Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Art of Craigslisting

The best things I own have been previously loved. I acquire them from the antique expo, Etsy, garage sales, friends, even the side of the road. One of my very favorite venues is Craigslist. It's not just for old cars and casual encounters, folks! I want to share my top tips exclusively with Coffee & a Cardigan readers.

* Don't limit yourself... Make sure to not only search your city, but the cities around you as well. How far are you willing to drive for that vintage dress?

* ...but limit your key words. When searching, make it short and sweet. Simply type in "Boot 8" as opposed to "Vintage lace-up riding boots size 8.5". You will have to comb through more results, but your chances of scoring are much higher.
80s Frye boots: $10 and a stone's throw away

* Be diligent. When I was on the prowl for some Frye boots last year, I searched Craigslist twice a day by simply searching "Frye." It sounds time-consuming, but it only took about sixty seconds to realize if I had a lead or not. As a result, I found two brand-new brown and black pairs of the Frye Harness for $20 each. I called the number, drove 1.5 hours to the coast the next morning with Rowena, and made a day of it at the beach after I picked up the boots.

* Be safe. Directly after committing to a time with the boots' seller, I Google-mapped the location (her place of business) and selected the 'street view' option. This way, you can actually see what kind of neighborhood the location is at and assess the safety of the situation. Tell someone where you are going. Take your cellphone. If possible, keep it public. Meet at a Starbucks. Bring your boyfriend. Simply mention to the seller you are bringing a man, even if you aren't.
Frye Harness boots, $20 and a drive to the beach
(The black pair does not get a lot of wear because the leather is so new and stiff.)

* Act quickly. Darin is not the best Craigslister. Not impulsive in the least, he needs to think for a while before making a call or even emailing. I, on the other hand, am so impetuous that I've ended up with things I don't like or need. Try to find a balance. Craigslist-hunting requires a bit of an extemporaneous mentality, but be responsible.
Antique vanity, $75.
Loaded in the truck by my kind brother and generous husband.
Desk, $10. I painted it robin's egg blue.

I cannot stress "Be Safe" enough. Don't take chances! If you don't feel right about it, don't do it.

A few months ago, I listed some brand new red pumps that just didn't fit me. A man wanted to buy them; I didn't ask questions. However, his name did not remotely match the name on his email address. Warning 1. His emails to me were riddled with links and advertisements. Warning 2. He insisted I meet him in a remote K-Mart parking lot twenty minutes away. Warning 3, 4, 5. Needless to say, I told him the deal was off.

I've gotten several great items from Craigslist, but I just listed my favorites. Perhaps I will post more sometime if you are interested.

What do you think about Craigslist? Any bad experiences? Best thing you acquired?


  1. i LOVE craigslist! i've gotten so many great things, but never clothes! mostly furniture. will have to try it out. and that desk is great - love the color you painted it!

  2. 3 years ago, Tim and I were thinking of selling my car - a VW Beetle - to get something a little bigger. I listed my car at 11am on a Friday just to see if I would get any bites on it and at 4pm that same day, I stood at my kitchen window and watched a man drive away with my car! He paid in cash and I got just what I wanted for it! "How am I going to get to work on Monday?!" was the thought running through my head! We began searching for cars on Craigslist that same day, found one we loved by Monday morning (a Saab), went and test-drove it Monday evening, and bought it on the spot. We bargained a little and got it down in our price range. Having cash saved up (and from the sale of the VW) helped with the bartering process!

    I totally agree with you on the safety part of your blog! FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS, PEOPLE! :)

  3. These are great tips! I hadn't even thought of using Craigslist to shop! And those are some really awesome finds! :)

  4. I sold my car in a day two months ago on Craigslist, and my boyfriend was able to track down a great deal on a rare car he's been wanting for years a few days later. Since he's been building that, he's found really good deals on parts on Craigslist. Those are only our most recent experiences. I even found my new job on Craigslist!

    I agree with your "be safe" advice. We always meet people in a public place, whether we're selling or buying. After the Craigslist murder a few months ago (which happened in the county I live in), I just refuse to meet people at my home.

  5. What a great blog you have :) Those tips are actually quite useful :)

  6. great post, I'm a new reader.
    I've never used C-list to buy clothes, but have used it often to buy or sell furniture and other larger items. Plus I always use it to look for and post free piles/items for art projects and the like. I've always used common sense when dealing with people I don't know, and so far no bizarre problems or insanely sketchy stories. A friend of mine got his very nice camera on clist and I met the photographer I work with sometimes for my blog that way too. I had one roommate I met thru clist that didn't work out, but I've also had roommates who were close friends of friends who didn't work out, so...
    Your blue desk is lovely. Is the hardware original? It looks very vintage, 20s or 30s almost, so dreamy. melina bee

  7. I love the western movie boots !

  8. Craigslist can be a little tricky at times. I prefer thrift stores to avoid the weirdos! Wait... T here are weirdos at thrift stores too.

  9. Man, you found the best things! Those boots are fantastic!

    The Auspicious Life

  10. Craig's List... I never seem to be the person to score the beyond-awesome deals. However, I've used it and am a fan of free classifieds! Pretty great. I'll be on the lookout for a new couch and oven soon!

    Hope you're well, pretty lady!

  11. Awesome post! Thanks for the tips. These are some seriously great finds.


  12. I love your blog and read every update :) So creative :)

    Jenna x


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