Selling stuff online & forgiveness

I am not going to sell anything online for a very, very long time. We did finally sell our couch in preparation of our new one’s arrival next week, but has created massive headaches and made me feel really shitty about myself.

At first, I was being nice to everyone who told me they could come by with cash and pick it up. The first person canceled. The next people showed up, looked at it, and changed their minds. Then another person came, said they definitely wanted it, and we made plans for her to pick it up. Then she canceled a few hours before she was going to pick it up.

So I reposted it as for sale on Craigslist and in a local yard sale group. In the postings, I said the first person with a reasonable cash offer and the means to take the couch away could have it. A bunch of people contacted me who were interested. I guess my mistake was that I didn’t explicitly tell these people they were not the only interested parties. I didn’t promise anyone I would hold the couch for them, but I also didn’t tell them other people were coming to look at it throughout the day. I place most of the blame on myself for the miscommunication, but regardless, it’s a shitty situation for everyone.

So a guy who contacted me yesterday came by this morning with a good offer in cash and a UHaul. So we sold it to him. I contacted the other people who were supposed to come later in the day to tell them the couch was no longer available. One woman absolutely flipped out at me, and started swearing at me online and then calling me repeatedly. I had to block her on social media and on my phone. I’m a bit worried because she has my address (probably another mistake – it is customary to wait until the last minute to give people your address if they are coming to look at something for sale? I guess maybe I should’ve done that), but hopefully I’m worried unnecessarily. I’m naturally a pretty anxious person, so situations like this send my anxiety through the roof.

I feel much more badly about one of the other people who was coming to look at it…because they already got rid of their old couch. Yes, it’s my fault that I didn’t tell them they were one party of about four who were coming to look at the couch today. But I forgot they hadn’t seen the updated posting. I sent them two emails apologizing (profusely), and obviously that’s not going to help the frustrating situation they are now in…but I hope they are at least aware that I didn’t do this maliciously. I’m basically just incompetent. I told my husband that the next time we have to sell something (probably in a few years before we move), he can handle the entire thing…because this process is a) something I’m not good at, and b) something I don’t enjoy even remotely.

I guess I did learn many lessons if I ever have to do this again. I’m truly not a person who would ever try to scam someone or make false promises like that, but that’s exactly what I ended up doing, even though I had no intention of doing so. Because I did “hold” the couch for a bunch of people this week, who all ended up flaking out on me, I knew we really needed to get rid of it this weekend (we definitely don’t have room for two couches in our living space). I know I didn’t intend to cause frustrating situations/miscommunication for anyone, but I obviously did…and I know if I were in the other person’s shoes, I would be extremely upset as well. I know these people are strangers who I’ll probably never meet, yet here I am writing the longest post I’ve written in ages about how awful I feel.

I’m not quite sure how to cheer myself up. I mean, the couch is now gone, which should have, in theory, removed all of the stress related to selling it. But now instead of feeling stressed, I just feel like an awful human being. I guess the very small silver lining is that the second person doesn’t have my phone number or social media…but then again, they don’t seem like someone who would harass me repeatedly like person number one did.

I mean, I’m acknowledging I made a mistake. I admitted it to the person who is now without a couch. I would’ve had an actual conversation with the other person, but I don’t enjoy being yelled at and called words I would never use to describe anyone. I guess I just need to figure out how to forgive myself, which is much easier said than done. I actually just did a little Googling (“how to forgive yourself for making a mistake”) and the articles I read a) made me feel better, b) gave me some ideas, and c) helped put things in perspective a bit. I’m not a bad person. I know I am a good person. Good people make mistakes that can hurt others. All people make mistakes that can and do hurt others.

I’ll end this with a quote from one of the articles (found here):

“I think forgiveness is often confused with condoning or lack of accountability,” Hartman says. “This is a world with high performance standards. People think they need to be perfect. Yet people do things — intended or not — that hurt others. You may not intend to harm, but the other person is no less hurt.”