How Much Is Too Much Information?

As you know, quite often I buy and sell things on Facebook Marketplace, particularly if it’s something large that I don’t have room for in my booth at the antique market. I wouldn’t mind expanding, and there are spaces available at the market where I just started working, but I’m not sure about that because last week I had a really weird dream. When I left the secret agency, they threw me an amazing retirement party, with a Kudo board and a slide show, a Kahoot game where people had to prove how well they knew me by answering multiple choice questions for points (apparently when I’m concentrating and looking for a file on my computer for someone, I sing “doo di-doo, doo di-doo”, which was something I had no idea I did until it was pointed out to me, and then I realized I, in fact, do this, and that revelation was both hilarious and embarrassing). They also got a pipe band to play for me virtually, and wow, did I cry. And then I started my new part-time job and I hadn’t even been there for a week when I dreamed that they were throwing me a retirement party as well, but nowhere near as good as the first one I had. I was in the lunch break room and there was a large Bristol board poster that said Happy Retirement, and a bunch of signatures that I didn’t recognize, because I’ve only worked there for 6 days in total. There were photographs on the board but I wasn’t in any of them because again, I’ve only worked there for 6 days. And in the middle, in large letters, there was the heading “Famous Quote”, which was presumably something I was renowned for saying, and under it were the words, “I’M LEAVING.” Because I hadn’t worked there long enough to be famous for saying anything else, I guess. I woke up laughing hysterically and thought “At least no one noticed that I say doo di-doo.” So maybe it’s an omen, who knows?

 At any rate, last week, I talked about the set of silver that I found. It was filthy and tarnished but I polished and under all that tarnish, it was beautiful. It’s a huge set with 12 place settings and four servings pieces—64 pieces overall, and way too big to fit in my booth, so I put an ad on Facebook Marketplace for it.

Here’s the ad copy that I used:

Gorgeous Italian Silverware

Gorgeous vintage Italian silver silverware set in wooden case, just in time for Christmas. 12 place settings plus 4 serving pieces. Freshly polished and ready to use. Located in (my town) Ontario.

It’s a very clear ad—the description is IMMEDIATELY BELOW the heading, and it’s accompanied by 5 photographs. And here are the top ten questions I got about the ad I posted, all from different people, and my responses:

1. Is it silver?

Yes, it’s silver. If you mean, is it sterling, no—it’s silver-plated.

2. Is it English?

No, it’s Italian.

3. How many place settings are there?

There are twelve plus 4 serving pieces.

4. (Follow-up) How many pieces is that altogether?


5. Where are you located? (I got 3 of these questions).

I’m in (my town).

6. Are you in (my town)? (I got two of these questions).


7. Is this vintage or is it new?

It’s from the late ‘70s so it’s vintage.

8. What’s the case made out of?


9. Is it still available? Can I have $50 for it?

You want the silver and you want me to pay you $50? No, sorry.

10. Mine where’s your place?

(I didn’t respond to this one—was she implying that I’d stolen it from her and she wanted it back? And if so, I’d already said in the ad where my ‘place’ is.)

I also got a message from a woman who liked the silver but didn’t want to buy it—she just wanted to know how I got it so shiny. She seemed nice and didn’t ask any more ridiculous questions so I sent her the recipe I got off the internet and she was really grateful. I just hope she actually reads it and doesn’t just plunge everything into sulfuric acid, as one does.

Ultimately, I sold the set to a woman who asked many of the same questions and offered a lower price, but I was exhausted so I counter-offered closer to my asking price. She accepted and e-transferred me the money to hold it for her until next Tuesday. I just hope she knows where I live.

We were both exhausted.

46 thoughts on “How Much Is Too Much Information?

  1. That does sound quite exhausting! It’s also rather alarming to think about how many people in this world are apparently NOT really reading and/or comprehending things……like all kinds of things….important things that one should read before proceeding. Yikes!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Police interrogation tactics. Keep asking the same questions, including obvious ones, and see if the suspect can keep their story straight.

    16 place settings…. yeah, right! Let’s see if she remembers that phony amount when I ask her. OK, that didn’t work… let’s see if she knows MULTIPLICATION!!!

    BTW, is that set French?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The retirement dream story and the story about the silver set are both hilarious. I’m not surprised that you got the questions you did–no one seems to read details. A few years ago, I got a story published in an online literary magazine where people could post comments. The name of the magazine had the word “fiction” in it. The story I wrote was about a woman who sees a barracuda in a public pool, and all of the people around her think it’s normal, but she’s scared. Eventually, she decides to embrace the oddity and dive in next to it, but she splits her head open at the bottom of the pool. As a response, one reader wrote, “Oh, no! Are you okay?”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yep… there are a lot of them out there. I run a couple of holiday properties, they’re on various online listing services. Oh, the questions they ask…
    At least I can type “Sorry, although your dog is small and won’t be any trouble, I do list the property as not being suitable for pets due to us feeling the unenclosed plot on a steep site is not safe enough”, while thinking “The listing clearly states no pets you effing numpty, why did you even ask? If you want to being a pet, perhaps filter your property search by ‘Pets allowed? = Yes'”…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The person who thought it was stolen from them reminds me of a sign Mark Twain put up in his house that said, “To the Next Burglar: There is only plated ware in this house now and henceforth.
    You will find it in that brass thing in the dining room over in the corner by the basket of kittens.
    If you want the basket, put the kittens in the brass thing.”
    He adds some more information but, like you, only provided absolutely necessary information, including a request to burglars that they be quiet, probably because he was exhausted.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve realized that it doesn’t how you write something, people will only skim through the entire post. Seriously, I use to read guidelines and contracts for a living, I had to be extra careful because faculty never read the important parts. Anyway, I’m so mad at myself!! I don’t have Facebook or I’d have asked you how much and bought that beautiful set myself 😬.
    I’ve been looking for a silverware set for quite a while now. And that one looked like it’s really vintage and well cared for.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. barbaramullenix says:

    I try to justify people being idiots by making possible excuses for them – like – maybe they were just clarifying to be sure? But really. Even I have to give up sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I can relate to the dumb questions, Suzanne. It’s actually amazing how people don’t bother to read the details, and we’re not talking about the small print. And what a dream. I hope the new job is going well and it wasn’t a subliminal message. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh those dumb questions had me in stitches. It reminded me of when I sold jewelry and someone asked me the difference between silver and gold. I was real stumped because I wasn’t sure if they meant on a molecular level, but turns out they literally couldn’t identify them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am very accustomed to people not reading an entire email/notice/memo both in my job and in my position as president of our condo association. I get exhausted answering the same silly questions over and over. Meeting packages and email attachments are sent for a reason, people!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. That reminds me of an ADHD writer friend who doesn’t like to read…and doesn’t listen very well either…she can be so exhausting with all of her questions. She is a wonderful storyteller, though! 🙂 The silver was beautiful. I hope you got a ton of money for it!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lovely to see that people are still prepared to use silverware today 🙂 On a red tablecloth – how glamorous!
    Bu I don’t think it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. I think it will come out stained.

    Your experience is interesting. It happens to me the same if I send an email to request information and I include more than one question. It will be useless as I know I will only receive one reply.

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I really don’t think people read — they glance at pix & presto… some years ago I was selling things on ebay & someone called — a lonely older gent just wanting to chit chat, it turns out. I didn’t have time for him…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah yes, I’ve been guilty of ignoring Information that’s been Provided. A math teacher in high school told me I could get higher marks on tests if I just READ THE QUESTIONS. At first, I thought he was being mean, but then I tried it, and whaddya know?

    Liked by 1 person

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