Welcome to Furniture Find Friday (on Saturday that is). Sorry I am a day late…it was a late night out with the hubs catching dinner and a movie…Ironman 3! It was awesome!! So I am back this morning with our next installment of our Furniture Find Fridays series and today we are going to talk about Craigslist. People are always asking me where I get my furniture pieces so this series was set into motion to tell you a little more about that! I am sure you have heard of Craigslist and chance are, you have shopped off of Craigslist. Craigslist is a fabulous on-line classifieds shopping site. You can pretty much shop anywhere in the county or world if you wish. I often find pieces to redo by shopping Craigslist. I check two sites on Craigslist regularly as they are in the closest proximity to me. My categories? I shop FREE, FURNITURE, and ANTIQUES. I check them very often throughout the day – at least twice and most times more. I also use search terms if I am looking for something in particular such as a dresser or a vintage piece. I scan often and quickly. You really have to move fast on this site as many people are looking as well.
If I see something of interest, I send out an email immediately with questions and contact info. I would recommend being sure the seller knows you are serious and leave your name and contact info. There is a lot of potential for scamming on Facebook and frankly, you have to exercise caution when shopping on this site as you don’t know who is on the other end. I wouldn’t recommend giving out any personal info – many times I use my first name only and I don’t send out my address until I have made several contacts with them and all seems to be legit. You can never be too careful. When picking up something, I always take just the cash I need and no extra money or valuables with you. I go with just cash in hand. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS go with another person to pick things up. You are going into someone’s home and you just don’t know. Always err on the side of caution. The same goes for selling items on that site by the way. Today I have a Craigslist pick up and I would never have anyone come to my home unless I have my husband home. This is a rule you should never compromise.
Once I had my husband pick up a table for me in a neighboring town and he told me the man had a huge rifle just leaning against the wall next to the table. I think it freaked him out a bit. Another time, Megan and I met someone in another town to pick up a sweet dresser. The man met us in a parking lot and proceeded to say “Follow me.” He led us down winding, wooded roads and I was pretty sure he was going to kill us. He led us to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. My heart was pumping hard at that point. I considered if the dresser was worth that much. I even went so far as to text his license plate number and generally directions to our location to my husband in case anything happened. It was a bit freaky. I remember grabbing my phone and asking him to turn on an outside light as it was pitch black out. Yikes. Turns out he was nice and perfectly normal, but my oh my, it is a memory I continue to keep. Be safe and if something feels bad, go with your gut. Always.
Number one rule – safety.
Number two rule – get the goods!
You can find some wickedly amazing things on Craigslist. Here are some pieces I recreated with Craigslist finds:
Amazing Grace Antique Dresser (this was the dresser from the scary dresser pick up I told you about!)
And most recently, this stunning vanity which I will reveal this weekend!
My next piece of advice…don’t be afraid to make an offer.
I always work within my budget which is relatively low.
Unless a piece is well worth the asking price, I almost always make an offer lower than what they are asking. Usually they take me up on it. I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask. They don’t know me from a hole in the wall so why not? I usually score great bargains this way. The vanity I pictured above came with gorgeous antique pulls, BUT the lady offered to sell this piece to me without the pulls for half the asking price (she had another project in mind for them). Well, that amount fell right into my budget so I snagged her. Hobby Lobby has hardware so I wasn’t worried.
Lastly, be sure to make solid arrangements with the person listing the piece. Don’t wait too long or be indecisive. I can’t tell you how many times I have made arrangements with people to purchase a piece and it has been sold right out from under me. I made plans to get it, but because it wasn’t IMMEDIATELY picked up, they sold it. I have to make long drives to get most of my pieces which requires planning around my schedule as well as being sure the girls are cared for as kids and furniture don’t both fit in my jeep. I also always am sure I take a friend. This takes some coordination. Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t work out. And yes, I have been pretty annoyed about it. I never allow myself to really love a piece until it is in my possession. It perplexes me…people have a piece of furniture stored in their home for years doing nothing and when they want to sell it, they want it picked up right that moment. Make sense to you? Yeah, me neither.
Hope that is helpful!
Craigslist is a great resource if you now how to use it!
What have you found on Craigslist?