ONE four-letter word rates as the hottest in the marvellous community of classified advertising. "Free" seems guaranteed to get phones ringing.
Snipping at its heels in the attention-grabbers’ hot list is "giveaway". Both give extra value to the experience of grabbing a cuppa and sitting down with "the classies" -- you just never know what you’ll find. Three such notices appeared last Friday. Here are the results:
SALLY and Daniel Smith, of Alexandra Hills, have a new mattress and dining table so advertised their old queen-size mattress and table with six chairs in "alright" condition.
Sally said the twin-giveaway strategy stemmed from their fears a 13-year-old mattress might be difficult to sell and a disposal problem but could still be handy for someone in need.
The idea was: "If you want the dining table, you have to take the mattress."
It worked, helping them free up space in the festive season crush. They received about six calls.
THE other notices came from Victoria Point couples in the community of "seniors".
Couple No. 1 received about eight calls after they advertised a single-bed and mattress – complete with two sets of sheets and bedspread.
"We are elderly with no children and we don’t need the bed any more so we just thought we could give it away," the wife said.
An "elderly lady" recived this Christmas gift, which was about 12 years old.
THIS giveaway post-mortem could have been all smiles but Couple No. 2, who advertised the giveaway of a leather lounge suite and a fridge for $200 had reasons to frown.
They received about 50 calls on each item so wearied of saying "sorry", but their main beef was the many callers who failed to keep appointments to inspect the fridge.
The husband also told how his wife had helped a Russell Island woman – picking her up at the waterbus jetty, driving her to their home to see the fridge, then taking her back to the jetty.
"She needed to check measurements in her home but she didn’t call back," the husband said. "When we called her that night she said it wasn’t suitable. We had to do the calling."
A WOMAN, possibly in her fifties, was first caller about the lounge suite – at 7am on Friday – and arrived at 8am to take it.
She told the couple she had just found a matching chair sitting beside a street and labelled "take me".
Out of all this, it seems in order to remind users of classified advertising everywhere that the phone numbers belong to real people with real feelings and they deserve courtesy and respect.
THANKS to all who have contributed to this column in 2008. Enjoy the company of your loved ones at this very special time of year.
This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Redland City, Queensland, Australia.
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