Secrets to Shopping Craigslist

I’ve been looking for a midcentury credenza for months on Craigslist. For anybody who’s looked for something special on the black hole that’s Craigslist’s furniture listings, then you know how frustrated I feel. Every good item is snatched up at a second, and I am stuck mining via the leftovers.

It turns out there is a technique to digging through this virtual pile. The next time you’re looking for some affordable or classic household goods, save yourself the hassle and try a few of the suggestions described here. Some are self explanatory, but it’s always a good idea to have a refresher. If you are persistent, you’ll be able to find the treasure you have been searching for.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors


• Unless you would like to spend years filtering through search results, check off this small box at the peak of the search bar to view only listings with photos.
• Hunt”by owner” instead of”by dealer.” Keep away from anything with tons of asterisks, smiley faces or hearts at the title, or anything with weird phrasing or grammar at the copy — probably, it’s spam coming from a bot.
• Assess the listings several times every day: parked on your car waiting for someone, once you’re bored at work or while you are sitting in the front of the TV. The decent items go quickly, so you are likely to get to kiss a great deal of frogs to find your prince. Be persistent and don’t stop trying.
• Set the maximum budget at $100 over your intended budget. A lot of individuals are eager to come down on price if it’s been up for a while, so it’s well worth perusing objects which are a bit more expensive.

Emily A. Clark

• Search for phrases in the home page search pub prior to entering furniture or collectible pages. This is especially handy if you are just browsing for a particular style as opposed to a specific object. Going into the individual pages might mean you’ll lose out on some matters — there are loads of great items that people have listed in the”Garden,””General” and”Free” sections.
• Do not necessarily dismiss items because of bad photos — it doesn’t mean that the product isn’t awesome.
• Try many distinct words to find what your searching for. Many people use different descriptions. Your fantasy sideboard might also be a credenza or even a buffet.
• Try many variations of the words you are looking with. Include and exclude spaces, dashes and other punctuation marks. For example:”midcentury,””mid-century” and”mid century.”

Advanced Search Tips

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase:”yellowish pitcher”
• To define words you want to exclude, use a minus sign:”plywood Eames -era” finds postings which contain”plywood” and”Eames,” although not”age”
• After you enter more than one word at the Craigslist search bar, it automatically searches for articles with all those words. To define a listing that includes at least one of your search terms, use the pipe character:”midcentury | Eames” will hunt all articles that contain”midcentury,””Eames,” or both.

Nicole Lanteri Design

Contacting the Seller

• in case you see an item you are interested in, email the vendor immediately to try and snag it. If there’s a phone number listed, call instead.
• When you email or call the vendor, tell them that you can come right away (or that evening) with cash in hand. Most vendors want to get rid of the product quickly, and mentioning that you’ll pay in cash could seal the bargain. Ensure that you have your own way to pick it up — frequently, which could help you negotiate cost.
• Always negotiate. Most individuals are willing to knock off a few bucks here and there for something off their hands. Always be extra polite on your discussions — all the time folks will accept your lesser price.

For People design


• Always see an item in person before buying. There’s no return policy on Craigslist. When you pay for this, you are stuck with that.
• Never use a wire transfer or escrow support to cover. It goes without saying, but don’t pay until you have your furniture in hand.
• Never feel pressured to buy something you are not sure about, even if you trekked out to view it. If you don’t like that, simply thank the vendor and depart.
• Be cautious — it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with Internet transactions. Meet the person in a public place and/or have a buddy with you. Always have your cell phone on hand and never give out your address.

Inform us: What are your finest Craigslist tips and tricks? Share your successes and missteps at the Comments section below.

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