Buy, rate, review, move on. Isn’t that the usual sequence of events when making a purchase on eBay? Not for one man: an 86-year-old Phoenix resident named Don.
Don found what he was looking for on eBay despite never having used the site before. What he needed was a VHS player, and luckily for him, Matt Shoukry, from St. Louis, Missouri, was selling one. Matt posted the outdated piece of technology in an effort to clear the clutter at home, having no idea at the time how much it might mean to the eventual buyer. He listed the item, and it sold quickly, for $40.
Matt is a conscientious seller, and carefully packaged and sent the VHS player to Phoenix, thinking no more of the simple transaction. However, on Feb. 10, 2019, Matt received a letter in a neatly handwritten envelope. It was a personalized letter of thanks.
The letter itself was typed but signed by Don, the elderly recipient of Matt’s unwanted VHS player. Within the letter, Don explained how grateful he was to have been able to buy the player he so needed. Matt’s trash was Don’s treasure, Matt realized, and he read the letter from beginning to end with his girlfriend by his side. They were “both on the verge of tears reading it,” Matt later told Fox 2.
The letter read: “I found my old VHS tapes recently and wanted to see what is on them and realised I had no player … I bought your VHS and you shipped it within a few days. The VHS looks new and unused. Amazing.” Don went on, with a humorously self-deprecating remark about the incompatibility between his age and the technological device: “I had some issues getting it going,” he remarked, “which were mine and not the player. I am 86 and perhaps not up to my game, but I do get there eventually.”
As Don continued, the real impact of his purchase was made clear to Matt, the unassuming seller of the almost-obsolete technology. “I watched tapes of my retirement party from 25 years ago which I had never seen before. Jeez, were we young,” Don shared, painting a wonderful picture of the player in its new home and the real, authentic joy it was bringing to the elderly man’s life. “Then a tape of my wedding,” Don continued, “with all the family and friends, many of which are no longer around.” Don had been able to revisit skiing trips, holidays, and perhaps most importantly “the gentle maturing of my family,” he said.
Don’s gratitude spilled from the page: “Thank you so much for your care, your efforts, and your promptness.”
Matt was bowled over by the unusual gesture, the magical insight into a buyer’s personal appreciation for a product bought on an anonymous online auction site. He is steadfast in his intention to keep the letter: “I’m going to have it framed and keep it next to my desk in my house,” Matt said, “because it means a lot to me.”
But Matt doesn’t intend to stop there. “I’m also going to offer to digitize his videos for him,” Matt shared, “so he doesn’t have to worry about those tapes degrading.”
The VHS player may be a relic from times gone by, but a thank you letter is a heartfelt gesture that will never ever go out of style.
Is there a dry eye in the house? Tell us what you think of Don’s wonderful letter in the comments below!
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