We’ve had a few big purchases recently. And even though I’m slowly weaning myself off my inhuman amounts of overtime addiction I still feel guilty spending money on things other than mortgages and food (I guess that’s a pretty normal feeling when you’ve got a joint account with your partner. Who never spends anything on herself and indirectly makes me feel like the biggest money waster on the planet). So I’ve just dropped a couple of grand on a new PA system, which obviously we needed. Maybe. We’re not scraping by on 2 minute noodles just yet but things are getting a little bit tight.
Gumtree to the rescue!
First of all, forget ebay. They charge you right from the get-go just for listing something and there’s no guarantee that it’ll actually sell. Second of all, even if you do sell, you have to offer paypal as a payment method, so kiss a healthy percentage of your sale price goodbye in fees. Paypal? More like FEE-PAL. And I’m not even sure that many people are on it these days since there’s so many other options out there now.
Like Gumtree. Funnily enough, Gumtree (which actually started out with 2 guys setting up a sort of community noticeboard for Aussies/Kiwis moving to London) is now owned by Ebay. And since the takeover, they’ve slowly started to sneak in cheeky little fees (wan’t to get back on the top of the list? Just pay us $3 and we’ll be happy to do that. Want to edit your ad? Sure, give us some more cash.) But the frugal and tight-arsed among us can still lodge things for free. And tip for new players; even though you can’t just delete your ad and post it again to get back up the top of the page (it comes with a duplicate ad warning) you CAN change the title and description slightly to get around it. Because I’ll be damned if I’m going to part with $3 of my hard-earned cash to pay those (I assume) money-grabbing evil corporate bastards.
I’ve gone through these mad purchasing and selling phases before. OK, let’s go through all the cupboards and see what hasn’t been used for a year. Second pair of rock climbing shoes that never really fit properly? Gone. Spare pedal power supply that’s become obsolete since I bought a Pod FX unit? Sold. Two old PA speakers that I haven’t used for 8 years. Unsold.
Aye, and there’s the rub. When you post on gumtree you open the communication channels up to A LOT of dickheads. And for some reason, gumtree insomniacs like to assume that everyone else has the same sleep schedules as themselves and like to start calling and texting at 12am (I definitely do not, I have to get up at 6am every day). Some other guy contacts me just to tell me that something on there is “way off cost mate, you can buy these in the music stores new for the same price” (in belated response, no you CAN’T, you can buy something that looks SIMILAR but is actually a cheap Chinese knockoff, and second of all, if you don’t want it DON’T BUY IT). The cream of the crop was the non-english speaker who phoned me 5 times in 2 days to come and buy a PA speaker and after being very concerned about coming “all the way from Inala, so you can give me a discount since I have to travel so far?”. Who then arrives, starts going crazy when he sees that the SINGLE speaker I had for sale was not in fact, part of a pair (no-where in that ad were there any plurals). Who then proceeds to spend half an hour bemoaning the fact that there weren’t in fact TWO speakers before not buying the single speaker that I had for sale. And then starts smoking in my house.
So seller beware, as great as gumtree is, there’s still the unwritten cost of dealing with complete wankers. But if you’re happy to deal with the crazies, it’s a great way to turn junk just taking up space in your cupboards into cash. Or to think of it a different way, someone pays you to get rid of your crap. And I’ve met some pretty cool dudes over the years as well. There was the guy who used to play guitar in the Pacifics (60’s Australian surf band), some young up and coming guitarists from local bands like Good Boy https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/good-boy (who unashamedly got hounded by myself trying to get some gigs lined up together), a session guitarist who played with all the major acts coming through Australia in the last 50 years, including Sinatra.
Actually, I can’t not tell the story involving this guy. I was selling my Roland Space Echo which this old session guitarist needed for some project. Problem is he lives at the Gold Coast. Solution is I’m actually going to be at the Gold Coast giving a presentation at a big radiography conference at Jupiters Casino. So the times align and it works out that I can meet him in the lobby of Jupiters right after finishing off my presentation. So I’m dressed up in a suit and tie, finish my talk, give him a call and he asks if he can just meet me in the front driveway so he doesn’t have to pay for parking. I eventually spot this very suspicious looking old car pull up in the bus zone and he says the words that most good abductions start with, “Get in”. I give him the pedal but we can’t stay parked in the bus zone so he pulls up at the front door of this fancy hotel. The hotel doorman comes over and opens the door for me, at which point this crusty old guy leans over and says to him “don’t worry mate, we’re just doing some business here”, hands over $250 cash and shakes my hand. I have never seen a doorman look so confused but I can only imagine what he thought was taking place. Young (not so pretty) rent boy has just been paid for an afternoon of entertainment by some old guy in a rape van. But I guess they’re probably used to that sort of thing there. He just smiled and said “Welcome to the hotel sir”. Classic.