A Craigslist “Steal” Isn’t Always a Deal!

We’ve been looking for a microwave hutch since our recent move. I’ve been fairly selective about what it should look like; however, the perfect one wasn’t appearing on Craigslist as soon as I was wanting it to. Then on Black Friday afternoon we noticed a white hutch on Craigslist that looked like it had potential for the small vacant space beside our fridge. Initially, when I saw the hutch I wasn’t thrilled with all of its decorative features; however, I decided it would probably be workable. I also knew purchasing a microwave hutch would result in more counter top space in our kitchen. Certainly, this was a win-win situation. Right? Eric called the person who had listed it and asked if we could come yet that afternoon to pick it up.

As we made our way to town later, I kept my rambled thoughts to myself, not wanting to admit to Eric that I wasn’t exactly pleased with the selection we were getting ready to make. (I reassured myself that you can only tell so much by a picture. Surely, once I saw it I would be convinced and we would together agree to make the purchase.)

Upon arriving at our destination we were welcomed inside by the individual who was wanting to sell his hutch. We were led to his basement and I suddenly noticed a strong bleach smell consuming the area we were entering. Wow, I thought. He must have wanted to really make the hutch white in appearance. From my point of view the hutch looked solid, decently clean, and in reasonable condition. I did notice several scratches along the top. We offered to pay a lesser amount but he declined our offer. Considering the fact that we had driven 20 miles and the individual was promptly ready to help carry the “solid” piece of furniture to our car, we decided to take it for the initial price he had asked. As they carried it out, I noticed the bottom legs of the hutch were covered in some kind of gooey, yucky stuff. Oh, bother I thought. Why didn’t we look at it closer. I also noticed a crayon mark and some other unwanted features when I got a close up view in the car.

Our trip home took several hours due to eating out and I forgot about my uncertainties. Once we were home Eric unloaded the microwave hutch and I pulled out my rags and cleaning supplies and went to work. As I started the project, I became disgusted with the gooey dirt stuck to the bottom of the hutch. I tried goo gone, soft scrub and a scrubber but had very little success. I began feeling grumpy about my situation and started noticing other places that were scratched and marked on that I hadn’t noticed before. Oh, and the doors with a floral decorative pattern were not going to fit in our kitchen. I went inside, my toes freezing from the cold, and told Eric I don’t think the hutch will be suitable after all. He wondered why I didn’t like it. I promptly gave my list of reasons and added that it was impossible to get it clean. Sadly, I didn’t relate overly charitably after my little tirade. I decided it was time for bed.

The following day I glanced at the added piece of furniture on our car port as we were leaving. I mumbled some unappreciative thoughts and decided for certain that it would not be used in our home. Several days later a gust of wind blew the unwanted piece off of its prop (I had left it in its cleaning position.) Sadly enough, when it fell one of the door knobs broke.

The problem was that we couldn’t resell the piece of furniture on Craigslist for what we paid for it. We would need to replace the knobs and a thorough cleaning was still in order. Even if we did these things we would only likely be able to sell it at half price.

Finally, the other day, after trying to pawn our hutch off to some friends who had dropped by, I decided several things:

  1. I needed to make the hutch work even if I didn’t like it.
  2. I needed to humbly admit to my husband that I was sorry I didn’t honestly tell him my thoughts before we purchased the hutch. (He had been rather oblivious to my reservations.)
  3. I need to be more careful in making a Craigslist purchase. Though it’s sometimes awkward to admit to the seller that I’m not getting the item, it’s better to do this than have to deal with something I really didn’t want.

I casually mentioned to my husband that I needed his help for a bit. He was surprised when I asked him to remove the doors and backing on the microwave hutch. He was further shocked when I asked him to move it inside.

It is really nice to have extra counter top space. I’m also deciding I don’t mind the appearance of the hutch, especially with the amendments made. Furthermore, whenever I look at it, it’s a good reminder to communicate honestly at all times.


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