Background: My wife and I bought a condo a year ago. Nearly as soon as the ink was dry on the documents, the air conditioner went out. Though we had purchased a warranty, the warranty company refused to replace it.*
Now, I don't know if you've gone outside in the last few days, but America is having something of a record heat wave. While it hasn't been as hot here in San Diego as it has been in other parts of the country, it still gets pretty warm. My wife and I are under the impression that buying a new, rooftop a/c unit during the hottest months of year will result in paying the highest price, so we were looking for alternate ways to cool down (underwear in the freezer, anyone?), and my wife suggested that we look into a portable air conditioner as a stopgap measure.
This was a great idea, I thought, and so I started looking at websites, trying to figure out how much that was going to set us back. In researching, it looked like our local Lowe's had two units that would work: a less powerful one (though still probably good for our space - 10,000 Btu) and a more powerful one (12,000 Btu). The price tags were $299 and $399.
$299 was in the ballpark of what I was hoping to pay, so I clicked on the icon to see what stores in my area had that unit. Unfortunately, no stores in San Diego had it. So, I was left "having" to buy the $399 one.
The old bait and switch! Curse you, Lowe's!
I explained my research to my wife, and she immediately said, "Uhm, why don't you check Craigslist." To her credit, she managed to say this with a straight face and only a minimal amount of disdain. :-)
A quick Craigslist search revealed an even more powerful unit (14,000 Btu) that had only been slightly used for a price tag of $150. That's an immediate savings of $249 (not to mention the extra 10% or so we'd be paying in sales tax).
I went over, checked out the a/c, found it in good working order, and now my wife and I are going to sleep in sweet, sweet cold comfort. And the best part is, we got a great deal on it.
I'm a lucky, lucky man.
*There is a post coming on this as soon as I try one more tactic with the company.**
**This tactic does not include kidnapping or wire-tapping.***