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Old 25-11-2013, 01:39   #1
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The perils of giving stuff away...

Sorry in advance, this is a rant. Nothing more, nothing less, just a plain old rant about people, and rudeness.

I have a small catamaran, which I am TRYING to give away.

It's about 9 feet long, it floats, and it sails pretty well actually. Not going to win any races, but the sort of thing a kid could learn to sail on. I know, my son learned to sail on it and he had fun.

It was given to us, so I believe the right thing is to hand it on, free of charge to the next person. I've done a bit of work on it, patched some leaks, replaced some ropes, no great cost or effort, just my contribution to keep it serviceable, so on to the next young family of maybe-sailors.

So I placed an ad on gumtree (an online Aussie site, not sure if they have it in other countries, probably not, given the name and all... maybe in California...?) The ad said, free boat, gave a good description and some photos and says I would like to give it to a family with kids who want to learn to sail.

Within minutes of placing the ad, the SMS messages start. The first message was a bit... er... strange, but seemed to indicate that some young person and their brother were interested, so I texted back, saying yes, still available, call me for more info.

Nothing.

OK, whatever, maybe the remembered they can't swim, or they don't understand the concept of a phone call vs text message.. you know... young people.

Anyway, didn't have to wait long for the next call. He phoned, seemed quite nice, had kids, just the thing to teach them to sail... etc etc... but... not actually sure when he could collect it. OK, fine by me, but please understand that if someone else is keen to collect it now, they get first dibs. Sure, no probs.

Ten minutes more, and, a lady, with a young girl just getting into sailing, they can come and collect it in a few hours, they are on their way "now". Fine, great. Text the other guy, sorry, boat now taken. Go to gumtree, cancel the ad, all done.

Except it is not all done. Three more people phone me asking about the boat, must take a minute for the ad to clear or something. Plus there are a flood of emails in my inbox.

The first guy phoned me... well... what can I say? I had to ask after a minute... "er.. you do actually have kids... right?" No, but he saw that it was free, so he figured he'd get it. And he was really annoyed as he'd just missed out on a free jacuzi. Ye gods, was this guy for real? Politely informed him it was gone.

Then another text message... nope, still can't work out WHAT they were trying to say with that one, but whatever it was, it was highly abbreviated and TOTALLY indecipherable. Sorry, couldn't even work out if they wanted the boat or if they were offering some kind of service.

Pass.

Then one more, reasonably coherent text, to which I replied that, sadly, the boat was gone.

Or so I thought...

The afternoon wears on, no sign of the lady coming to collect the boat. I give her an extra couple of hours then text her asking for an ETA. Nothing.... Meanwhile, the boat is out on the front lawn, it is getting late, and I am going have to open up the garage and lug the whole lot back inside soon. Finally, at 9:30pm, a text from the lady telling me she had trailer problems. Right, she worked this out at 9:30pm? Three hours to figure out she had trailer problems. Yeah, sure..

Right, bugger that, the first guy gets first choice after that little bit of non communication. So I text him, would he like it, it is now available. Nothing. OK, it's late, maybe he turns his phone off at night. Good idea. I should do that too, no annoying message from people who are too rude to tell me they are going to be late, or not come at all.

The next day, no response by lunchtime... hmm... what to do. So work my way back through the list of people and emails from the day before.

NOT ONE RESPONSE ALL DAY.

Sorry, but are these people ASLEEP? There are some time differences in Australia, and hour here or there (and about 50 years behind in the case of Adelaide, but I can say that, I live here and I love it.) But wake up people, check your messages. Besides, I am pretty sure each of these people would have worked out that travelling across Australia for a free catamaran is poor value, so they have to be LOCAL... right?

So bugger it. Next time I have something to give away, I am going to dump it on the street with a sign saying "free to a good home" and wash my hands of it.

Thanks for listening.

RANT=OFF

Matt
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Old 25-11-2013, 02:46   #2
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

If you give something for free, people won't value it and as you have found will stuff you around. Put a price on it, and give the proceeds to your favourite charity.
Regards,
Richard
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Old 25-11-2013, 03:00   #3
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

Mate, I totally hear where you are coming from, I once saw a boat on gumtree, rang up, no answer, left message, sent text and email, all in plain english!

