While my Christmas holidays featured delights like prawns and ocean swims, a good chunk was spent chasing after my toddler who finally decided to walk.
But the chaos and instability of a small person upright for the first time pales in comparison to the hectic scenes of flogging stuff online.
Being in my home for extended periods of time is always a threat to the items that reside in it.
Dress I never wore? That could be $20 in my wallet.
Outdoor table setting we haven’t used in more than 12 months? $700.
Walker my son no longer needs? $30.
The mental load of being ghosted, negotiating prices, spotting scams and arranging pick-ups?
Far from priceless.
It was during the eleventy-billionth message exchange I’d had with someone over a $5 toy when I realised this wheeling and dealing was really taking the joy out of spring cleaning.
As the dedicated “Facebook Marketplace person” in my household, my partner is eternally grateful for my efforts.
A self-proclaimed hoarder, he was never going to be cut out for the wild west of the likes of Gumtree, eBay and Depop.
If you’re also the second-hand seller in your family — I see you.
And it’s time we talked about the mental load of listing stuff online.
‘Hi, is this still available?’
Triggering isn’t it.
A seemingly simple and polite question that nine times out of 10 results in being ghosted.
And ghosting isn’t the only term typically reserved for modern dating that translates in the online selling world too.
There’s also benching (revisiting you if another option falls through), breadcrumbing (leading you on with no intention of committing) and being left on read — just to name a few heinous crimes.
I respect using these platforms as a place to window shop, but for the love of all people who are already spending way too much wasted time on their phone, can we shift to only asking about availability if we plan to buy?
Classified scams aren’t new, but over the holiday break they seemed to be in overdrive.
After all, what’s more in the spirit of Christmas than stealing from people?
I saw a lot of friends and family sharing similar experiences around scams including overpayment and missing payment.
Being on alert for scams is exhausting — as is beating yourself up afterwards for falling, or in my case, almost falling for one.
A “gentle-looking older lady” responded immediately to a $700 listing I had, and asked for the item’s location, how long I had owned it, and what condition it was in (all these details were in the listing, mind you).
She said she was out of town but would pay using PayID and send her son to collect the following day.
From there I was asked for my PayID details, and then sent a falsified screenshot to say it didn’t work and that she needed more information.
Some of which I gave her, before becoming suspicious and blocking the account.
It’s a pretty common script, so if that’s news to you, be on the lookout.
These attempts have since been frequent, and I’ve been using Facebook’s “report buyer as scam” option before blocking them.
It’s annoying dealing with tire-kickers, but scammers even more so.
I was angry at myself for almost falling victim, and angry knowing that vulnerable people would be losing money to such cons.
I can’t quit
Aside from ghosting and fake buyers, there is also being stood up at the agreed collection time and even being abused for rejecting a low-ball offer.
Selling stuff online can be a wild, soul-sucking ride.
Much like a lot of the energy it takes to run a household and complete life admin, the mental load of dealing with online listings is real.
But I’ll keep doing it.
Because like most of the time-wasting things I partake in on my phone, I’m addicted.
Nothing in my house is safe.
And the extra cash doesn’t hurt either.
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