Small Stones 8/23/16

It hurts.

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All it took was one lie, repeated over and over, to cast a dark shadow over an otherwise bright day. Continue reading “Small Stones 8/23/16”

Family Drama, Car Drama, Drama Drama Drama!

Hello, friends. I have something that I just need to rant about for a minute, if you don’t mind. As some of you may recall, back in September, our Ford Mustang suddenly stopped running, leaving us without a vehicle. At the time, I was still not working, and Kyle was only working one job, and we had no funds to get it fixed, let alone enough for a new car. After going to multiple banks and lenders, and coming away without a single loan for a cheap vehicle, we were forced to ask Kyle’s mother for rides. We reached out to friends and family, to anyone who would help us out, and maybe work with us on payments for a vehicle, as Kyle was about to start working at his second job, a distribution center, and we would soon have enough to make payments on a car.

In late September, Kyle’s aunt informed us that she and her wife had been trying to sell their 2009 Dodge Journey for a while, and had been unsuccessful. Kyle had just started working at the DC, and his paychecks were phenomenal, so when they told us that they only had $5500 left to pay on the vehicle, and we could pay $275 a month for it, we decided that it was within our price range. We even decided to pay $300 a month, since that would help pay it off faster. We realized that we had lost the key for the Mustang, and had to sell it for $800 less than the price we were hoping to get for it. We later found the key, of course.

Some drama went down between Kyle’s aunt and her wife, and we almost didn’t get the vehicle, because they were fighting, and just to spite us, her wife said that we couldn’t have the vehicle. We were so upset. You can read all about that drama in this post. Well, it ended up all kind of working out in the end, and we got the vehicle. The Journey was massive compared to our Mustang. There was so much room in the back seat, and in the back. It was such an upgrade.

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Of course, just like everything else in our life, days later, it started falling apart. We’ve had to take it to several garages, one of which was over an hour away, because his aunt wanted us to use her guys, to fix issues that we were unaware of when we got the vehicle, and have had to pay more in repairs than we’ve paid for the vehicle itself so far. Kyle, who is unable to contain his urges to vent on social media, mentioned car troubles in a status, which caused a shit storm of drama from his mom, grandmother, sister, and aunt, who always seem to find a reason to gang up and attack him. They began putting words in his mouth, and calling us ungrateful, etc. What was his status that caused all of this?

“I just want a vehicle that runs.”

THAT. That was it. Luckily, it blew over pretty quickly.

We were on track to finish paying off the car later this month, once Kyle gets his tax return, but then more shit happened. Of course! Just a few days ago, Kyle asked his aunt to check how much exactly was left to pay on the vehicle, so we would know how much we would have left after paying it off. Her response? $5700. We somehow owe $5700 on a vehicle that we were originally told was going to cost us $5500, that we’ve been making $300 payments on since September. I’m no mathematician, but WHAT?

Now, I know there’s a chorus of voices out there saying something about interest, blah blah blah. Well, we were NEVER told any of this. We were told (and have written proof), that she owed $5500, and that is how much we had to pay. Had we known that it would be over $1000 more than that, we never would have gotten it. Apparently, we also owe more because we are not paying in cash, which would be impossible for us since her bank is over an hour away from us. All of this information was held from us, until we asked about it on that day, and she made us feel like idiots for not knowing all of this. We are furious. Because now, not only will we not be able to pay this piece of garbage vehicle off with our tax returns, but we will still owe more on it, and definitely won’t be able to get the washer and dryer that we were planning on getting, which we DESPERATELY need. So, yea, we’re pissed off.

After Kyle had a word with his aunt, she texted his mom to whine about us (without giving her all the facts, mind you), who then stuck her nose into it, and started bitching about how grateful we should be that we even got a vehicle. A vehicle that we can’t afford, mind you, because we were lied to about the total amount owed, and because we’ve had to put nearly a grand into it in repairs, in just a few months. And we should be grateful? Grateful that she lied to us, and took advantage of us, because she knew how desperate we were? Um, hell no.

We could have kept getting rides until Kyle had saved up a few paychecks to get a vehicle. We would have been fine. But they insisted, and we were excited, because it seemed like a nice vehicle, within our price range. Boy, were we wrong.

So, we’ve been looking into getting a new vehicle. Kyle has been trying to get a small loan, since he now has a decent credit score, but has had no luck, once again. Luckily, we found a guy who is willing to hold a 2005 Lincoln LS for us until Kyle gets his money. It really is a nice car, with only 100k miles (half the amount that the Journey has), and automatic everything. After a bit of negotiating, they agreed on a price of $3200 for it, which includes the cost of title and plates. The dealer apparently knows Kyle from his automotive class back in the high school, and has his own dealership. We had to put down a $100 deposit to hold it, which Kyle was more than happy to do. Our plan is to fully pay off that car with Kyle’s tax return, and then sell the Journey for the remaining amount that we owe, or as close as we can get to it, and be rid of that piece of crap for good. The only problem is that we don’t have the title, his aunt does, of course. So whoever we sell it to will have to wait a bit for them to send us the title, once it is paid off, if she doesn’t sign it over to us beforehand. There’s nothing else we can really do, right?

