I sold a trailer online. I must have priced it too low because I received over thirty inquiries in about four hours.

Some asked questions about condition, size, weight, or suitability to pull behind a sedan cross-country on the freeway.

Some offered to pick it up in four days, six days, two days, and everything in between.

I sold it to the first person who showed up. I also started messaging everyone who had offered a later pickup date.

I didn’t realize that I had archived some messages, so I missed communicating the sale to a buyer who asked about picking up in the future.

Three days later, that same buyer, the one with whom I agreed to a later pickup date messaged me. He saw the trailer was marked as “Sold” and wanted to know if that meant sold to him or sold to someone else?

I replied that I sold it to the first person who was able to get here with cash. That I tried to communicate with everyone who asked about a future date, but I must have archived this message and forgotten to message him. That I was sorry.

He let me know he was disappointed. That he had put a lot of effort into arranging to be able to drive across town to pick it up. 

I apologized again. “I’m sorry. I don’t sell a lot online, and I didn’t realize how badly I violated the norms here. I know it doesn’t help you, but I’ll do better next time.” 

I would have been pissed off too if I was him. I don’t know exactly how far he was coming from, or if he had a job he was leaving early, or kids that he had to arrange transport and care for.

All I know is that he was put out because of something I did. 

And all I could do was apologize, but I also had to mean it.