Tips for Buying on Craigslist

Since I got a lot of response on Tips for Selling on Craigslist, I wanted to give you guys my top tips for buying on Craigslist, and just in time for the weekend!

  1. If you have questions, ask.
    • You can save time this way. For example, I found a great settee on CL. I emailed asking for more pictures, for measurements, and if it was sturdy when you sit down. When they sent the measurements, I realized it wouldn’t fit in my space. Sad, but I did save time not driving to Orange County to pick up a settee that wouldn’t fit in my house.
  2. Contact the OP the way they say they want to be contacted.
    • Some posts say “call only” or “text” or some posts want email only. Do what they say so you’ll get a response.
  3. Be on time.
    • If you say you are going to look at an item at a certain time, be on time. Even if the seller is late, you won’t annoy them (more annoyed= less likely to get a deal.)
  4. Don’t make a ridiculous offer and only bring that much cash.
    • If you’re not willing or able to even pay close to the list price, you may want to consider asking ahead of time. Don’t just bring money for half of the listed price. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
  5. Do your research!
    • Look for similar items online and see what they’re selling for so you know whether you’re getting a good deal or not.
  6. Don’t list the item’s flaws to the seller when asking for a better deal.
    • The seller likely already knows the item’s flaws. They probably don’t want to sell to someone who is “just not that into” their beloved item. Be respectful. Frame it that you really love the item, but it is out of your price range. Don’t nitpick it and expect someone to be happy to give you a discount. You end up sounding like an a-hole.
  7. Bring someone with you!
    • Meeting a strange person in a place you don’t know can be scary! Bring someone with you. They can keep you company on the drive, help you carry your item if you need it, and provide a little extra piece of mind. If you can’t get anyone to come with you, tell a friend or family member the time you’re going, the address of where you’re going, the information for the person you’re meeting, and that you’ll call them when you leave. I may be hyper vigilant, but, hey, better safe than sorry.
  8. Check the free section!
    • When looking for items, I always check the free section. My favorite table and chairs set came from the free section, the girl just needed to get rid of it ASAP. You never know what you’ll find, because as all rehabbers know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
  9. Don’t pay ahead of time or allow someone to ship the item to you.
    • You want to look at the item before you purchase. You want to make sure its in the shape you think it is. You want to be sure its not a scam. Beware of people who say to send the money and they’ll send you the item.

Happy buying!

Tips for Selling on Craigslist

Tips for Selling on Craigslist

craigslist_01

I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile.

I always have friends texting me asking for tips buying and selling items. I’ve tried several different ways to sell, but I still find Craigslist to be the most reliable, efficient way of selling if I have one large item that isn’t designer but needs to go.

That being said, selling on Craigslist can go terribly awry sometimes, so I’ve been wanting to give you guys some tips on how to do it right:

