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January 22, 2009

The cursory $5 off

January 22. Day 206.

A few months ago, I was flipping through "Home" magazine, which I found at my Mama's house, and I fell head over heels for one of their spreads.

After a bit of digging, I found it online.

Not every element gets me. (Bleh bedroom and dark walls, for example.) But a few accents, a few ideas, make the space seem warm, luminous, airy. Plus, the many windows that come with the place.

Yesterday, I saw a mirror at Ikea that sort of works like the one in this hallway, in the top picture. Opens everything up.

It was $100, so I decided to pass.

Today, I spotted the same mirror on Craigslist, for $35.

I called and said I'd take it, and at 3:30 I showed up.

I was about to hand over the money when I had a split second of hesitation.

Should I ask?

I've Craigslisted for years -- bought and sold furniture, tried to sell a car (then donated it, still through CL), found work, bikes, found and rented countless apartments in the U.S. and abroad, even ran into a long lost housemate on Missed Connections.

And hypocrite that I am, I've appreciated when buyers didn't haggle. Of course, they often do haggle and I know it comes with the territory, and I respect them for it. But when someone approves of your price, shows up with the cash in hand and completes the transaction in 30 seconds, it makes my day so much... sweeter.

Should I be that kind of client? Make things easy? Accept I was getting a deal -- almost 30% of retail. Or should I ask?

I went for it. Not for the blog, not specifically for this experiment, but just because I felt like it.

"Would you take $30?"

He thought about it, was on the verge of saying no, but agreed.


Gained: $5
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