, be prepared to check your emails every few minutes.  Craigslist shoppers are an impatient bunch and I was chided for not responding immediately to their inquiries.  (of course, due to my lethargy, I had one guy bid $10 higher for the same item just to 'close the deal' as he thought I was holding out for more money) 

Tip #2:  You know you priced an item too low when you have a dozen takers within 10 minutes of posting.

To date Tarun has sold 5 of the 7 items he posted on Craig and pocketed a $150.  Not bad for a few minutes of work.  Of course, now he is scouring the house looking for items to sell and his brother's (Rahul) toys are fair game.  After much debate, he finally accepted defeat and retired gracefully.  Now he is making plans to go to the mall to dispose of his 'hard-earned' cash.

Keep tuned in for the next blog post which will introduce you to some of the characters the Giridhar household encountered during this whole saga.

Monday, June 18, 2012

In 2011, my husband and I made a monumental decision to pack up and move back to India after spending 14 wonderful years in Michigan.  This was by no means an easy decision with so many concerns and emotional baggage to consider not just for my husband and I but for our two kids aged 16 and 9 who are mostly American. To them India was a crowded, noisy place we visited every other year to meet with Ajjis and Thathas (Grandmas and Grandpas) and aunts and uncles and remote cousins who indulged their every whim.  As we are going through this transition, I decided to share my experiences, comments and concerns along the way.  At best, this can be a useful resource for those that go through similar transitions.  At the very least, it is a memoir for us to revisit when we are old.

Disclaimer:  The thoughts that will be expressed in this blog are candid, honest and brutally frank, intended to give the reader a realistic perception.  Any comparisons that are drawn of the two countries is merely for deliberation and I request my friends in India and America to see this as such and not take offense.