Craigslist- the online garage sale

Friday, October 23, 2009

I met Craigslist years ago, I fell in love and we have been inseparable ever since. I use Craigslist mainly for furniture buys (however craigslist offers tons of other things beyond furniture). I am a pro at finding EXACTLY what I want for so cheap I could cry (and maybe you will cry too). Being a shopper on Craigslist is an art. You can come out with some really crappy stuff, or you can come out with gold.

Reasons me and craigslist make a perfect match:
  • I am a busy mom. I don't have time to drag 3 small kids to garage sale after garage sale, let alone a moment to look for stuff while I am there! Craigslist is an online garage sale, what could be better for the busy mom?... um, nothing.
  • You can search at any price point in any city and bargain with the seller for less. Plus, no shipping costs!!
  • If you buy something and bring it home, and hate it, post it again for $10 more, then you make money in the end(I have pulled this off several times).
  • You don't have to pay to use it. It is free (pretty much paying you because you save so much money).
If you find that Craigslist is just a site with someone else's overpriced junk you aren't half wrong. It is. But, in an ocean of junk there are pearls waiting to be hatched up and restored to their shiny self again. You just gotta have an eye for it and follow the rules.

My Rules to shopping Craigslist:
Search what you are looking for in the search bar on the top left of the page. If you are looking for a desk try different things like "Desk", "office desk", "office" etc.
  • Search several times a day for that one item. Because I stay at home I search in the morning, then at night (k, don't go thinkin I am doing this all day. I only do this when I have a piece of furniture in mind, which is like once every couple months). Good items, that are priced well, GO FAST! So you need to react fast and take it before someone else does!
  • My rule is always: Pet Free, Smoke Free home. But if you have pets or if you are a smoker then you may not mind.
  • You MUST see the item yourself, smell the item, size the item up BEFORE you buy it! I have bought a couple things that have turned out a disaster (this is when I didn't follow my own rules, I sent someone else to go get them), but in the end I posted them back on Craigslist for more and made money :)
  • Don't look for perfect, flawless furniture. Look for solid wood makeover potential. In the process you may see something that is a diamond in the rough (like my buffet).
  • People overprice their stuff on Craigslist. Offer them something like $50 lower. They will get desperate enough and take your offer!
  • Don't limit your search to just your area, you may miss some great stuff. (my buffet was 45 minutes away).
Above is an example of the search page. I put in what I wanted, then named my price. I usually search the whole Portland Area, rather than limiting my results with my little area. Click on the picture to see it larger.

Here are my Craigslist babies. All purchased under $150! Me and Craigslist will be together forever (as long as it is free.....)

Before purchased
This is the exact picture that was posted on Craigslist. I saw that it was SOLID wood (oh, it was solid, my back can tell you that as we moved it in) and it had a glass top which meant perfect condition there. Tons of potential.

After I was done with it
We used a "mahogany" pen that Derek had at his job site, used for the hardwoods, to color in all the scratches, worked perfectly! I spray painted the hardware black ($3 can of spray paint). Looks like new, huh?!
We found Asher's crib for MORE than HALF the cost it was at babies R us (retails for $450). There was nothing wrong with it, it was basically new!

Here is the buffet we found that didn't need a thing done to it! This is my newest craigslist addition, and I love it.

I challenge you to find a craigslist item and turn it from someone else's junk to your prized possession. But for the moment I need to get off this computer and turn some little stinky bums into powdery fresh baby bums :)

Leave a Comment

  1. check out too, it's also free.
    We use this one alot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

  2. OMG...such a simple idea...why didn't I think of it. I have the exact same desk that you found on Craigslist...I spent the summer looking for new hardward that would fit the holes but not cost me an arm & a leg. I counld't find any. I am so thrilled to find your post, I'm going to spray paint my hardware black also. One thing I did was remove the lapdrawer & put in a slide-out keyboard holder, if you're using it for a PC you might want to do that. Thanks!!!!!

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