Trading my DSLR Camera for a Shawarma Sandwich

I know that headline will have half of the people judging me with all their might and the other half being like "YES, SHAWARMA IS LIFE!".

As much as I love fatty-garlic-dipped-filled-pita-breaded-meats, that's not really the story here.

Let me explain...

A few months ago I bought a used DSLR camera in an attempt to up the quality of my Youtube videos.

And even though I lack any sort of knowledge in dealing with cameras and its settings, I felt this is a new chapter that will enable me to learn and improve the quality of my content.

After a little back and forth with the original owner, rummaging through the million questions I had and agreeing on a fair price, we met up, made the trade and just like that I've become a proud owner of a DSLR camera.

I'm not gonna lie, it made me feel like a badass strutting the streets with a camera strapped dangling from my neck.

It gave me such confidence having strangers eye me thinking "oh, she must be a photographer", there was something a little empowering about that.


Like I knew what I was doing - which is rarely the case at all. But that was my little secret to keep, shhhhh!

So I get home all excited to unbox the rest of the camera accessories much like an over-enthused child on a cozy Christmas morning.

I set it up on a tripod, pick up the manual, flip through it very uninterestingly and toss it aside, cause whatever I can figure it out on my own, right?

Welcome to adulthood. An endless loop of thinking you can overpower a set of instructions, even though you can't.

I clickety clack, click buttons left and right, rotate the lens in and out and yet for the life of me couldn't figure out how to enable video mode.

But being the ruthless creature that I am, I just had to figure this out if I'm ever going to become a sought out 'Youtuber'.

I accept defeat and embarrassingly pick up the manual - like I should have in the first place (such a dumb move Nadine!)

I flip through the several pages of differently translated languages. Wow, they have it translated in German, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, French - just about every language you'd think it was an article of a United Nations assembly.

But nothing about a video record set up.

My frustration grows, much like the popcorn kernel that gets stuck in your teeth and you go all tongue twister on it trying to press that mother out.

Yeah, like that.

So I head to the camera's brand's website, find the customer service number and dial it up to speak to an agent.

I give them the camera model and ask "how do I enable the video record?" to which the agent replies "there is no video function in this camera model".

I was shook. I got duped.

The original camera owner scammed me. I thought I was buying a camera with a video function when it actually had none.

What an idiot I was.

And as you can assume, no matter how much I tried to get in touch with the original owner, I was left to no avail.


So I decide to just cut my losses and list the camera up on Facebook marketplace.

At the very least I can make my money back and get a new camera with it.

I listed it down for $230 knowing that people will haggle and try to negotiate it down. $200 was my complete cut off, I didn't intend to go any lower than that.

And you better bet, I'm relentless. Never used to be in the past, but nowadays, I stick to my guns like a stubborn kid who refuses to let go of their sleep-in teddy bear.

What happens next is where things get a little more interesting...

A guy reaches out "is this still available?" and I confirm that it is.

He offers me $75 for it, and without waiting for a response from me says:

"Time & location for pick up".

What a way to start this encounter?

I reiterate the camera is valued at $230 and even revealed my cards (which I shouldn't have) that the lowest I'd go is $200.

Check out his response below...

Ok, let's ignore the fact that he's completely ambushing me, but what 'buyer' is he talking about? And why was it my problem?

Did you also notice how he jumped from $75 to $150 to $170 without much intervention from my part?

It was like a very poorly orchestrated bidding match, only he was outbidding and talking to himself.

But it gets weirder...

He thought he can buy me off with some biryani and shawarma to compensate for the difference - and to be honest he wasn't wrong.

I would give my soul to a good shawarma sandwich, but I still couldn't be bothered, even though he offered a solid $190 ($10 below my asking which wasn't bad).

So why didn't I agree to the trade off?

Other than the fact of being bombarded with an open-fire of one pricing counter after the next and as a woman with a third world upbringing, I know how to smell creeps from a mile away.

But that wasn't the main reason why I didn't sell the camera to him. I've dealt with many creeps in my life, that wasn't what really turned me away.

The real reason?

Cause he made it all about himself. Like his problem was my own. Nah buddy, I've got enough problems of my own thank you very much.


Why would I care about your buyer? What buyer anyway? Seriously, why was that my problem?

I'm a pretty easy person to please. If I'm at a retail store with a pure intention of just window shopping and the sales person was courteous, said all the right things and accommodated me in every which way, I'll buy a thing or 2 to let them earn that commission - even if it was something I didn't need.

That human interaction matters!

And this is a common mistake I see a lot of business owners make.

They make their services and promotions all about them, when NEWSFLASH, it isn't!

Your customer is the hero (thank you Donald Miller for that insight).

Make it about the customer not about you.

Now if that guy was negotiating with me to reach a fair conclusion that would benefit the both of us, I would've been happy to accommodate.

The turn off? He made it all about him and how I should serve him.

Kind of like the guy you went out on a date with who you're hoping would never call you but ends up calling.

Yeah, something like that.

So if you're lacking to get clients through the door, have a very hard look at how you're selling.

Is it a string of promotions like "DM me to book" or "Call to Book Now".

Another NEWSFLASH, people HATE being sold to!


Because they're thinking "well, what's in it for me?"

Are you sharing stories that empowers THEM? Are you sure that they're being represented in your brand?

Are you making sure that your content, website, service, promotions is centred around them? serving them? all about them?

Because if you just endlessly promote yourself, sorry to say, but why would anyone care?

I mean, think about it, has that every worked on you?

Haven't you ever turned away when you saw a guy handing out flyers in the middle of the street?

Or repeated to yourself "don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact" to fend off that person from approaching you?


Because you know you're going to be sold to. Before even knowing what they're selling, you're automatically turned off by it.

Don't be like the lousy date who ONLY talks about themselves, that you end up getting your eyeballs stuck to your upper lids cause you can't help stop the eye-roll.


Which is why your business, your service, your content, your website - every single thing needs to talk TO them and not AT them.

Make your business and your brand about them and you'll be surprised by how the flip will be switched.

What about you? What kind of encounter left you to fork over your dollars like it was no big thing? Or alternatively what situation were you in that deterred you from buying anything at all because you got caught up with a shitty sales person? Comment below!

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