  1. Don’t be too emotionally attached.
    • I know, I know. You’ve had that chair for 5 years and loved it sooo much but it just doesn’t fit your decor anymore. That doesn’t mean someone wants to pay $100 less than what you paid for it 5 years ago and buy a $600 used chair that your cat has been sitting on for 5 years. People on CL are looking for a bargain. Be realistic about what you can get for your item. If you can’t get what you want for it, consider donating it or reupholstering it, or you’ll be sitting on it (no pun intended) and re-posting lots of ads for a long time.
  2. Do your research.
    • Research what you have and see what similar styles are selling for. I will never forget the time I moved into an apartment and the previous tenant left a lamp inside. The manager told me I could keep the lamp, which I didn’t love, and I listed it on CL for $40. Once I started getting more into selling, I realized that lamp was worth A LOT more. Like $500 more. No wonder the guy who bought it was so excited to pick up what I thought was just another ugly lamp. So do your research!
  3. Have wiggle room in your price.
    • Once you’ve decided on a price that seems fair to you and have done research to make sure you’re on track, list your item for a little more than your goal price. People on CL love to negotiate, and they’ll feel like they’re getting a good deal if you knock some off. Now, I’m not saying to list something for $600 if you’re really wanting $300, that will just scare potential buyers away. But listing for $350 or $400 may work in your favor.
    • If a buyer asks for “the best you can do” on your item, ask them what they’re thinking price-wise before you say a price. Sometimes when I have done this, buyers have put a price out there that was way higher than I was expecting.
  4. Put a photo in the ad!
    • Take a photo with clean daylight, preferably against a plain wall if you have one. You don’t want people to be discouraged from buying your item because they don’t like your other decor. Or take a photo in its setting (think yard furniture in the yard.) Clean the item up the way it will look when you sell it and don’t have a lot of clutter or other items sitting on or near the item for sale. The photo can make all the difference in selling an item or having it sit for months.
  5. Have someone with you when you show the item or bring the item outside.
    • This is just me being careful. I get a little worried about inviting people to my house to look at items, and I especially did when I was living alone. I would have a friend come over when I was showing an item, tell a neighbor someone was coming by to look at stuff, or bring the item outside before they got there if I could carry it. Yes, carrying an item out to sell it is a pain if they don’t buy it, but you don’t want to let random people into your home when you’re alone if you can help it.
  6. Cash only!
    • I’m saying this assuming you only sell a couple of things every now and them on CL. If you have a square card reader, by all means, use it. I still prefer cash.
    • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER accept checks. This may seem like common sense, but what about those people that offer more or the exact amount you have an item listed for without looking at your item and say they’ll give you a cashier’s check? No, just no.
    • This is a major scam. You take it to cash it, the bank realizes it is a fake, and holds YOU responsible. If they have time to get a cashier’s check, they can take their butt to the bank and cash it and bring you cash.
    • Money wires are also scams.
    • Don’t give out your account info for bank transfers.
    • CASH ONLY!

These are my main rules for selling items on Craigslist. I hope they help you have a safer, faster sale so you can buy new stuff to change up the look of your space. Happy selling, Rehabbers!

Sold

 

Ocean-y Ombre

Ocean-y Ombre

Everyone knows that ombre is all the rage right now. You can see it in hair, on fingertips, in fashion, and now in home design.

I found this super cute set for sale on Craigslist the other day. I just love how the ombre effect plays out on this pair. This would be a really easy project to dress up a plain chest of drawers.
I can just see shades of pink for a little girl’s room, but these blues are appropriate for any age!

Always a bit sketchy…

I’m always looking for items on Craigslist, especially in the “free” section. I did a whole post on “Craigslisting” but there are a couple of things that even I am wary of when it comes to “free stuff.”

1. Free mattresses. (Um, yuck, what happened there?! and it’s like an invitation for bed bugs to enter your home.)

2. Free dental work. (I need my teeth- too risky.)

3. Free haircuts. (I’d probably beg a friend to cut my hair before letting some random on Craigslist do it.)

4. Free undergarments (I’ve never actually seen this offered, just sayin’.)

What would you avoid?

 

Craigslisting…

Can have multiple meanings. I realized this tonight, when I told a friend I was spending the evening “Craigslisting.” 

“What does that mean???” He responded, then I realized what he thought it meant (browsing the personals.)

HA! Nope, to me it means browsing the “for sale” and “free stuff” sections. CL is a great resource for cheap finds to rehab. I’ve been both a buyer and a seller and have been fairly successful with turning a profit.

A little advice for your “Craigslisting” adventures in the future:

1. If you’re buying, ask for photos/ measurements before you go to see it. It’s not nice to waste the seller’s (or your own) time.

2. Bring cash! It’s the only way to pay, and when people see the cash in your hand, they’re a lot more likely to negotiate.

3. Ask the seller if they have anything else to sell… you never know what you may find!

4. Make sure the car you bring can actually transport the item (see my post “Prius Problems”).

5. Go with someone! (Hello, you don’t know these people) Or else tell someone where you’re going and give them the person’s information from the post/ your correspondence.

6. If you’re the seller, make sure someone else is home with you, or show the item outside of your home. I will often bring items outside to the sidewalk if someone is coming to look (’cause I don’t even want them knowing which apartment is mine!) I also like to let a friend or family member know that someone will be coming to my house. Basic safety, guys!

Hope these tips help and happy Craigslisting!