New Brunswick — What started out as one man attempting to sell his favourite piece of semi-used furniture for a reasonable price has turned into a no-holds-barred bidding war that’s come between friends, family members and has reportedly even broken down a once-strong marriage.
Brian Flanagan, 28, a bartender from Fredericton, recently decided that it was time to pass on his beloved futon to someone else, so they too could experience the un-limitless joy of having a useless piece of furniture in their home.
“I was sitting on the floor one morning, looking at it,” he recalled, “and just thought that I needed to make other people happy, and this is how I could do it — by selling my futon.”
So Flanagan did what many New Brunswickers do and placed an ad on Kijiji. “At first I was seeing dollar signs, I won’t lie,” he admitted. “I was thinking I could probably price it upwards of $1,000 or so. But then I remembered how happy I was when I brought that baby home almost 10 years ago — and I just wanted to pass that joy on to someone new.”
Flanagan lowered the price to a more than modest $450, and even added OBO (or best offer) into the price line to encourage people to make him a slightly lower offer that he would strongly consider. Unfortunately, the ad, placed out of compassion and humility, quickly turned into one of the worst bidding wars ever witnessed on Kijiji, according to site administrator Beth Winslow.
“The thing just blew up!” she exclaimed. “I wish this Brian fellow had thought about the repercussions before placing such an amazing item at such a low, low price — people were going insane trying to buy it!”
The ad has since been removed after threats of violence were made to potential buyers, but The Manatee was able to get a copy from Flanagan, printed here:
Gently used futon for sale: $450 OBO
Selling: A beautiful, gently used 10-year-old futon. Are you thinking of adding to your home décor? Or maybe it’s time for a complete overhaul of your existing furniture? Can’t decide between comfort and style? Why not go with neither and buy this futon?
This piece of furniture-artwork has served me incredibly well over the last decade, and I want it to make you as happy as it’s made me. It has countless uses: You can put stuff on it, look at it, put things underneath of it, cover up a portion of a wall that you want covered up, and so much more. It’s almost as comfortable as an uncomfortable couch or a moderately uncomfortable bed. It makes moving even more fun because it’s incredibly awkward to maneuver. It makes you really appreciate everything else you have. You could have sex on it if you were trying to get your girlfriend or boyfriend to break up with you. If you’re looking to stay single, it’s perfectly designed to make no one ever want to marry you. The cover is removable and machine-washable for when your cat pees on it.
Comes with pillows with stains that match those on the futon. Perfect for young professionals.
Excitement over the ad meant futon-lovers from as far as Yarmouth, N.S. were willing to drive to Fredericton to purchase the futon; offers reached as high as $8,000. Multiple people were threatening others with physical violence just to have a shot at the futon.
“I’m a young professional and the ad said it would be perfect for someone like me — perfect!” explained a remorseful Joey Kinney from Charlottetown. “I kept going back and forth with this guy who kept out-bidding me and I just snapped. I told him I’d beat him with a shovel if I saw him in Fredericton trying to buy that futon.”
That’s when Flanagan came to the conclusion that his aim of imparting happiness to others had backfired, so he removed his ad.
“This isn’t what I wanted at all,” he wept. “I even heard that a couple was getting a divorce because the husband wanted my futon so badly and his wife said they didn’t have room. This whole experience has been devastating.”
Flanagan added that he plans to burn the futon so no one can ever again be damaged by its awesomeness.