The Fridge Debacle

Otherwise known as The Great Craigslist Sale Fail that one winter

So, I decided to sell my fridge on Craigslist instead of paying Sears $15 to remove it. 

I thought this was smart. Not only will I not pay but someone will pay me. I am brilliant! 

I found someone online who sold the same exact same fridge for $650 and confidently posted my ad.


I posted it again, thinking something must have gone wrong. That never happens. Everything disappears off Craigslist. Heck, I once sold a recipe box I found in the trash. There's a buyer for everything.

No response.

The delivery date for the new unit inched closer and I began to fear I wouldn’t sell it in time. I called every used appliance store in the area asking if they would buy my fridge. 

"Sorry, your fridge is a piece of junk," they all said. "We don't go near those."

How did a guy sell this thing on eBay for $650?!? 

One friend said, "Oh, appliances do better on eBay than Craigslist."

Fine, I'll sell it on eBay then.

I began looking up what that entailed and learned it would require an extra $350 for “freight shipping” AND my own packing and "crating," whatever that meant.

That sure sounded like a whole hell of a lot more work than the original plan of just holding open the front door while someone carted it away and handed me a wad of cash.

FINE, I thought. I'll just lower the price again. It's STILL better than paying someone money to haul it away. 

The day before the new fridge was to arrive, no one had responded and I was desperate. I dropped the price all the way down to $150.

"Must go immediately," I wrote, realizing that while I'd already made several terrible mistakes about this whole situation, having the old fridge in the house when the new one arrived was not going to be one of them if I could help it. 

A guy finally called. "I can come get it tonight."

I raced home from work and invited a friend to join me to fulfill Craigslist anti-serial killer protocols set by my dad, paying for dinner in exchange for gender protection. (Serial killers disguised as appliance buyers are less likely to dismember females in the presence of her friends; it's a well-known scientific fact.) 

Appliance-buyer texted me. "Will you have someone around that can help me load the fridge into my truck?"

Ah, testing out the waters, I see. That translates to "Will there be anyone present to witness the chain-saw I'll be carrying? (And specifically, will this person be strong enough to carry a fridge, meaning, will they be able to intercept the activation of the on switch for my chain saw?" These are important questions for any buyer.)

"Sorry, someone will be here but they have a bad back," I replied, meaning, "Are you f*ing kidding me, I'm practically giving this thing away, there is no way in hell I am supplying you with an assistant, just get it out of my house! And know that 'back issues' will not prevent my bodyguard from wrangling your chainsaw away so save that for your next 'purchase'!"

"No worries," he politely replied. "I'll bring an assistant."

Now I felt better that this was a legit deal, since no one should show up to buy a fridge alone.

Appliance Buyer showed up a little while later, sans chainsaw. He was half my size and completely uninterested in changing that by obtaining extra protein from my corpse for nourishment, to my great relief.

Although he was slight, he and his assistant got to work and managed to wrangle a behemoth of an appliance the size of a small baby elephant out of my kitchen, into the hall and down a full flight of stairs to the front door.

The whole escapade nearly sent my anxiety levels through the roof, especially when I saw them tipping the fridge over the top lip of the staircase so they could "slide" it down while "controlling" descent by parking themselves under it, pitting their tiny human muscles against the laws of physics and power of gravity.

"Please don't die, please don't die," I chanted inside, as if that were a powerful enough invocation to reach whatever deity was on call for the prevention of imminent death by crushing. 

The two men managed to slide the fridge all the way to the front door and heaved it upright. I began to breath again. All seemed to be going smoothly.

Until the refrigerator got stuck in the front door.

I spent the next 2 hours sitting on the steps watching the men disassemble both my front door AND the doors of the fridge while heat in the form of molecules shaped like dollar signs flew out the gaping hole where the front door used to be and disappeared deep into the cold night.

I started to feel so terrible at seeing his struggle that when Appliance Buyer finally finished and handed me $150, the agreed-upon price, I handed him back $50 -- I could not, in good conscience, take more. 

Let him use the $50 towards a chainsaw upgrade.

After they left and I was $100 richer, I surveyed the kitchen. 

I had emptied the fridge contents onto the counter and could not bring myself to throw even a single bit of food away.

I decided to store it outside in the cold until I could bring it to work and put it in the communal fridge until my new unit arrived.

Satisfied at the conclusion of lessons, um, I mean events, I uploaded the photos I’d taken and drifted into a deep sleep.

(I express my stress in filenames.)

The next morning while rushing to work, I needed to brake suddenly, causing the bag of food to fling forward and all the food to fly out.

A half-filled container of broth, which had been worth only $2 (but I had refused to dispose) upended, saturating the carpet in sticky juice. It will probably cost $100 to clean. Add that to the $15 cost of dinner for the bodyguard AND the heightened electric bill, and net proceeds now lean in favor of Sears removal. Now I know why people PAY to have things removed!