This has all been so frustrating. Kyle really likes the LS, but I am a bit disappointed about giving up the roominess of the Journey. But, I suppose it is for the best. I am so tired of this drama, and so tired of being called ungrateful, and being judged for no reason. I just want a freaking vehicle that we can all fit into comfortably, that runs well, and that we can fit our damn stroller in. Seriously!

Ugh. I guess that’s it. I’ll update you guys if anything changes or progresses with this situation. This little beauty should hopefully be ours within a month or so, unless something else goes horribly wrong.

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Thanks for reading, friends. Sorry about the rant.

Jan

Resale Woes: 7 People NOT to Be When Buying/Selling

What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

I’m all for saving money. I’m all for making money. I’m not ashamed to admit that lately I’ve been buying most of our clothes and baby items from thrift stores, clearance racks at Target or Walmart, and from local resale groups on Facebook (these are great for baby clothes and items especially). I almost never pay full-price for clothes, unless it is absolutely necessary. Especially when it comes to baby clothes. What’s the point? My son has been outgrowing clothes before he’s even gotten to wear them! But because I enjoy saving money and buying things secondhand, I spend a lot of time on Facebook browsing through various local resale groups, buying and selling used items (mostly baby stuff these days).

I’m fair. I’m nice. I’m accommodating. I’m patient. Because of I am all of these things, you would think that the majority of my interactions with people when buying and selling would be positive, right? No. Nooo. Not at all. I get it, most of us are short on money these days, and we join these groups to save time and money, so that we can take better care of our families. But there are some incredibly rude, inconsiderate people in these groups, who are solely looking out for themselves, and not willing to be a part of the community. Here’s a list:

1) The Re-reseller:
This person is a snake, and I see them all the time. Luckily, most of the Facebook groups that I’m in have strict rules against these types of people, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. For those of you who don’t know what a Re-reseller is, they prey on people who list very cheap/free items (usually posted specifically for people who are in need of them), buy the items, and then relist them back in the group with higher prices. Most of the groups I’m in have rules where you can relist an item you bought from the group, but only for the same price that you bought it at. It’s sad that rules like this even need to be made for groups like this, but, you know. People suck. I should note that there are people who make a living doing this type of thing on eBay, Craigslist, etc., and that’s fine. More power to you. But when you are doing it in a Facebook group for needy families, you’re an asshole. Period.

2) The WIC Fraud Fools:
This one seems to be a touchy subject for people, and it also seems to vary by county and state. In my county, it is against the WIC program rules to sell any formula, food, or baby food that were purchased with WIC checks. This should be self-explanatory. You got these items FOR FREE from a group that exists solely to help supplement families in need, and you then sell them for profit. Sketchy. I see this ALL the time. And the groups I’m in don’t really have rules against it. But, for those of you who are in the WIC program and are guilty of doing this, the rules and consequences are listed VERY clearly in your WIC folder/pamphlet. It is a real offense, and it is called WIC fraud. Don’t do it. Now, this varies by county as well, but there are rules against giving away your formula and food bought with WIC. But it really can vary from office to office. Our local office does allow you to donate your formula to a food pantry, church, etc., but it has to be given away, so you’re not getting anything in return.

3) The Haggler:
I’ll admit that being able to haggle well is a useful skill to have when it comes to saving money, but you really need to know when to quit. This is probably one of the most common types of people I seem to interact with. As I said before, I get it. We’re all trying to save money, that’s why we’re here on these groups. But, while you’re trying to save money when buying used baby clothes, I’m trying to make money by selling used baby clothes. I can not even tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation while selling things:

Me: Selling ______ for $4, bought new for $35, pick up only, blah blah blah.
Person: Will you take $3.50?
Me: I’d really prefer to get $4 for it.
Person: Really? It’s 50 cents. What are you going to do with it?
Me: What are YOU going to do with it?
Person: Uhh…
Or:
Me: Selling ___ for $5, ___ for $3, ___ for $4, and ___ for $7.
Person: Will you take $9 for all of it?
Me: Um… no…

So. Irritating.

I can be really flexible, within reason. Recently, I listed a baby swing for $85. After a few weeks of it not selling, I added “OBO” (or best offer) to the post, as well as dropped the price to $75. The first offer I got? $40. I rejected and said it was too low. Her second offer? $42. Seriously? I eventually sold it to a VERY nice lady, who was more than happy to pay $65 for a practically brand new swing, which retails at $160. Done deal.

4) The Vulture:
Luckily, I’ve only encountered this type of person a few times, and in ALL of the groups that I’m in, this type of behavior usually results in getting banned. Recently, I listed a TON of baby stuff on Facebook, including baby clothes, a baby bath, stroller accessories, some shoes, etc. I woke up the next morning to see that several people had commented on various posts stating that they were interested, or asking additional questions. But I also saw this commented on half my posts:

Person: I AM SELLING SIMILAR ITEMS FOR MUCH CHEAPER, SEARCH FOR MY NAME.

