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Sob story on CL

Old 02-11-16, 10:16 PM
  #1  
2702
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Sob story on CL

I am trying to sell my old Jamis Bike on CL.
This is a reply from earlier today. I wonder if he is a CL " pro".

Hello, my name is Colton and I am a student at Tacoma Community College. Because I am devoted to getting through college without being in debt I work non stop between classes and my job selling pet food to pet stores. I need a bicycle to get to class and different stores and back to my apartment but I don't have the money for it at the moment since all my money goes to food, rent, books and tuition. If there is any way that you could help a student in need by donating your bicycle I would be forever grateful. I could even do monthly payments but i can only afford around $20 a month at the moment in my budget.

If you do not wish to help please do not be rude in the reply, you would be surprised at how mean some people can be. Either way, thank you for your time and I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Colton



I wonder if I should get out my harp and some tissues for the guy.

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Old 02-11-16, 10:30 PM
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Tell him the same thing I tell every "creative" lowballer-- save up that 20 a month until you hit the total, and if the bike is still here, it's yours. Everybody has got a story.
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Old 02-11-16, 10:51 PM
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Like any sob story, there's no need to respond. Either ignore it completely or politely decline saying you can only afford to do a straight cash deal right now.
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Old 02-11-16, 10:52 PM
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if you don't need the money really, you could always ask for a copy of his school ID or recent grades or something. Or just move on.
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Old 02-12-16, 04:25 AM
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Beggars can do quite well for themselves. With his scenario, he gets your bike for nothing then flips it for a tidy little profit on campus.

Still a bit more creative than the guy who wandered past me in a country town in Victoria earlier this week asking if I had any change. My swift and brief reply while looking him in the eye was: "No".

It's a numbers game. Do the street 10 or 20 times a day, ask a few hundred people and there are enough who will hand over some of their cash. I can imagine the same with the bike guy -- try the scam enough times a week, and he would have a pretty decent income.
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Old 02-12-16, 05:56 AM
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About 20 years ago my wife and I were on vacation, and went down to the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. I'm from the northeast and was surprised by the politeness and layed back nature of the bums down there. One guy had a sign and it read "Who's kidding who..I need money for beer". I went over to him, and gave him five bucks.
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Old 02-12-16, 06:45 AM
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Honestly the guy is asking for any bike not a 5000 bucks one, an old 70 collegiate bike could do it, if if he is a flipper you cant get too much money for those anyways specially if its a beater.
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Old 02-12-16, 07:07 AM
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This is a guy who will be funding his MBA via flipping bikes. Sure, he will start slowly, but before long he will have a network of folks posting this ad for a small stipend, and he will have a garage full of bikes. Most won't be worth much, but he will hit a few C&V gems or year-old quality bikes that some soft-hearted suckers bought and never rode.

Ten years from now he will have made his first million and will have forgotten how hard he ... laughed when people gave him free stuff he could sell.
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Old 02-12-16, 07:19 AM
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Suggest to him that he can volunteer at the local bike co-op for a semester. If he does that, you'll find an old bike that he can rehab to ride.
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Old 02-12-16, 07:53 AM
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OTOH it might not be a sob story. Look at the fact that this student is apparently a very hard worker, and is not the lazy entitled type of college student that is so in the news these days.
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Old 02-12-16, 08:08 AM
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Offer him directions to the nearest bike co-op or bike charity organization.
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Old 02-12-16, 08:15 AM
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"...my daddy is being totes difficult, he insists on keeping my trust fund money till I turn 25! The hardships I must face here at college are so unbearable! Well, I'm off to the protest rally for safe spaces now, up twinkles and please send me my free bike ASAP!"

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Old 02-12-16, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Beggars can do quite well for themselves....

It's a numbers game....
A shiny, clear, and non-brittle DorkDisk spent some time with two teenage girls who could work a crowd for over $300 in an hour
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Old 02-12-16, 09:21 AM
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I'd actually have to meet the guy before I passed judgement. That could easily be real. I'd surely give him a free bike if I felt he was being genuine. Not one of my top racers or anything but something that would work fine for him. I really like to help people out because I have been down on my luck before too. Doesn't really sound like a scammer in my opinion. I actually have given free cameras to guys who responded to my ads and were just getting into it. I love a good story. :^)

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Old 02-12-16, 09:35 AM
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I guess I'm a hard hearted dick. I hear so many sob stories my standard response is "Sorry, but no..." Many sob story people I see repeating their tale to the next sucker, so I'm pretty skeptical. I would just not respond to the OP's student.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:07 AM
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you can send him a rude reply.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:11 AM
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It's sad that scammers, schemers, and freeloaders have ruined charity for everyone. Garages everywhere are full of unused and unwanted bikes. That student should ask around among those who know him personally instead of panhandling the general public.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:15 AM
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Tell him he needs a beater bike, not one with a recognizable name like a Jamis bike. It would only be a thief magnet.
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Old 02-12-16, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
Because I am devoted to getting through college without being in debt I work non stop between classes and my job selling pet food to pet stores. I need a bicycle to get to class and different stores and back to my apartment but I don't have the money for it at the moment since all my money goes to food, rent, books and tuition.
1) If he needs a bicycle to do all this, how is he currently able to do it...?

2) Why does he think owing you money is "getting through college without being in debt"?

Does not pass the straight face/sniff test...
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Old 02-12-16, 11:15 AM
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Interesting. I overlooked that he was posting that In Response to other ads --- "Since you are Sellling your bike, why not Give me a bike?" I had thought somehow it was in a "classifieds" section or something.

There are enough $5 and $10 bikes on CL that he could, for the $20 a week he claims he can afford, put together parts for a pair or trio ion no time---I used to pick up bikes from dumpsters and the side of the road ( laid out for trash day) and combine bits and pieces. If this guy is so enterprising and all he wants is a bike And he can afford $20 a week, he'd already be riding.
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Old 02-13-16, 12:53 PM
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I might compose a very positive, encouraging reply refusing his request, but in such a way that he would not be able to gauge your sincerity - the way you can't gauge his.
"I'd really like to help such an enterprising lad as you, but, unfortunately, money is tight with my current situation..."
Have fun with it.
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Old 02-13-16, 02:32 PM
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Even assuming he's for real, it should be clear to him that most people selling used stuffs on craigslist are selling because they need the money. He should either go to the Free category, or start a page on GoFundMe website (maybe OP should direct the person there).
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Old 02-13-16, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
OTOH it might not be a sob story. Look at the fact that this student is apparently a very hard worker, and is not the lazy entitled type of college student that is so in the news these days.
Generally, legit hard-workers don't ask strangers for charity. It takes a special mentality, or desperation to do that- and if the kid were truly a hard-worker capable of supporting himself while going to school, he would not be desperate.

Men use the "poor student" motiff.
Women use "kids".
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Old 02-13-16, 06:27 PM
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It seems likely he has sent the email before based on the last paragraph. Doesn't mean he isn't sincere, just an observation.

If I was asking a pittance for the bike to begin with, I'd consider the idea of financing, with the understanding I might not get payment #2 . If I needed the money and/or the price is significant, probably not...I'm all for being generous, but there are more needy people than some randon who is trying to go through college without debt.
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Old 02-13-16, 06:56 PM
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I think that bum moved to Hawaii. I saw the same sign there a couple of years past.
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