Tips and Tricks Thursday — Craigslist Tips and Tricks

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hello my Lovlies — Happy Thursday!!! Today on Cynthia's Tips and Tricks Thursday I am going to share with you some Craigslist Tips & Tricks. 

This great information come from Virginia at

Craigslist Tips & Tricks

If you're willing to do a little extra work, secondhand items are a great way to create a really unique home on a small budget. A great source for secondhand items is Craigslist.

Frequency, Baby

When it comes to Craigslist shopping, frequency is key. It's just like thrifting in that the more you do it, the better items you are going to find. There are hundreds of items in each area that go up on Craigslist every single day, and most of the time the good items are gone in less than a day.  Check the site several times a week and search for the specific items you're looking for. With a little persistence, you can usually find exactly what you're  looking for.

For example, after a few weeks of searching for a very specific item...a Queen Anne style tufted upholstered chair (for under $20...mandatory). This little hottie popped up for $15. 

10 Craigslist Tips & Tricks: How to find the best stuff & save money. There are some really great tips in this!

Use Keywords
Knowing how to use keywords is super helpful when finding the right items on Craigslist. Let's use the Queen Anne tufted chair as an example. If you are looking specifically for that, search 'Queen Anne Tufted Upholstered Chair'. If nothing shows up with your super specific search, try leaving out different words and just searching 'Queen Anne Chair' or 'Tufted Chair' or 'Upholstered Chair'. You never know how people will describe their items, so you may have to use several 

Craigslist is great to find antique and vintage pieces that can't be found in stores anymore, and these keywords are a perfect starting point. 

10 Craigslist Tips & Tricks: How to find the best vintage & antique furniture on Craigslist! GREAT tips!

For example, this amazing mirror was just $50 

 Use multiple spellings 
If you can't find anything with keywords, try different spellings of the word. Misspellings are a common problem on Craigslist, and if a word is spelled wrong, you may not find the listing. For example, when  looking for an office desk, I was searching for 'tables', as I knew I wanted to use a small dining table as my desk. After coming up empty handed, I randomly decided to try searching 'tabel' and that's when I found the perfect table for $50 that had gone unnoticed for two weeks. I realize it's ridiculous, but you would be amazed at how often this trick has worked.

10 Craigslist Tips & Tricks: How to find the best stuff & save money. There are some really great tips in this!

 Use synonyms
Similar to aforementioned, if nothing else is working, try searching for synonyms of the item you want to find. For example, when searching for the table, I searched for all sorts of related items like the following: dining table, entryway table, buffet, console table, sideboard, wooden furniture, furniture, dining set, desk. Eventually, it's highly likely you will find something

Search By Picture
To make all of this searching a bit easier, I always choose to search in 'pic view', and then also click on the tab above that says 'has image'. This filters out all the listings that don't have images, and then allows you to see all the pictures in the rest of the listings. You can hover over any of the thumbnails, and the big picture will pop up. It's an awesome feature and makes life so much easier.

10 Craigslist Tips & Tricks: How to find the best stuff & save money. There are some really great tips in this!

Look for things with a great shape
When looking for your next great piece of furniture, don't be deterred by things that just look ugly. Seriously, give it a minute and look beyond the headgear and worts. As long as the item has great shape, and you're willing to do a little work, you can always paint, stain, reupholster, and bedazzle just about anything. For example, this poor little fella  found on Craigslist a few years ago...once an ugly duckling... a total swan

Once you've actually found an item you're interested in, it's time to contact the seller. I usually prefer to e-mail a seller first and negotiate the price right off the bat, offering less than what it is listed for. Once the details are worked out, I follow up with a phone call to setup the meeting. 

Here's what you need to know. Craigslist is like a garage sale. People usually expect you to haggle. Basically, at the 8AM garage sale you're gonna pay $30 for that amazing lamp. By 3PM, the seller is loading it in your van for free. 

In searching for a headboard for our guest bedroom I found a great wooden headboard for $50, and was able to negotiate it down to $25 by letting the seller know that I could pick it up that same day.

Be quick
 I've learned from selling on Craigslist, that if a buyer can't arrange to pickup the item quickly, I'll usually just move on to another interested buyer. Buyers can be flaky on Craigslist, so sellers usually won't wait around for you if there are other interested buyers. You'll get dropped like a hot potato. If you want to get the good stuff at a great price, let the seller know that you can get the item ASAP and then follow through.

 Feel free to say no thank you
 If you show up to get the item, and it just isn't what you expected, say no thank you. For example, I should have totally employed this tip on the table that is still haunting me to this day. Do your due diligence before hand and ask about measurements or anything else not in the listing so that you can avoid an awkward situation and avoid inconveniencing some sweet old man with a table.

We prefer to buy from people we've talked to on the phone. It leaves a record, and puts us at ease by hearing their voice. We always setup our meeting at a public location away from our home and let a friend, neighbor, or relative know when and where we'll be, along with the make/model of the car and the name of the person we're meeting. I almost always buy smaller items that can be transported to a secondary location, but if I have to go to someone's home, I always take Chuck. Burly men come in handy when lifting large items and/or fending off weirdos. 
Have one handy!!!!!

Well my Lovlies I hope you've enjoyed Virgina's Craigslist tips & tricks.  

Your turn:  Be sure to comment below and/or e-mail me with your Criagslist Tips & Tricks. 


No comments :

Post a Comment