Or some variation of that. So, so rude. We are all just trying to sell our stuff and make some spare change. If your stuff really is so cheap, people will buy it. You don’t need to spam other peoples’ posts to advertise it. Why you gotta be like that?!

5) The Unwanted Advice Giver:
I’ve seen this type of person comment on both buying and selling posts. While not against the rules, it is super annoying:

OP: Looking for a Britax stroller!
Person: Britax sucks, don’t get one.
Or:
OP: Selling a Baby Bjorn carrier!
Person: I had one, hated it.

Folks, this is not Amazon. We’re not looking to read your review. All that you’re doing is making it harder for that person to buy/sell the item. Unless you are their mother-in-law, or partner, or they are buying the item for you, lay off with your opinion. Chances are, if they are looking for a specific item, then that’s the item that THEY want, regardless of what YOU think of it. Same with selling. There are people who are looking for things that maybe you did not like. What works for one person may not work for you, and visa versa. So stop it.

6) The Unwilling to Travel:
I don’t drive. The only time I am able to travel to meet people when buying things is on Kyle’s ONE day off that he gets a week, as long as it is within a reasonable distance. But also, because I do not drive, it means that when selling things, I am unable to meet people to sell them the things that they want to buy. I always make sure to specify in my posts that all of the things that I sell are for pick up only in my town. If someone is interested, I message them and ask if they would mind meeting at my apartment, where I would meet them outside. Generally, people are pretty okay with it. It’s just like a store, if you want the item, you have to go and buy it. Right? Right. I know that if I see something I want, but the post specifies that it is for pick up only in a town I know I can’t get to, then I just move on. Sometimes, people really don’t understand thought. Just this morning, I had this conversation with a woman who messaged me about some baby clothes I’m selling:

Her: Interested in buying 3-6 month baby boy sleepers, do you ever come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t, it’s all pick up only. I’m actually only selling those clothes as a lot also, not separating. It’s $35 for the entire thing (both of these things were also specified in the post).
Her: Okay, if I buy the lot will you come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t drive. That’s why it is pick up only.
Her: Well, that’s too far.
Me: Okay, sorry.
Her: How about I give you $30 and we meet in ___?
Me: No… I don’t drive. Sorry.

First of all, her message was wrong for all sorts of reasons. She disregarded everything from my original post. I looked up both of the towns that she wanted me to meet her in, the first was 40 minutes away (where she actually lived, she wanted me to deliver them to her), and the second was 30 minutes away (and she wanted me to lower the price because it was inconvenient for her). That is not how this works, honey. If you really want the stuff, come and get it. Oh, and join a group for YOUR county while you’re at it.

And finally…

7) The Liar:
The worst of the worst. This person flat out lies about the items that they are selling, whether it be condition, brand, size, etc. I actually just went through this myself very recently. I was buying a crib bumper from a woman, and she only sold me one panel of it, which we did not discover until we got home. After two weeks of messaging her back and forth, she agreed to meet me to give me a replacement crib bumper. And she never showed. She stopped responding to my messages. I contacted the admin, who messaged her and was also ignored, and had her banned from the group. So now I have half of a crib bumper, and I’m out a few dollars.

Recently, in one of the groups I belong to, a woman was busted selling VERY damaged goods to people. She advertising that all of her items were in good condition, but the pictures she posted (if she even posted pictures) were from the manufacturers’ sites, and not of her actual items. What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

* Bonus *
8) The (Nearly) Full-Pricer:
It really does suck when you have to spend $249.99 on a crib, knowing that you will never get your money back. I get that. I’ve been there. But people certainly do try. If something is open, missing product, or used, you should not be selling it at full retail price. Ever. If you can’t return it for whatever reason, then I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. No one wants to spend the same price that they could be getting it at in the store, but getting less of the item/poorer quality. Listing a crib that you bought for $249.99 for your child 3 years ago for full-price is just wasting everyone’s time. No one wants to pay full-price (or nearly full-price) for something that has seen poop, pee, spit-up, drool, and teeth for the last 3 years. Heck, it probably also sat in your garage for a little while while you were trying to sell it. So add dust, dirt, and spiders to that list. No. Just no.

The same thing goes with designer clothes. People in resale groups typically can’t afford to go out and buy brand new designer clothes for their newborn, that’s why they are there in the first place. So selling a large lot of clothes and jacking the price WAY up (like $150 for 40 pieces of used clothing) because a few of the pieces are from such and such designer, is silly. Sell them separately if you want that much for them. I see this a lot with Jordan stuff. We just bought a pair of Jordan sneakers for Liam for $10. I didn’t want to spend $10 on used sneakers, but Kyle insisted, because they were Jordans, and $10 isn’t that bad. Ugh.

So there you have it, a nifty list of some of the worst people that you can run into when buying and selling used items on Facebook. Or Craigslist. Whatever you use. Please, don’t be one of these people. If you are one of these people, please know that what you’re doing is not okay, and that you’re a dick.

Thanks for reading!

Jan