Buyer Beware

The Pack n’ Play I bought a few weeks ago now sits in the trash.

I found it on my neighborhood listserv, used, going for forty bucks. The timing was perfect: we had just decided the day before to get one, after visiting a friend and seeing how much she loved hers.

But I should’ve realized something was wrong when I arrived. The woman seemed in a hurry to give me the Pack n’ Play and get me out the door. It was stowed in two bags, and flustered, I hardly glanced in them. She said she’d love to show me how to put it together, but she had a kid waiting for her upstairs, so really had to make this quick. Likely story.

Setting it up, I thought the thing looked dusty. Obviously, the Pack n’ Play had been sitting in her basement for some time. But this was back when my sinuses were inflamed, and I couldn’t smell a thing. So when I got it together I emailed her and said that it all looked great, thanks! Thereby sealing the deal.

Then S came home and wanted to know what the awful smell was. Here the Pack n’ Play stank of mold and mildew but I hadn’t noticed how bad it was in my congested state. S couldn’t even stand being around it without sneezing. It couldn’t be good for a baby.

Because of my email, we felt it was too late to ask for our money back. We even checked with our friend, a reverend and the closest thing to The Ethicist that we’ve got, and she said the same thing. I had spoken too soon.

We washed what we could, but the smell was in too deep. And then I sat the stinky piece of crap out in the fresh air for the past couple of days – that didn’t help either. Now it’s off to the landfill.

Consider this a fifty dollar lesson, from me to you: always inspect your second hand buys. And if it looks too good to be true, make sure you smell it too.

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2 Responses to “Buyer Beware”


  1. 1 Kaki April 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Closest thing to the Ethicist, eh? You need more virtuous friends.

    Love,
    The Rev.

  2. 2 John M. April 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Of course attempting to smell my second-hand purchases gets me nowhere.


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