Local Ebay is a Nightmare, Book Giveaway – Steals & Deals

A stealth photo through my screen as I was laying dying in my room after moving mecha-Godzilla from my basement.

Ma & Pa Watch a Machine Move

I should have known better. I used local Ebay once before and the guy showed up to pick-up my enormous bureau, alone, with one arm. He weighed about seventy pounds soaking wet (it might have been eighty before the arm went missing). I mean, sorry about the wing clipping, but maybe give me a  heads-up to have someone around or bring a friend? Instead, I dug deep for Hulk strength to help him get it in his truck.

But that was nothing compared to our latest Ebay fiasco. We sold our embroidery machine, which weighs approximately one million pounds. I warned the winner of the auction repeatedly how large the machine was and told him he’d need three or four large men to move it across our rough, uphill yard. He said little. Finally, driving from several states away, he said “we’ll be there in two hours” and I thought, he said we. Thank goodness. He finally listened.


When he arrived, I watched his gray-haired wife spring out of the passenger seat a wrestle a contraption from the van. She was hunched with age.

“I’m the workhorse!” she announced.

“Nope.” I said the word out loud, suffering more flashbacks of one-armed men than Dr. Richard Kimble.

The contraption in her hand turned out to be her husband’s walker, which she trotted to the driver’s side so he could use it to slowly roll himself towards me. It had a chair built into it, so he could rest every few feet.

Am I on Punk’d? Are they reviving Candid Camera again?

I waited for the the strapping young movers to pile out of the back of his mini-van, but, nope.

The worst part was when we slowly walked around back to show him the machine my husband and I had spent all morning rolling from the back of the basement to the patio, Pa Walker said, “That’s just like our other one.”

So he knew exactly how heavy it was.

The monster machine needed to be rolled to the front of the house, over rough grass and up a hill, so I made Ma and Pa shuffle off to Home Depot to buy thick sheets of wood (which also weighed a ton) so we could build a boardwalk and roll the machine from one to the next over the grass, running the one in the back to the front as we made slow and steady progress. This took me, my husband Mike, and two of our strongest neighbors to accomplish. I’m still out of breath.

Pa watched and barked suggestions from his rolly-walker. Ma we had to shoo away as she fluttered around us looking like a pale wet rag, unable to help, grumbling about the two G.I. bleeds she’d suffered the month before.

Probably, because her dippy husband has her carry the whole refrigerator to him when he wants a beer.

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Amy Vansant

13 Responses

  1. Necta

    That goes to show a womans work is never done. Next time your gonna have to ask for a photo of the prospected buyers.


  2. Joe

    You left me hanging. How does it turn out. Did they get it out to the UHaul to only find out there is no lift tail gate. Also did they give you a check?


  3. Celeste Livengood

    Good grief! I’m surprised they didn’t ask you to go back home with them to unload it too!


  4. Lee

    That is a hilarious story, Amy! Thank you for making me laugh so hard this morning!! And thanks for the reminder about selling stuff. I have some things I want to sell and I’m just dreading having to deal with stuff like this. Donation looks better and better to me.


  5. Kit Donner

    “As is, where is!” In other words, if you have the winning bid, you owe me the money. Obviously, when you sell online and the person cannot see what the obstacles to removing the item from its current location , that is different from going to a store or an auction site. But perhaps there are ways of specifying terms of removal? Weight and dimensions? Access, terrain, and distance to curb or kerb depending on your location? “Price does not include shipping and handling!”

    I have not bought or sold anything on eBay, so I don’t know what will fly and what won’t. But I do know that most buying and selling has explicit terms and implicit terms, and if the implicit terms are unacceptable to one party, they can usually be modified by explicit terms prior to or at the time of sales, and once agreed to, are then binding on both parties, but you have to actually make explicit terms part of the agreement. You cannot just politely hint that it will take at least three strong blokes. You have to say that the buyer is responsible for providing three strong blokes who are capable of carrying a fragile 500 pound weight machine at least 300 yards across uneven marshy ground up 20 feet and down 34 feet to the nearest paved road. Or whatever is actually required. Or there will be an additional charge of $84.37 if we bring the machine to the road, and $163.44 if we load it on a vehicle bed not more than 32″ off the ground and $789.67 to load on a vehicle bed not more than 60″ . Actually you would probably have to have a more complicated agreement than that, and the simplest thing might be requiring licensed, bonded movers, but then you price yourself out of the market. But don’t hint. The move is the buyer’s responsibility or the seller’s responsibility at each point and that is how it is and if it is not your responsibility it is not your responsibility.


    • Amy Vansant

      I had it in the listing when he bought that they buyer was responsible for removing it from the house and told them all the trouble it would be. AND I told him AFTER he bought — I couldn’t have tried harder to make it clear. He just didn’t care!


  6. Lyssa

    I never have laughed so hard. My husband thought me mad. After I caught my breath, I explained the the whole story to him. He said “that old man was stupid” and I agreed. Thanks for the laugh though.


  7. Jacki Prettyman

    Laffin’ here in Kansas for sure. What is wrong with people??!!


  8. Patricia wright

    I’ve sold items that are big and when the person shows up they want to stand around and think I will help load it. Noooooooo


  9. Carol T.

    Wow, I cant imagine how they got it home in one piece, much less got it unloaded and set up. I hope that you have recovered by now.


  10. JC

    My guess is that old couple pull this on others all the time. They know their age and acts of disability will most likely guilt others into doing all the work for them. I’m doubting they are as feeble as they appear to be. Having had over 30 garage sales myself, I’ve seen it all. Most people are the salt of the earth but there are those that will use others to do all the work and then try and get a lower price AFTER the items have been loaded to the vehicle. I finally learned to unload it and cancel the sale then and there. It was worth the work to see the looks on their faces. Teaching such people a lesson was worth the extra effort to me.

    Amy, in your case being the teacher wouldn’t have been worth it. I hope that old couple are ashamed of themselves. I seriously doubt this is the first time they’ve pulled such a stunt.



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