Flash Fiction: Kijji People by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: “The Sound of Silence. Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.” This month’s story (real instances with identifying items changed to protect the guilty!) comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Check out her publishing company’s second anthology, TWO EYES OPEN, on sale August 1, 2017, on Amazon and other venues.


Kijji People

Kijiji People are as bad as Walmart People but in a much different way. If you’ve seen the comical, yet freaky, photographs online of Walmart customers, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, be happy!

The comparison is a rough one—a stretch! Who cares what Kijiji People look like? Ninety-nine percent of the time, one doesn’t see them, unlike the in-your-face Walmart People. And, really, we don’t care what Kijiji People look like—we simply want their money. Now that I ponder, I suppose that’s how the CEOs of Walmart feel, too; just give us your hard-earned dollars.

Me? I’d love it if KP lived up to their promises. I suppose “promise” is a strong word as is my comparison to WP. Not like KP carve words in stone when they reply to an item. But why do they send a million emails asking “Is this item still available” and after my responses of “Yes, it is. Would you like to see it? I’m available at your convenience,” not another word! I’ve learned my lesson, though; now my response is a simple “Yes!” and the email is deleted so my inbox isn’t clogged with junk.

Funny, as tech savvy as I proclaim to be, yesterday I discovered I don’t even have to type any words. Three handy dandy options are listed at the bottom of Kijiji’s email: “Yes, I do,” “No, sorry,” “Yes, it’s still available.” Click the pertinent one, hit send, and you’re done!

Our garage is full of items I’m trying to sell. I insert “price is firm” at the end of my ads. I’m not interested in bargaining; my prices are more than fair. I’m not listing something for $60 in the hopes I get $50; that’s not MY nature, but that seems to be the nature of Kijiji People. They want bargains—or, at least, to think they’ve worn you down so you’ll give them one.

I’ve had people try to get me down to $35 on a $100 item. I’ve had people bicker over $5 and end up walking away without purchasing. Once in a while I do lower my price; I guess it depends how desperate I am at that moment.

One day, a woman came to purchase a vest. It turned out to be too small for her, but I upsized her to a jacket. She only had $20 on her, the price of the vest (doesn’t anyone carry money any longer?), so she gave me the twenty as a deposit until the following day. The next day, a couple of hours before she was to return, I received an email: “Would you take $50?” Umm—no!

One individual, who came to view the snow blower, said “I’ll take it. I’m not even going to argue with the price.” “No, you’re not,” I replied, “because I’m not going any lower.”

Another woman wanted to purchase my Keurig carousel, listed for $10. The plan was that we would meet in her neighbourhood whenever I was in her area. A few days later, we agreed to meet in a supermarket parking lot. “I’ll park at the far end of the parking lot, facing the highway. I have a red Porsche, with a black soft-top. Will be there at 1:00.” Should be simple, right? Well, I waited . . . and waited. I finally checked my phone to find her message: “I’m over by the donation bins, in the corner of the parking lot. I have a blue Ford.” I looked to my right: there she was. WTF! She had to pass by me to park where she did, and not a car was parked in the area when I arrived. Piss on her; if she can’t come to me, I’m not going to her. And we sat like that for fifteen minutes. I ignored her texts: “I’m here, where are you?” “I have to leave in ten minutes.” “Hope you get here soon.” “Where are you?” I wasn’t budging. She had said she had an appointment at 1:15. At 1:10, I sped off. I flicked my finger at her when I passed.

Some KP are plain sneaky! I had, what I thought was, a rush on tennis racquets. I had a price of $25 each or $45 for the pair. I told Hubby I had an offer of $40 for the two. “They’re worth more than $50 each,” he said. I thought $25 was fair, however, but wished I hadn’t reduced the two to $45. So I changed the ad to one at $25 and ignored the guy with the $40 request. A couple of days later, I had two more emails about the racquets. “Yes, I still have them,” I replied to both emails. “$25 each.” One reply: “A couple of days ago they were two for $45!!!!!!!.” (Yes, a whack of exclamation points!) He scared me, too, cos he sounded mad. Luckily, I hadn’t yet given him my address.

Another guy wanted grease guns. “Ten dollars each,” I said. “I have three.” He wanted all three at the $20 price I had listed. Ooops—typo! I replied that they were three for $25, not three for $20. I never heard back from him even though he’d been eager to immediately pick them up. He has our address, so I’m freaking! And over $5?

Who knows what these people can do. Piss them off, and they can reply to one of your other ads, pretend they’re coming for that item, and instead, come to plunder or ravage! Or perhaps they reply to other items and become the no-shows to exact revenge, to get you excited and then deflate you all in one breath.

A guy emailed me about the table saw, which was priced at $100. “I just broke my saw, and I’m desperate to finish my project. Can I buy yours at $50?” Umm—no!

I’ve spent precious hours, upon request, taking specific photos of items, emailing, and posting them only to receive replies, “Nope, not what I’m looking for.”

One guy emailed me about six times in ten minutes regarding Hubby’s bicycle. “Could you meet me at Tim Horton’s on Dickson Street at 6:30 tonight? I just moved here and don’t have a car.” I felt sorry for him, so I made arrangements with Hubby, emailed the guy back, and off we went at 6:00. And we waited . . . and waited. A no-show! Unbelievable! There went our Friday evening.

One bargain-hunter KP wanted my outside oil lamps, listed at $50 (firm!). She offered me $25. I replied back at $50. Thirty-five dollars, she wrote back. “Nope, $50,” I said. “Forty dollars is my limit,” she replied. I let her stew for a couple of days. I really did want to get rid of the unsightly things. I sent her another email: “Okay, $40.” A relative picked them up a few days later, and the woman sent me a nice email later that night: “I just love the oil lamps. I guess one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

A woman wanted the $25 filing cabinet. She hadn’t looked at it in person but sent an email: “Would you take $15? I can come today at 3.” “Sorry,” I replied. “It’s $25 firm.” No further response.

Previously another woman had come to buy the filing cabinet after asking for the dimensions. After arriving and realizing it was legal-sized and not letter, she left in a huff. “That’s why I sent you the dimensions,” I yelled at her departing vehicle.

Despite the bad, one breath of fresh air blew in. A young guy arrived at my house to purchase my old bicycle, sight unseen, on behalf of his sister. It was $50, and he handed me three twenties. “If you don’t have change, don’t worry about it,” he said.

The Kijiji People who never show up at the agreed-upon times—or any time—are the worst! You wait and wait. Has common courtesy blown out the window? (The bicycle guy was, obviously, worse than these other no-shows.)

I check my ads. I scan my emails. (Ugh! A message from “Jim” asking if the tennis racquet is still available. What to do? Is it really a “Jim” or one of the previous guys back in action?)

I wander to the door, peek out the windows, pace the house. I want to scream. SCREAM! These Kijiji People drive me crazy!


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Dorothy Colinco. http://www.dorothycolinco.com

CaraMarie Christy: https://calamariwriting.wordpress.com/



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