First things first, BE SAFE! You're dealing with strangers, so think before jumping in. 1. Communicate at least a few times (by phone if possible) 2. Bring your spouse/friend with you 3. Let someone else (family or friend) know where/when you're going 4. If possible, meet in a public area. Though, it's very common to meet at someone's home, especially if it's a heavy dresser, etc. Check out the address on Google Maps (street view) to make sure it's not in the middle of the woods, etc. 5. Be aware of possible scams (they are on there!) never send money before seeing an item, cash and carry only. That being said, I haven't had any negative experiences - everyone that I've met has been very nice and most importantly normal. But a warning definitely needs to be mentioned - be safe!
Here's our top tips!
"Search Craigslist often! Frequency is so important - using a Craigslist app, such as cPRO makes it easy when you have a free moment. Think about what a seller might call something verse what it actually is. My most recent find - rattan bistro chairs were found searching "wicker". Also, I love Mid Century Modern pieces, but typically people who label something as MCM overcharge, so try searching old dresser or wood dresser or estate/garage sale. These are broader searches (so you have to hunt more), but typically they are priced better. Some of my favorite key words are bamboo, rattan, wicker, mid century modern (sometimes you get lucky and get a deal!), wood dresser, old dresser. Finally, search nearby locations or along a travel route - if I find something I really want (for a good price), I'm willing to drive a little further!"
I love, love, love my Chinese Chippendale chairs (though I still haven't upholstered them yet!!) We drove 2 hours and made a day trip out of it - we saw the Biltmore and some new vintage shops too.
"Never give up! I tend to hit Craigslist only when I have something specific in mind, that way I'm not filling our house with all of the random deals that I "just can't pass up." It takes a little bit longer to go looking for something specific, but the key is to be patient, to keep checking (even going so far as to set reminders) and to never settle for second-rate! This process has made my proudest finds all that much sweeter."
I'm obsessed with Carrie's tulip chairs - she recently had the seat's reupholstered and they look amazing!!
"My top tip is to check often, like all the time. If you’re on the hunt for something, don’t think checking every other day is going to do it. Craigslist has a great phone app that makes it so easy to check as often as you can."
Jen is a fellow lover of all things bamboo, brass and marble. So naturally, I'm crazy about everything Jen finds! I'm still looking for a bamboo brass cart! Check out more of Jen's Craigslist finds, here, here, and here
"Check Craigslist frequently and keep your searches pretty broad. Sometimes people mislabel things or call it by another name and if you search for something by a particular name you might miss out on some things. I also always check the box for "has image", then click "by owner", and then I click the "gallery view". It helps me to be able to scan through everything quickly."
Ok, how great are are Bethany's Mid Century Modern wire chairs!? Love them!! Check out Bethany's Craigslist scores, here, here, here, and here
"I use the cPRO Craigslist app on my iPhone. I rarely have time to sit and browse Craigslist on the computer, and usually whenever I have a down moment (rocking the baby to sleep, waiting for my lunch order, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc) I will browse Craigslist using this app. I like the feature that allows you to tag a post as a "favorite" so you don't have to waste time searching for that thing you liked. I don't think my keyword searches are much different than the norm, but these are my favorite search terms: "west elm", "mid century modern", "hollywood regency", "old wood dresser (or whatever item I'm looking for)", "vintage rug", "vintage ___", etc. I haven't started using the alerts tool, probably for fear I will actually find too many things I want or think I need. My husband should thank me for this, ha!"
Brittany is the campaign dresser finding queen! I'm also jealous of how much she can pack in her car! I have yet to find a long campaign dresser ... still on the hunt! Also, this rug wasn't found on Craigslist, but SO SO good!!
"Respond immediately (and then think about it) "I love your table and would like to buy it. When is convenient for you?" Thank you so much, Pam 303-123-4567. I never ask questions at this point and chance another buyer's offer coming in while we're emailing/texting back and forth about details. AFTER the seller sets a time and gives me their address, we are buds, then I inquire about the item."
Pam is constantly posting amazing Craigslist finds!! Makes me wish I lived in closer so we could share :) Also, can't believe that her sofa was just $100!! Pam shares more Craigslist tips on her blog, here.
"Other than refining my search "by owner" and sorting my finds through "gallery" view, I really like to search for specific items that are currently available in stores. For example, I really wanted an Ikea Docksta table, which was currently for sale at Ikea for $199. I thought I could find it for less, and sure enough, a few weeks later I was able to snag one off Craigslist for $75! It's a great way to save a little bit of money on items that you might buy anyway. And the money saved makes up for any minor dings or scratches!"
Those cantilever chairs were only $60 for the set, SO good! The perfect example of how buying second hand can save you so much money!
"Many of my favorite small local thrift and consignment shops also list some of their items on Craigslist. I’ve set an alert to be notified of anything they post so if I find something good I can call them right away to put it on hold until I can get over there."
Elizabeth is constantly posting drool worthy finds, like this Chinese Chippendale chair!! Check out more of Elizabeth's Craigslist finds here and here.
"My favorite tip is definitely the "set alert" button!"
Follow along with Gwen's finds on her blog, The Makerista and Instagram!
A big thanks to everyone that participated today! Hopefully, you picked up some new tips to find treasures among the junk!
Thrift stores are also the perfect place to find amazing finds, check out my tips here!