For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years, Craigslist can be a great resource for buying and selling mid-century modern furniture. (Not to mention anything else under the sun that you’d like to buy/sell.) Part of how I’ve changed out much of my furniture has been thanks to Craigslist. Craigslist can be a great way to rescue, recycle or reuse furniture, or turn unused items into cold hard cash! Sellers, beware though: You can expect emails from scammers, experience a whole new level of flakiness, and receive text messages at all hours of the night. In order to keep your head, I have some guidelines to share about using Craigslist.com.
1. Expect to be haggled. Sometimes, it’s more than a haggling…I just experienced a beating from a buyer in Long Beach. At the end, I was ready to GIVE him the furniture just so he would leave.
2. Do your research. See guideline #1. You should know about what you’re selling, or at the very least, know what like-items are currently selling for. Take into consideration age and condition. Check other Craigslist listings for like-items, as well as Ebay and Etsy.com for comparables. Knowledge is power, and it will help you when negotiating.
3. Do not invite strangers into your home, as friendly as they may seem. If possible, ask them to come around to the garage, or wherever makes sense for you. Keep what little privacy you have left. I purchased an arc lamp from a gal who was living in an apartment complex. We met at her car port. Easy.
4. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures. If you are listing an item, clean it and stage it before you take pictures. Get different angles, and if it’s relevant, take photos of any markings – especially for brand-name makes in mid-century items. 9 times out of 10, consumers will be going for the items that look clean and well cared for. No one wants your kid’s crusty stained car seat. Throw the cover in the wash, and THEN get a picture of it. Don’t give buyers an excuse to haggle you over condition. Seriously, people.
5. Keywords are key. To increase the chances of your item being pulled, at the bottom of your listing, enter keywords that match or describe the item you are selling. This will in turn amp up the potential viewers.
6. Silence your phone at night. There is nothing worse (for me) than being woken by a text or email “Is the item still available?” at 1 in the morning. Only to respond, “Yes.” and never hear back. You’ll never know who to kill, and you’ll never get that time back.
7. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt. If the timing is right, you can find anything. Sometimes even unexpectedly. I accidentally stumbled upon the exact matching step end tables to my living room coffee table. I didn’t even know they existed! Look at those sexy legs already. Dear Lord, they make me weak. I’m still trying to get a response out of the seller….but check this out! They’re an exact match. They are priced cheaply because they need some TLC, and I’d be more than happy to oblige:
P.S. Be sure to login to your craigslist account and “renew” your listings every couple of days. Good luck!