What followed was a series of messages, agreement on price, driving three hours to designated location ------ IT WAS A VACANT LOT.

Rang the guy no answer

20 minutes later, simple text back "LOL"

Sometimes people suck.
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Old 25-11-2013, 03:31   #4
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon123 View Post
Mate, I totally hear where you are coming from, I once saw a boat on gumtree, rang up, no answer, left message, sent text and email, all in plain english!

What followed was a series of messages, agreement on price, driving three hours to designated location ------ IT WAS A VACANT LOT.

Rang the guy no answer

20 minutes later, simple text back "LOL"

Sometimes people suck.
May the boat you eventually find reward you for your efforts and compensate for that kind of jerk. Post a picture here when you get it and we can all laugh back at Mr Creepy Text Guy.

Matt
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Old 25-11-2013, 03:34   #5
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
If you give something for free, people won't value it and as you have found will stuff you around. Put a price on it, and give the proceeds to your favourite charity.
Regards,
Richard
So totally true on all points.

I felt I should give it away as it was given to us, even though I sort of knew of the risks of free-stuff brigade, but I now wish I had thought of the charity idea. Will do so next time. Thank you for the idea.

Matt
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Old 25-11-2013, 04:33   #6
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Too bad about your experience...I had pretty good luck giving away some things on this forum recently, but responses came through the forum or PM--no personal contact info posted. It felt good to help out fellow boaters. These were all items the local consignment chandlery wouldn't take--low demand and value, but still too good to just throw away. I plan to do it again before heading out, with whatever extra "stuff" we have at that point. Don't give up on helping others; your heart was in the right place.
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Old 25-11-2013, 04:56   #7
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

As communication devices get "simpler", so do the users. ( simple, in the old non-pol - corr. context)
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Old 25-11-2013, 07:48   #8
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Heard about someone trying to give away a decent refrigerator. He put it on the front lawn with a free sign. No takers. He put a sign on it that said $50 and someone stole it. What a country.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:09   #9
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

I had a similar experience.

I tried to give away some stuff on Craigslist, but people would say they were coming to get it and they'd cancel, or they wouldn't even respond. When I put reasonable prices on the same items, the problems went away.

What you can also do is wait until people show up willing to pay, and then just give them the item, or even better like someone suggested, give the money to a worthy cause.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:21   #10
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seagull111 View Post
Heard about someone trying to give away a decent refrigerator. He put it on the front lawn with a free sign. No takers. He put a sign on it that said $50 and someone stole it. What a country.
Same thing happened with my mother-in-law. She moved to a smaller house and was getting rid of extra furniture, lamps and such. Put something out with a price tag and it inevitably disappeared within minutes. Put a free sign on it and it sits for days.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:40   #11
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

No good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 25-11-2013, 09:08   #12
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

I have some experience (and getting more) of giving stuff away on craigslist. Do not ever give your phone out just anon email. State in your add that if you want it and don't show up do not bother coming to get it. Keep your add going till its gone. State you will respond in the order you receive responses. And you will give them a set time to respond back. Anybody want a computer desk cheap????
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Old 25-11-2013, 10:12   #13
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

Matt, when we had a surplus-to-us inflatable, we found a group in Jarvis Bay who were giving sail training to disadvantaged and handicapped young folks and gave the dink directly to them. They were chuffed and we were happy to see some good resulting from the transaction.

So, if still burdened with your little cat, see if such a group exists in your area. they might really be glad to have it.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 25-11-2013, 11:05   #14
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

We call that goofyness in giving stuff away the "free dog syndrome."
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Old 25-11-2013, 11:27   #15
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Re: The perils of giving stuff away...

I've had a few nightmares using Gumtree, had a motorbike stolen after a guy came to have a look at it. Plus countless strings of indecipherable texts and general screw arounds.

I much prefer using facebook, people are less likely to screw you around because they either know you or are a friend of a friend and their name is attached to their profile.

Actually I'm from Adelaide (but currently abroad) and I bet if I put a free catamaran ad up on facebook it'd be gone pretty quick!

Then again I'm sure you thought the same thing advertising it on Gumtree. People are a mystery, right?
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