The mad midnight men of mowers

Now who’d want a dead Aldi lawn mower let alone three of them? Turns out a lot more than I thought when I put the ad up last night. Now I’ve saved myself a trip to the tip and freed up some more space in the rotunda out back – and all before the second coffee of the weekend!

The dead were piling up..

Dead gardening devices that is, just before you nod sagely, back away from your screens slowly and make a beeline to the nearest authority figure. When I first moved here almost two years ago now I found a killer deal on the local Facebook Classifieds – three unknown Aldi lawn mowers for a crisp 100 dollar bill. And since they all worked (after a bit of grunting encouragement) and came with catchers (strangely I ended up with one more catcher than mower) how could I say no? (It was quite the adventure in buying them too which you can have a big read of right here.)

Old Aldi Lawn mowers

But over the space of a year they got less and less reliable, becoming harder to start and bits would start to break. And so being very similar models, when something did go bang I’d just pinch it off a spare.

But then one day I started the last Aldi lawn mower standing only to find it had become obnoxiously loud, to the point where I loathed to use it for the sake of my ears. And so during the holidays I went to work taking the good bits off that one and onto the next…which didn’t work. So I tried it again on the third one, only to find that didn’t work either and all I was doing was getting covered in oil and petrol on a daily basis. Glorious.
Which ultimately led me to proclaim that this was the last time I bought cheap and nasty mowers.

However even though I did go out and buy myself something for more known and reliable, there was always the question of what to do with the old dead ones which were taking up some real estate in the back rotunda – now rotting away and collecting spiders at an alarming rate.

Aldi lawn mower
It’s not Lazering anything now!

To make things worse, my up until now uber reliable electric whipper snipper decided it didn’t want to work so hard either and started making some angry noises while not spinning anything when the trigger was pulled. Annoying by itself really, it was when smoke started to drift out of the vents in the motor housing that I thought maybe it was time to let this one go too – after all I’d only paid $50 for it originally and have used it on and off again for 5 years now, so..

Ryobi electric trimmer

And now since I’ve sold my old Nissan wagon and moved into something quite smaller (I do miss the Stagea though I will admit, it could carry just about anything), I can’t cram everything into the car at once, pour myself into the space that’s left and drive off to the tip sandwiched against the steering wheel. But amusingly, I know that there are people who are quite interested in these things so the local classifieds were my next bet.

What am I bid for these battered Aldi lawn mowers?

Months ago I put all the mowers up on Gumtree for forty bucks and got no takers.

Last month I dropped the lot down to $20 and got no takers, I’m guessing because these mowers weren’t much of a known brand and everyone was hoping they were Victas or Honda/Briggs and Stratton powered.

Yesterday I threw in the dead Ryobi and put it all up on Facebook for free. Yep, come and take my Aldi Lawn Mowers for free and you get a dead whipper snipper for your time. Who could argue with that?

Within an hour I got a reply from a guy called Phil asking for my address and can he pick it up between 9 and 10 tomorrow (Sat morning). Sure Phil, see you there. I marked the mowers as gone pending pickup and got on with the rest of my life.

Fast forward to 9:30pm and while aimlessly surfing Netflix for something interesting, a guy called Bob messages me with the standard are these still available. Even though the ad says no they’re not at the moment and down the bottom of it clearly states please don’t ask if they’re still available because speaking from experience, that’s a great way to meet nothing but Facebook ghosts. Obviously too excited at the thought of so much free Aldi lawn mower goodness to read the ad itself, I didn’t get back to Bob because I guarantee even after I explained the situation, he’d probably not read that too and ask when he could come around.

This may or may not be the Bob in question. He’s probably wondering when I’m going to message back.

However Bryan trumped Bob soon after by messaging me shortly after midnight. ‘Hey are these still available?’ Seriously, who is shopping for lawn mower bits shortly after midnight? And was he sincerely hoping for a reply around that time?? My phone buzzed waking me up, I looked at it and suddenly recalled how insane some people are about mowers, especially low price or free ones that don’t actually work.

Hi, it’s me Bryan. Are you awake and are your mowers available?

Luckily rewarding Phil for his promptness turned out to be the best decision.

I’ll be there between 9 and 10am

And at 9:01am today just as I was pilling all the dead bits into the carport, Phil arrived with his ute and a big trailer ready to take these things far far away. Noticing the fridge and freezer already there in the trailer, I asked him if he was trading in scrap metal.

I hate seeing good things go to landfill, there’s already too much there. So I pick up what I can find and rebuild what I can. I’ve saved about 20 fridges now and given them to people who need them. So I’ll pull parts off these mowers and see what I can build back together..

-Phil, local community hero

How good is that? When not playing Tennis, Phil loves help out the community and to tinker and asked me to keep him in mind the next time I get rid of anything electrical which I certainly will. Apparently what he cant fix he turns into art ‘You can have some of your space back now!’ he laughed as he drove off. I probably couldn’t have picked a better home for these things then and I’m happy about that.

Tips on giving away stuff on Facebook (like Aldi lawn mowers or other things)

-To save yourself answering the same questions over and over again, think of what people might ask in relation to your freebie and put that in the ad. Case in point I made it very clear that no you couldn’t cut any lawns or anything really with any of these mowers in their current condition.

-It’s your freebie you’re giving away, you dictate the terms. If it’s pick up only, make sure that’s in there. If it’s only available to grab on weekends, make sure you state that. No holds/wanted gone ASAP? Make that super clear. As previously explained you will run into people who won’t read the full ad (it is Facey after all) but most people will. (And hopefully you’ll meet someone like Phil in the process!)

-You don’t have to give it away for the first person who asks for it (unless you want to.)

-If it’s heavy, help them load it into their vehicle. After all they are saving you a possible trip to the tip or scrap metal yard.

-As soon as it’s gone take down the ad or leave it up there in your peril. No seriously, you’d be amazed at how many people will still ask about something in a sales ad even though Facebook itself has pointed out that you posted it up 52 weeks ago!

Now to work out what I’m doing with the space I freed up!

1 thought on “The mad midnight men of mowers”

Leave a Comment