18 May 2009

First Time on Craig's List

As luck would have it, we have added another casualty to our list of dying appliances, otherwise known as, homeowner hell. Our oven is the latest to succomb to old age. It is the original cheap model that was put into the house when they built it 25 years ago. It's actually impressive that it lasted this long.

When we moved into the house 11 years ago, the two large burners on the stove didn't always work. About a year later, one of them stopped working completely. The remaining large burner is sketchy at best. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but it tends to choose never to work on holidays or when we are having people over for dinner.

The brackets holding the heating elements inside the oven have completely disintegrated and the broiler parts are hanging by a thread. For quite a while now, every time I use the oven, smoke drifts out of one of the burners on the stove. Yes, one of the two that works. Can you say, fire hazard?

So we are currently shopping for a new oven. Although I am not originally from New England, the New England Thriftiness has rubbed off on me and it pains me to think of spending money on a BRAND NEW oven. So I checked out Uncle Henry's and Craig's List for used models.

Uncle Henry's is as much a part of Maine as lobsters, lighthouses and moose. Craig's List, however, is much larger, and kind of scary. Yeah, the only thing I really know about Craig's List is that several of my friends love it, and that some nut case down in Boston used it to do bad things to women. Creepy.

But hey, that was a one-time deal, right?

So I searched for ovens on Craig's List, and lo and behold, there was a DREAM OVEN - a very, very nice one for $250, regularly over $1000 - in a town less than a 1/2 hour from us. I emailed the owner and asked if I could set up a time to go see it (with my husband of course - and maybe a rottweiler, just in case) so I could look it over, turn it on, make sure everything worked, etc.

I received a very pleasant email telling me they would LOVE to have us come see the oven, that it is wonderful and works fine and we will love it, BUT - - we couldn't turn it on to see if it works. They explained that after remodeling their kitchen and getting a new oven, they moved the old one into the garage and it cannot be plugged in. The only 220 outlet was in their kitchen.

When I next asked about using an extension cord, they said no, that their new oven is plugged in and that they'd have to move it to do that, which they won't do. But they urged me to come see it because it's such a nice oven and I should first see if it's what I want before deciding whether or not I'm willing to buy it on their terms. Huh?

Ok, so then I asked if they'd be willing to sign some kind of a guarantee, because if we were going to fork out over $200 for a used oven, we needed some kind of a safety net.

No. They said the oven would be sold AS IS, no guarantees. They also seemed shocked and appalled that I would even ask. And AGAIN they urged me to come see it anyway.

Can you say, "Boston Killer Weirdo?" Yeah, that's all I could think of. Maybe there WAS no oven. Maybe they are simply trying to lure unsuspecting people into their home so they can read Stephen King books together and then act them out. Eww.

So I wished them good luck with selling the oven, and I told them I'd be curious to know if anyone buys it under those conditions. I don't think they liked that and I got a "Good luck with your irrational and unreasonable oven search!"

Ok, not really, but the parting email DID have that tone. At least my paranoid brain thought so.

The bottom line? We still need a new oven. Home Depot and their one-year interest-free deal is looking better and better.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes


Connie said...

You did the right thing, they sounded like scammers. Bob and I are old hands at Craigs list You may do better to buy a new one with a warranty.

Nicole said...

I've had one CL experience and it was sketchy like this. Going with your gut and common sense is never a bad idea...

jessica said...

Its just an amazing blog... i just loved it.. thanks for the information..

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