Social Question

holden's avatar

Oh...should I not have done that?

Asked by holden (8447points) June 4th, 2010

I’ve decided that I want to give away my 5th generation, classic iPod. It was purchased in July 2007 and has given me three years of reliable service. I would now like to pass it on to somebody who could benefit from its use as much as I have, but who is not able to by one new. I think that if it’s taken care of properly it could last at least another year or more.

So last night I posted an ad for it in Craigslist’s “free stuff” section and in the details field asked for a brief explanation of why I should give the asker my iPod. I’ve gotten about 20 responses from people who would like to give it to a niece/nephew, son/daughter or disabled family member, as well as from people who just recently lost or broke their iPods and need a replacement. But I got one email from somebody accusing me of making people jump through hoops and making them my “puppets.”

I asked for a backstory because I want to make sure that my iPod goes to a “good home.” It’s something I use every day and I will be sad to part with it. But I will happily pass it on to someone who can enjoy it and who could not otherwise have one (due to financial constraints, etc). I think that since it’s my iPod and I’m giving it away for free I should at least be able to give it to some one who I believe deserves it.

Was it totally hokey of me to ask them to tell me why I should give them my iPod? I just wanted to make sure that my decision to give it away was worth it. It’s something I value a lot, above most of my possessions besides my laptop. I wasn’t trying to be the kid with the piece of meat standing in the middle of a swarm of starving dogs, or anything like that.

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21 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

You did nothing wrong.

The person who emailed you was probably just bitter that he’d never get a free ipod.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

At least you’re not ripping people off by selling it more than what it’s really worth. That person is an asshat.

gemiwing's avatar

I think if you’re really ready to let go of it- then let go. We can’t control everything, you know? So it was a bit carrot-stick/hoopish, yet I don’t think it was an asshole move- just controlling. The universe will let it go to the person it was meant for that’s how I try to think anyway

Merriment's avatar

You might should have placed the ad under “auditions” rather than “free”.

It’s a bit like asking Tiny Tim to tap dance before ‘e gets ‘is supper.

holden's avatar

@Merriment well, no one needs my iPod or is going to bed hungry without it.

Silhouette's avatar

It’s actually kind of clever but I have to agree with @Merriment, when you expect something for the ipod even if it’s just a story you are asking them to sing for their supper and that ain’t exactly free. How did you respond to the angry person? I’d probably send it to him/her. Tell them their anger moved you and you want them to have the i-pod filled with positive affirmations and a few lighthearted diddies for his/her enjoyment.

holden's avatar

Maybe this whole idea was a mistake…

gemiwing's avatar

@holden Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your heart is in the right place. Perhaps find a women’s shelter or chemo center (music helps a lot) to donate it to or ask if they have someone who might want it.

Merriment's avatar

@holden… and having to write an application to/for your satisfaction isn’t exactly free either.

You want a “value” in exchange for your IPOD and that makes it less than free. So I do see where the angry guy was coming from even if I can’t exactly work up any anger over the whole thing.

desiree333's avatar

I don’t think you did anything wrong. The rude responder to your ad was probably just some obnoxious kid who is complaining because they don’t have a good reason to recieve your iPod. Ignore them. Your giving someone a free iPod. If you say jump their response should be “how high?”

perspicacious's avatar

This is irritating to me.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think people are blowing this out of proportion to be honest. I don’t see any problem at all with what you did and if someone is getting worked up about this enough to send you an email accussing you of “making people jump through hoops” then there can’t be much else going on in that persons life. Surely, in the time it took that person to send you an email he/she could have composed a coupe of sentences and, maybe, bagged themselves a free iPod.

The only thing I would worry about in this situation is the amount of people that would lie about disabled familly members, young children etc etc in order to get the iPod which would defeat the whole object.

roundsquare's avatar

Maybe you shouldn’t have put it in the “free” section, but otherwise you didn’t do anything wrong.

As for @Merriment‘s thing, I disagree. People feel no responsibility to ensure that everyone has a device for listening to mp3’s. Its a luxury, so you should feel free to ask anything you want for it and people can decide if its worthwhile.

Personally, I’m about to go into a huge amount of debt and wouldn’t mind having an ipod to pass the time when I go for runs. Let me know if I win :) (Not an official application).

Merriment's avatar

@roundsquare- For not agreeing with me you did a good job of quoting the first part of my answer :). I assume your disagreement with me stemmed from the other portion of my answer.

People feel no responsibility when it comes to luxuries and I agree with you that it isn’t our job to see that everyone has the latest technology.

I also believe that if you are going to call something “free” or charity then it is your job to give it with as few strings as possible.

To truly be generous you should give in a way that allows the other person to retain their dignity AND have the help/item.

Offering it in the “free” section and then requiring an essay could be seen as expecting people to perform to your satisfaction before they get the prize (or as the angry letter writer said “making people jump through hoops and making them my “puppets.”)

Does Craig’sList have a “contest” section? If they don’t perhaps they should.

desiree333's avatar

@perspicacious why is this irritating to you

roundsquare's avatar

@Merriment Fair point :) What I really meant was that the big mistake was putting it in the wrong section of the website… which I hardly see deserving of an angry letter. A contest section, or something similar, is a great idea actually. Hey Craig, you listening?

Just so I’m clear, I think we agree. If this had been put on the website as “Write an essay to get an ipod” instead of “Free ipod… oh by the way, now that you’re here, write an essay” this would be fine?

“To truly be generous you should give in a way that allows the other person to retain their dignity AND have the help/item.”

Hmm… I’d like to respond with a wider point, but I’ll leave that for a new post on a wider topic.

Buttonstc's avatar

Just ignore the angry email writer. No one was being forced to write anything. If they disliked the idea so much, they could just click on the next one.

Everytime something of value is offered free on Craigs list there are a ton of emails wanting it. Who eventually ends up getting it is many times the result of something as arbitrary as whether they were the first to respond or the closest one nearby or whether a phone no. was included.

You at least outlined the conditions very clearly and whoever did not like it was free to ignore it.

That being said, knowing some of the weirdos using CL, there really is no accurate way for you to verify any of the stories so you’re kind of back to square one.

I like the other suggestion by someone to donate to a womens shelter or chemi/dialysis center. The staff at these places know who is truly deserving.

But the bottom line is that it’s yours to do with as you choose and no nasty busybody has the right to tell you otherwise.

Ignore the jerk.

perspicacious's avatar

@desiree333 He wants his ipod to go to a “good home.” Throw up! If he wants to give it away, give it away to the first taker to do a lottery for it.

Merriment's avatar

@roundsquare – Well there is no guarantee he wouldn’t haven’t gotten another angry letter, cause some people are looking to be offended no matter what :)

But I do think his intentions could have more fairly been listed as “Write an essay/win an Ipod”.

Like I said before, I wouldn’t have lost sleep over it nor would I have take the time to write an angry email could it be they have even more free time on their hands than I? but I could see where Angry letter writer was coming from.

holden's avatar

@perspicacious 1.I’m a girl. 2. I think it’s pretty reasonable to want to give a treasured possession away to a person of my choosing for reasons I deem fit.

desiree333's avatar

@perspicacious I kind of agree with you.. Although I just wanted to ignore the sappiness and attempt to give some advice. (: If it was a $300.00 32 GB iPod touch, or a new iPhone than yeah, your gonna care about giving it a good home. Although, since its so old I think its a bit too much energy to put into giving away an iPod. It’s not like its a pet or anything.

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