Buying and Selling on Craigslist

Are you a craigslist shopper?  Have you ever thought about buying something, that one thing you were  looking to purchase but for a great price? Or how about making a little money and selling that "stuff" that's been sitting in the garage?  I love craigslist.  I look on the site almost daily, but only on their "free" section.  You never know what people will put up there and are willing to part with- for free!  I love buying furniture on craigslist too.  Let me show you all my latest craigslist find.

 We have been looking for a leather chair for Mr. Lewisville for over a year.  Yes, over ONE year.  I wanted real leather, not bonded or bicast, R-E-A-L.  The problem with real leather is that it's much more expensive.  Ok, the real problem is that I'm not willing to spend "that much" on a leather chair, but I really wanted to bless the mr. so I came up with a up a little and start searching craigslist.  The Mr. and I have very different decor and furniture styles, so when I found something I liked, he didn't.  Then he'd find something and I didn't like it. 

We looked at several leather chairs, some bonded even (we were getting desperate), but none "spoke" to us.  That's the thing about craigslist.  You have to be patient, and when you see something you may like, you have to be quick to call or email the seller right away!  When I saw this chair, I was sure Mr. Lewisville wouldn't like it because of the nail head trim. I LOVE the trim by the way.  I didn't care for the color though.  I wanted something darker- espresso brown.  Mr. Lewisville liked the color and he even liked the trim.  We called and since the sellers were in our city (bonus!) we went to take a look!

You know how couples can look at each other and know what the other one is thinking? Well, after 18 years of marriage (next month will be 19!) we have the facial cues down when we go to see a piece of furniture; Cues such as "no way; we are not buying that thing" or "maybe".  This time, I gave him the "it's up to you, but I like it" face.  The sellers posted the chair for....$90!  Being the frugal family we are, we offered $70.  We made a deal at $80!  A real leather chair for $80- Yes. Yes, I think I'll take that deal.  It's worn in some areas and it needs to be cleaned and conditioned, but we love the chair. 

 You want to know what else we've bought on craigslist?  Well, it just so happens that last year I was shopping for a "new" sofa.  I LOVE Potter Barn, but I don't love Pottery Barn prices.  I searched for a few months for  two different Pottery Barn Sofa's that I particularly liked.  Here's what I found! 

 I picked up my Pottery Barn Greenwich Sofa for just $350!  It was originally listed for $400, but again, we negotiated.  This is a $1700 sofa that the sellers wanted to get rid of because they were remodeling.  We gladly helped them out and took it home.

I love beautiful and well made furniture, but sometimes it's just not in the budget.  In that case, I consider my friend Craigslist.  Even now, I'm looking for a few pieces that I need around the house. 

If you are considering buying or selling on Craigslist, but are a little apprehensive about the process, let me tell you about a few of our rules when we work on craigslist.  We have bought and sold several items, but we're strict about making sure everything works out best for both parties.

1.  Be specific in your own mind about what you want and don't deviate or settle.  Consider things like size, color, price you're willing to spend, etc.  Right now I'm looking for a coffee table for around $20 or a set for $50.  I want real wood (there's that REAL word again) in a rectangle shape.  No oval, round, etc.  You can also look up key words like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, etc. 

2.  Call or email right away.  Early bird gets the worm when it come to craigslist.

3.  When you go to see an item, take someone with you always!  And tell someone where you are going.

4.  If you don't like the item, you are not obligated to buy it.  Just thank them for their time and let them know it's not what you're looking for.  We looked at several chairs before we bought one.

5.  Always negotiate the price unless their post says the price is firm.  I hate that by the way.

1.  You must take a picture(s) and post it on your craigslist add.  No one wants to go to someone's home to look at something they haven't seen.  I don't even look at any "selling" post unless there is a picture. 

2.  Describe it.  Tell us the color, size, and be honest about knicks, scratches, and tears.  Take a picture of those too. 

3.  Give the price and inflate it slightly because people (like me) will want to negotiate.  So if you want to sell a dresser for $75, list it for $85 or $90.  Some people don't ask for a lower price so you may get a higher price anyway. By the way, check out how much your item is selling for on craigslist.  Don't overprice your 1980's bedroom decor because you bought it for 1,000s of dollars back then.  Be careful not to underprice your items too.  You may be surprised how much people are willing to pay for your gently used stuff. Do your homework.

4.  If you're single, don't give out your number, just set up one of those craigslist emails.  You can ask the buyer to include a number to arrange a viewing.

5.  If the items is small enough, meet at a neutral location like a nearby Starbucks.   We've done this several times and most buyers are fine with it.

6.  If the item is too large to transport, take it into your garage or just outside your door for the prospective buyers to view.  We don't have people enter the home for obvious safety reasons and make sure someone (a male -husband, brother, friend) is with you.

7.  Accept cash only.  Don't take any other form of payment, just cash. There are a lot of scams out there, so minimize being taken by only taking cash.

Craigslist is like Pinterest to me. I love looking through at all the new items and dreaming how I could paint or change them.  It's like shopping at a virtual thrift store without leaving the comfort of your Pottery Barn Greenwich sofa...sorry, I just had to!

Hope you found this post helpful and useful.  If you have something to add to the rules, please leave a comment so we can all benefit.  Craigslist can be a great way to earn some extra cash and buy some items you couldn't regularly afford.

*Oh by the way, I did some research and found out you can darken real leather!  I see a DIY furniture project in the future!

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Saved by Love Creations 
Miss Mustard Seed

Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm 

Restore Interiors