Often when I tell people I shop on craigslist for furniture, they give me a semi-disgusted/confused/semi-intrigued look. Look, I’m not going to buy a used mattress, but I see no issue with a lot of other furniture. It’s not going to give you cooties, people.
We recently moved into our new house, and don’t have nearly enough furniture to fill it. We also don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars to furnish the house. I’ll take that challenge.
Craigslist is my favorite place to furniture shop, along with thrift stores.
3 reasons I shop Craigslist
1. Save money – I can’t afford and don’t want to spend my money on brand new, high quality furniture.
2. Solid, well built furniture. They don’t make stuff like they used to, and personally I’d rather buy a solid wood dresser that needs a little bit of love and some new knobs and have it last me years to come VS buy something made of particle board thats going to warp or fall apart in a couple years.
3. Save the planet! Ok, I’m not literally saving the planet here, but I feel good about putting things to use that others would discard. I love taking something that’s been neglected and just needs some love and imagination to come back to life.
Tips for shopping Craigslist
1. Everything is negotiable. Well, almost everything – you get the occasional person who is stuck on a price. I often go in offering anywhere from 40-70% of their asking price. I also get shut down a lot, but I also get some awesome deals, so why not try?
2. Best and final does not mean squat. I’ve had numerous people tell me this is their bottom dollar, and then take $50 bucks less than that. Never stop negotiating!
3. BUY IT NOW. If you find something cool, chances are it’s going to go – fast. Don’t offer to pick it up this weekend, it will be gone. Pick it up NOW if you can, or arrange a time that day or the next day. Even if you have set a time to come get it, if they get a better offer, chances are they will sell it out from under you. Craigslist is cut-throat (LOL.)
4. Scroll daily, or multiple times per day. Usually, I scroll through pages and pages before I find anything I want. You really need to look regularly to find the good stuff. Don’t give up, even if you’ve searched all of craigslist for a dresser and hate everything, look again tomorrow, and the next day. You WILL find great stuff, it just can take time.
5. Keywords – be creative and try lots of search terms. If you want high-end used stuff, try some brand names like “Room & Board, Crate & Barrel, West Elm.” Make sure to spell them out different ways too i.e. Crate and Barrel / Crate & Barrel. If you’re looking for a certain style search that look i.e. Mid-century Modern / Mid century / Midcentury modern
6. No keywords. I contradict my last point here, but sometimes people have terrible listings, and words are spelled wrong or they forget to put in enough info to come up in searches. I often just scroll the FURNITURE section, looking at everything out there. I have found several items this way that had poor listings.
Here is my latest find – in the FREE section of Craigslist. It may not look like much, but its a solid wood mid-century bed frame. A couple dings to touch up on the stain, but I love it. This is going to be our guest room, I’ll post pics once it is all done! We obviously have a ways to go, seeing as we dont even have trim yet 🙂
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