Finding Craigslist Gems: Part One: The Search

After finding a mid-century credenza, a bentwood inspired chair and a patio set, (and more pieces currently pending that you’ll hear about soon…) I’d like to think my Craigslist skills have improved quite a bit. So I’m sharing some of my favorite tips and tricks today. Hope you find these helpful.

On Searching:

  • Be specific: especially if you’re looking for a certain design, brand, etc. Though it’s also beneficial to do a more general search as well (see below)
  • Be vague: oftentimes, what I would consider to be a ‘vintage bentwood chair’ or a ‘mid-century tulip table’ is just a ‘chair’ or ‘table’ to sellers. They might not know or care about the specifics, so be sure to search under a broad range of terms. This will take longer and there’s a lot more junk to sift through, but if you find a great piece for a steal, it will be worth it. Many sellers often misspell items and that can be a hindrance on your search results, example below:
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  • Be vigilant: when you least expect it, the credenza of your dreams could pop up on Craigslist, so refresh the listings every couple of hours if you have the chance, and set up alerts for specific searches to go straight to your inbox (below)
  • Set up alerts: using both specific and vague search terms, set up a couple email alerts. You’ll get an email digest with all of the most recent postings and this is a time-saving way of finding new deals without constantly refreshing the page:6
  • Spring and Summer: this is a natural time when people are cleaning out their homes or apartments, purging before a move, etc. so there’s generally more inventory in the spring and summertime
  • Monday and Friday: the same can be said about Mondays and Fridays, in my experience. On Fridays, people are usually wanting buyers to come pick up items over the weekend and are likelier to post later in the week and if sellers have been cleaning out their homes over the weekend, they’ll usually post on Sunday evening/Monday morning. Be sure to check on Friday afternoons and Monday mornings for an influx of postings
  • Modify your settings: check the box for pictures, gallery view, owner only:
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  • Know where to look: most furniture pieces are in fact under the furniture section, but be sure to check others as well. Sometimes an accent chair can show up in ‘household’, etc:  My favorites are: furniture//antique// household//free
  • View more option: if you’re looking at a listing that you like, check to see if the little ‘more ads by this user’ button is on the page. They might have similar items that you want to purchase and might not have otherwise noticed:
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  • Don’t give up: finding some of these items, mainly my credenza, took months so it can get frustrating and discouraging. But that’s usually right when you find something… so keep searching and it will likely turn up eventually

Tomorrow I’ll be back with part two: sealing the deal.

 

 

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