I Haven’t Used Craigslist Since I Found This Internet Gem
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I’m going to tell you a story about ramen noodles, a bad break up, ninja throwing stars and a waterbed. Oh, and why the first time I used Craigslist was also the last.
The break up wasn’t with a boy. It was with a bad roommate. Not just a, “oh I didn’t do the dishes today” kind of of bad roommate. More like a, “I’m going to play rap music at full volume in my room at 3 a.m. which is full of dirty dishes, dirty laundry and a fish tank I never clean” kind of bad roommate.
I’m admittedly not awesome with confrontation—especially when it comes to telling a former best friend that they’re a gross human to live with…
Even though we had been friends since high school (you never really know someone until you live with them), the situation had become untenable. And I’m admittedly not awesome with confrontation—especially when it comes to telling a former best friend that they’re a gross human to live with, so I did the only sensible thing and moved out.
It felt a lot like a divorce. I moved from a house in the suburbs to a one bedroom apartment in the city. I kept the cat (read, “child”) we adopted together. But my roommate kept all the stuff she brought into the house, including the microwave.
So my first night in my new place, it was super rainy outside, and all I wanted was a cup of ramen noodles. Except… no microwave.
I did what most people my age would do and hopped on Craigslist. I had actually never used it before, and had, in all sincerity, always been terrified of the prospect of going to meet a complete stranger to buy something.
This is where the ninja throwing stars and waterbed come into play.
But I went against my instincts, found a posting nearby for a reasonably priced microwave and went to go pick it up. This is where the ninja throwing stars and waterbed come into play.
It turns out that the person whose ad I was applying to, let’s call him, Phil (not his real name) lived in a basement apartment.
When I knocked on the door, Not-His-Real-Name-Phil invited me into what looked like a man-cave circa 1991, and it was as bad as you could imagine. A lava lamp sat on the kitchen counter, a collection of samurai swords hung above a big-screen tv, a poster of bikini-clad girls and a Confederate flag (yikes) hung on the walls, and an actual waterbed was stuffed in the corner. Beside the bed? A glass terrarium bathed in a red glow, housing a live python.
The whole place also smelt like stale beer and cheap spray-on cologne.
“Cool… so, yeah if I could just get that microwave…”
“Oh yeah, yeah, no problem,” said Not-Phil. “But hey, I don’t know if you’re into this…”
I was officially on ‘Creep Alert Status: Red.’
It’s at this point I should point out that Phil had a haircut I could only describe as a “wing-nut”; sort of a mullet, but with wings on the side. Oh, and he had a full half-sleeve tattoo of a naked lady on his arm. I know because he wasn’t wearing a shirt when he answered the door.
I was officially on ‘Creep Alert Status: Red.’ And if at this point you’re thinking, “this guy can’t be for real,” just know I was thinking the exact same thing. Out from his bedroom night stand, Phil pulled out a handful of ninja throwing stars. Like straight off a kung-fu movie; ninja throwing stars.
“Uh, no dude, I’m good.”
I was so not good. I wanted to get out of there ASAP.
“Are you sure?” Asked Fake-Phil. “They’re pretty legit. I’m pretty sure they’re illegal.”
And then I-Swear-His-Name-Isn’t-Phil began to throw the stars at a poster over his waterbed. As if that was going to be the selling point for me to buy ninja throwing stars.
The waterbed did the exact thing you assume it would. It sprung a leak, and proceeded to flood The Phil Cave.
I began to slowly back out of Phil’s den. No noodles on earth were worth dealing with this weirdo. That’s when Phil threw another star and it hit the waterbed. Because of course it did. The waterbed did the exact thing you assume it would. It sprung a leak, and proceeded to flood The Phil Cave.
That was my first and last experience using Craigslist. And no, I didn’t even get my microwave.
I still needed a microwave and I wasn’t ready to pay full price for a new one. I needed to find a place online where I could buy things safely without having to run into another Phil.
That’s when I discovered VarageSale.
VarageSale was started in 2012 by Tami Zuckerman, a mom who wanted exactly what I wanted; a safe platform for people to buy and sell online.
Millions of people use VarageSale to stretch their budgets, buy items for a fraction of the retail price, and earn extra income. The app was created with personal safety in mind and remains a core value today.
There are a few key advantages of using VarageSale, but my favourite feature is a dedicated admin, which safeguards every local community member. With real photos and real identities and names, it’s a curated ‘no creepos’ environment.
Long story short, I ended up using VarageSale to buy a microwave from a very nice lady in my neighbourhood and it’s been steamy ramen noodles in my nice clean apartment ever since.
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