I think this desk is pretty nifty with its two-toned teak wood and adorable twin brass keys (which, by the way, it’s a miracle were still to be found since you NEVER see this desk with its keys!).
At the same time, I was a little sad after I bought it. Since I buy most furniture with plans to resell it, I try to give the seller a fair price. If it’s already a killer deal, I try not to negotiate unless I arrive and the piece is in worse condition than I expected and obviously needs a lot of work. So I went to buy this desk with no plans to haggle. I was also pretty excited because the Craigslist ad promised a matching chair (I barely skimmed the wording of the ad in my excitement at finding the desk).
When we arrived, the top of the desk was in slightly worse than the promised “good condition”. There were scratches, water rings, and splatters of white paint. There was some miscommunication between me and Bryan about negotiation as I blithely handed over the full purchase price, confident that I could put a little work into the top of the desk and save it. Then, all of the sudden the seller informed me that the chair was *not* included in the deal, but I could purchase it for an extra $10. I couldn’t remember the exact wording of the Craigslist posting, and although I thought the chair was supposed to be included, I told the seller I had only brought the exact purchase price of the desk with me and would pass on the chair.
When I checked the posting later, I discovered to my dismay that it did indeed promise the chair as part of the deal. I was pretty bummed. I felt cheated, especially since I hadn’t even tried to negotiate with the seller. Maybe she forgot her wording of the posting. Or maybe she was just trying to get every cent she could.
Either way, what’s done is done, and I’ve learned a little bit more about this slightly-foreign-here-in-this-modern-world art of negotiation and making deals. It’s a delicate dance – I hate to penny pinch when I know I’m going to turn around and make a profit, but this has reminded me to speak up a little more and stand up for myself. It’s reminded me to act respectfully to the people who buy from me. It’s reminded me to avoid any actions that could come across as shady. Also, I’ve concluded that in the future I’m going to let Bryan deal with the money aspect of things since he isn’t pushed over quite as easily as I am 🙂
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Time for the good news: the top was nowhere near as bad as it looked. Thanks to some wonderful advice I received over at the Design Addict forum (a great resource on mid century design), I was able to make it look almost-new. I applied Watco Danish oil in Natural with some extra fine ‘000’ steel wool (nothing fancy – I just poured a little bit on the surface) and rubbed with the grain over the paint spatters, white rings and pen stains and watched the wood literally come to life before my eyes. I can’t believe I was intimidated to try this for so long!