A Buyer In Need

Reddit member Haonk was making what he thought was a simple pickup on a nifty deal for a Super Nintendo bundle via Craigslist.  While the far-away neighborhood seemed a bit dodgy, all was normal as he tells it:

He originally wanted $45, but through a series of texts, I haggled it down to $25. He lives about 10 minutes from school, so after my classes ended at 9pm I figured I would pick it up to save gas and time. I knew it was a bad neighborhood, but the closer I got the sketchier it became. I parked and it took 5 minutes to find his house. He tells me to knock on the door. Still unsure if it’s the right one, I go for it. He opens the door, we exchange, and I start to go back to my car thinking that wasn’t so bad.

At this point Haonk should be be celebrating a great deal on his drive home. (I’ve been known to shout while I celebrate a deal completed in the privacy of my vehicle.)  However, that wasn’t the case this time.

As I walk up to my car, I fish around in my pocket for the keys. That’s when I see them sitting on the driver’s seat. I’d locked the doors because it is such a bad neighborhood but left them inside. Thinking of how fucked I am, I go back and knock on the seller’s door again and sheepishly explain the situation. This has never happened to me before, and I wasn’t sure how to handle it.

What a horrible feeling it must’ve been and everyone’s worst nightmare.  Stuck in an unfamiliar neighborhood far from home and the only person you know is a Craigslist seller that you know is likely not to trust you.

His response was, “Oh shit!” He recommends that I call a locksmith, but I’m a college student and can’t really afford to pay $80 just for someone to open my car door, so I was in a bind. Then I realize that I have a spare key, but it’s at my house which is 40 minutes away. He invites me inside and we just sat in the stairwell. I really didn’t want to stay outside because, once again, it was getting dark and we’re in a sketchy city.

Humanity is a great thing.  I’m not even sure I would be willing to do this for a Craigslist buyer or seller I was dealing with. These meetups are sometimes risky, so I’d be highly untrusting of letting someone into my house for a any period of time. That’s one of the most dangerous situations to find yourself in! Kudos to this guy for helping a person in need. He certainly didn’t have to.  So how did it go:

I called a buddy of mine and asked if he could help me out. Luckily, he did! I told him how to sneak into my house, find the spare key, and where I was holed up with the seller. While we waited, the seller and I just talked about video games, school, and life in general. He was really cool about it all. At some point during the conversation, his brother comes out, hands some money to him, and says he’s here. I was closest to the door, so the seller hands me the money and instructs me to just give him the money. My mind starts going all over the place. Who’s at the door? What am I paying for? Why does he want me to do this?

Clearly Haonk is being forced into consummating a drug deal. What happened…

I open the door, and to my surprise, I see…a pizza delivery guy!  After paying, the seller offered me a slice, but I turned it down because he had done more than enough for me.


We talked until my friend showed up. The whole ordeal lasted an hour, but it only really felt like 20 minutes. I probably thanked him 15 times and gave him an extra $5 for his troubles.I usually do see the good in people and tend not to worry much, but my surroundings made me a little more judgemental than usual. I got in my car and headed home. It’s really cool to think that a total stranger would help me out so much in a time of need. I like to think the shared interest in gaming made the night go much better.

Like we said last time, it truly is about the thrill of the hunt more than the actual games sometimes. What an incredible story!

The $25 SNES bundle that precipitated a need for help from a stranger.

The $25 SNES bundle that precipitated a need for help from a stranger.

Thank you to Haonk for granting me permission to re-publish his story for Jinja Bobot.


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About John Blanco

John Blanco is an avid game collector and loves to write about his hobby as much as he participates in it. He run the Denver Retro Gamers Facebook group in Denver, Colorado, and coordinates swap-style meetups with dozens of other collectors every couple of months.

One thought on “A Buyer In Need

  1. Wow! Awesome story! I love hearing about the stories behind pick ups. Game hunting is definitely quite the adventure!

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