My daily perusal of Craigslist is usually a waste of time but occasionally there’s a diamond hidden amongst coal. An ad for an Everest Refrigerated Sandwich Prep Table caught my eye. The link, which was typical of this medium, was awful; terrible picture and virtually no information about the unit. With marketing brilliance such as this, it’s no wonder why this guy went out of business. An email to the seller provided no help other than he’d be available three days hence. A second email for address and appointment information was met only by a response asking me for my cell phone number. I played his little game of parnoia but finally had an address to Google.
Figuring this unit cost $2500 new, I followed my budget goal of 25% of the new price, and loaded $600 into my wallet. We arrived at a Spartan home furnished inside and out with old restaurant furniture and met by a man who was clearly beaten. His eatery had failed and he was selling off a few assets in order to pay the rent. Tough scene, really tough . . . I felt for the poor guy.
The unit itself was gorgeous. Just a couple of small dings, otherwise it looked new and very solidly built with a sharp digital display. The owner showed me his receipt that he received when he bought this unit new: $2760 delivered . . . in June 2011!! Oh my, no wonder it looked sharp, it’s only a year old! The Seller asked $1200. I knew my wallet was underfunded but I decided to give it a shot, anyway, offering him the contents, which was instantly rejected. No way. Then the seller locked-up at $900, take it or leave it. End of negotiations.
I rationalized that this refrigerated prep table would be perfect as a work station for food processing in the rear of the kitchen. Mounted on big wheels, this mobile unit is 48” long, 32” deep, with a 12” work surface. It’s too narrow for making pizzas but perfect for keeping a continuous flow of toppings headed for the pizza make station, getting sides ready, or assembling desserts. The 15 cu ft refrigerator would make a welcome addition to the main cooler and function as an emergency back-up in a pinch. The doors opened smoothly and closed with a heavy thud, top-quality all the way. In short, this was a super-nice piece, nearly new, and loaded with utility.
As we retreated back to the car and headed for home, I wanted to go back and make this deal work. My wife and partner of 25 years, however, cast a dissenting vote. She reminded me that we already bought a mixer this month, lots of bills were coming due, and cash flow was going to be tight for a while. Pointing-out that this transaction would be outside of our price goal of 25% of new, she reiterated that making exceptions such as this would be detrimental toward achieving the milestones of our business plan. We’d also have to waste time finding a branch of our bank to withdraw more funds.
Our polite, mutually respectful argument went back and forth a few times as I kept a keen eye open for a local branch of my bank on the way toward the freeway. Both of us made solid points but the debate can be summed-up by a license plate holder I saw recently in traffic:
“Saw it, wanted it, had a fit, got it!”
Out of Pocket So Far: $3200.