2008-06-04 - 8:54 p.m.
I have always shied away from sales-oriented professions--I think the pressure to have to live on a commission basis would drive me insane.
But the occasional act of selling things is kind of thrilling, calling up primal instincts and street smarts that I don't generally use as a cubicle-monkey.
I put one of my currently lesser-used guitars (but at one point my central, alpha guitar) up for sale on Craigs List yesterday. The response was interesting.
The guitar in question is Whitey, one of two Mexican Teles I live(d) with:
Not unlike online dating, it was easy to weed out undesirable Craigs List respondents based on the initial emails--e.g., guys whose entire correspondence was "CALL ME 646-444-2876" or people who immediately tried to price me down, without having seen or played the guitar at all.
The next step, the face-to-face part, is the part I always enjoy. No one buys a musical instrument in a hurry, and musicians do tend to be interesting.
The fellow who bought Whitey tonight is a true Brooklyn mook--heavy Italo-Brooklyn accent, Mattina-like demeanor, a country aficionado, who brought his teenage/older son with him to the sale.
While he was trying out Whitey, he noticed Freddy Fender, my other Mexican Tele, and did some impromptu, MacGuyver-like surgery on his ailing jack, which I appreciated. He also showed me how to read a guitar's serial number to glean its birthdate, a bit of guitar-lore I never knew about.
We talked Teles, music, exchanged life histories. In both of our minds, the price went down, back up, and then we made our offers and counter-offers, based on all the sniffing and sizing-up that had just gone on in the first few moments.
The whole transaction took 45 minutes, and when it was done, I felt sure that Whitey was going to a good home, that I both offered and accepted a fair price, and I was glad to have made contact with a guitar repairman in the neighborhood.
G'bye Whitey...You were a good guitar.
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