Call it serendipity, coincidence, or even divine intervention. As much as I believe that I am largely chartering my own course, every once in a while, the universe slaps me with a reminder to do something. Literally.
OK, it wasn’t a slap. It was a trip.
I was walking across the intersection in front of my work one evening, and I tripped. As I am wont to do. Normally, it’s no big deal. It’s a day than ends in -y.
The problem this time was that I was crossing the street with no less than dozens of other families as we made our way to the Meet and Greet. I literally stopped traffic—pedestrian and vehicular.
It was awkward.
It was also an excellent reminder to dive back into this series. Because life is always awkward for me. But it’s been financially awkward as well lately.
If you missed my blog this summer, you should know that I’ve fallen hard for decluttering and for second-hand items. I was on the fence at first, but after receiving so many thoughtful hand-me-downs and thinking about both the environmental and financial implications, I decided it was time to explore secondhand more.
RELATED POST: Should I Feel Guilty for Accepting Hand-Me-Downs?
Namely through OfferUp.
Call it a learning curve. Call it beginner’s (bad) luck. Call it what you wish. It got awkward fast.
“It didn’t look like that in the picture.”
My mom and I used OfferUp to find a wooden bead table for pennies on the dollar. It was so exciting. Not only did we find the activity cube in perfect condition, we paid $7 for what would have cost $50 in stores.
Riding on this first success, my mom decided that she wanted a play kitchen for HP for when she watches him during the week. We found one near their home for $12. $12! What a steal! It sold for over $30 online. It was like the activity cube all over again.
My mom said that she and my dad would pick it up, since they would surely need his truck. The sellers said that it was still assembled. Knowing that the play kitchen hand-me-down we have at our house for HP took a minivan and two grown ups to transport, we were convinced this would never fit in my trunk. So, they left in his truck.
Not long after, I got a text from my dad saying that they had picked it up. Excitedly, I walked out with HP to meet them in the driveway. I should have known something was up when my dad laughed as he dropped the tailgate.
Not only is HP almost as tall and wide as the play kitchen, he can pick it up with one hand.
I looked at my dad. I looked at my mom.
“Why did you buy this? Why did you take it?” I asked.
“Your dad said it would be easy to fit in our house,” my mom replied.
“Or a doll house,” my dad chortled.
“It didn’t look like that in the picture,” my mom agreed.
“Quick, quick, get the paper towels!”
At the start of summer, I rescued a baby bouncer from our neighbor’s garbage pile. More accurately, I made my husband rescue it. And then carry it back home. (Thanks, Mr. P!) After a few quick photos, I was able to flip the item on OfferUp for $8.
Naturally, I now consider myself a trash-find flipping expert. ::eye roll::
After making the decision to pass on another curb find, I have been positively itching to find something. Last garbage day, my dreams came true. I was walking to the park with HP, and I noticed a Graco booster seat at the curb. I figured we could either use it for HP when he gets bigger or sell it for a few bucks on OfferUp. The problem was that my husband had the car seat, and I wasn’t about to try to push HP in a stroller and carry a booster seat at the same time.
So I filed it away for later in the day.
If I’m being totally honest, I planned on telling my husband to grab it on his way home.
But I forgot about it.
Until 10 PM that night when I was returning home from the aforementioned trip-and-fall Meet and Greet. In the cover of darkness, I inched my car down the road. I could still see the booster seat. What luck!
Being the awkward turtle that I am, I parked a few houses down and killed the lights. I even remembered to turn off the dome light in my car so that the light wouldn’t go on when I opened the driver’s door.
I trotted over and grabbed the seat. Some glass and metal in the neighboring can jostled more than I’d like, but it was fine.
Until I realized that I forgot to turn off the backseat dome light and the back of my car lit up like a Christmas tree against the darkness. Thankfully, no one cared.
Moments later, I pulled into our driveway, and I went inside to get my husband. I couldn’t wait to show off my trash find.
“You will never believe what was still sitting out there! No one took it!”
I dashed back out, intending to have my prize sitting upright on the garage floor when he walked out. Surely, there would be a round of applause. He had to give me credit for this one. I was sure of it.
My dreams were dashed when I opened the door and saw my trash find in the light. It was sopping wet, leaking (water? NOT WATER?) all over my leather seats and carpeted floor mats.
“Quick! Quick! Get the paper towels!” I yelled.
“Guess that’s why you don’t garbage pick after a rain,” my husband smiled.
Final Thoughts on OfferUp Awkwardness
Thankfully, most of my interactions on OfferUp, whether selling or buying, have been signifinantly less awkward and much more frugal. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of a learning curve when it comes to landing good deals from strangers on the Internet. We’re definitely enjoying our finds now and having a good laugh about how things started.
Afraid you missed a cringe-worthy moment? Want to see if you can out-awkward me? Check out the rest of the series!
So Tell Me…Have you had any awkward adventures in reselling or second-hand purchases?