My Craigslist Furniture Acquisitions (And my tips for how to score them!)


I can’t stress enough the value of Craigslist when it comes to furnishing a home.  Our apartment was our first official place together, and being that we were fresh out of college and broke, we made the mistake of buying most of our furniture from IKEA.  Don’t get me wrong, I loooove me some IKEA, but you shouldn’t buy a piece from there and expect longevity.  In retrospect, buying an IKEA bed, bookshelf and desk fit our needs perfectly because we did not want to keep those pieces anyways.  Our new place was desperately in need of some sturdy furniture pieces that we will keep for years to come.

I’ve been needing new dining room chairs for quite some time, as I inherited my table and chairs and was only given three chairs.  How’s a girl supposed to host a dinner party with three chairs?  She doesn’t.  Or she does, and said guest sits on one of Zoey’s x-benches (she’s claimed them).

I wanted something retro, since the tulip table is retro in itself.  I found these 6 blush pink velvet & brass chairs on good ol’ Craig for $100.  If you’ve shopped around for dining room chairs recently, you know you’d be hard-pressed to find even ONE chair that price… let alone 6. 

brass and blush dining room chair
retro brass dining room chair

I plan on recovering them in a white ostrich vinyl, and will keep you guys posted on the progress.

Our new master bedroom feels as though it is twice the size of our old apartment bedroom, and we had absolutely nothing to fill it with.  I like my bedrooms to feel like a hotel room – very symmetrical and tidy.  I decided we should have a long dresser at the wall opposite our bed to put our TV and some knick-knacks. 
burl wood and brass dresserretro burl wood dresser with brass

This burl wood and brass dresser is more than I could have dreamed up.  It came with a nightstand for free, and was $150 total.  The same seller had a bunch of other goodies for sale since they were planning an estate sale and I happened to ask about this lamp, expecting it to be $300 or more, and they said I could have it for $20.  I RAN out of there, lamp in tow, not believing the deal I scored. It’s in perfect condition.

brass lamp retro 

My last score is this Drexel credenza for $100.  It is worth much more than that.  I’d originally bought it to sand and paint a glossy black, but after seeing it in person, I couldn’t bring myself to paint it.  It’s such a solid vintage piece, and I would feel guilty putting paint on it.  I did polish the knobs with a bit of Barkeeper’s Friend, which made a small but impactful difference.

vintage drexel credenza with brass knobs

 It’s currently in the living room and we will eventually mount the TV to hang above it.

Now for my tips!

1. Check the website regularly.  I’ll check Craigslist even if I’m not searching for anything in particular.  You never know when you might come across an absolute steal.
2. Use Keywords. I love this post which maps out the best keywords to use in searching.  This helps filter out a lot of the things you’re not interested in.
3. Switch to thumbnail view.  This will save you a lot of time and clicking.  By seeing the pictures vs. a list of words, you’ll know much faster if it’s a yes or no.
4. Be patient.  If you’re looking for a burl wood dresser, don’t settle for a normal wood dresser because you somewhat like it and it has a good price, and there’s no burl wood dressers listed in your area.  You would hate for that burl wood dresser to pop up 2 months later and you’ve settled for something you don’t like as much.  Steals don’t normally happen over night.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional pictures.  I’ve been searching for a marble coffee table, but marble can look good in pictures, when in reality it’s yellowing and has stains.  If I need better pictures, I’ll ask, and usually the sellers are happy to oblige.
6. Don’t be afraid to turn down a piece.  Speaking of the marble table, I asked for additional pictures of a particular piece, but when I saw it in person it was scratched and had yellow stain and cigarette burns. I apologized to the seller but said I had to pass.  I felt really bad about it at the time, but looking back I’m glad I didn’t buy a piece I wasn’t thrilled about just to spare someone’s feelings.
7. Offer lower than you’re willing to pay.  I always offer a bit lower than I’m willing to pay for it.  Often times, the seller is doing the same thing to you!  People often list their items for higher than they’ll accept, just to see.  Usually if you offer lower, it’s a happy medium, and both parties close the deal happy.

10 Comments

  1. Monday, August 4, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    You find some great items. My husband and me did that same thing when we move. We got a lot of great items for a good price.

  2. Monday, August 4, 2014 / 3:22 pm

    Great finds, good for you. I love the retro look and how everything seems to be cohesive in style & gold tone finishings. Everything looks to be in good condition.

    http://www.stylegonerogue.com (new posting today)

  3. Monday, August 4, 2014 / 4:56 pm

    This post was such a long time coming! Love the tips (And all the amazing finds)!!

    xoxo,
    Danielle

  4. Monday, August 4, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    Great finds! Can't wait to see the chair update.

  5. Tuesday, August 5, 2014 / 10:42 am

    I've considering looking on Craiglist for furniture so many times, but the process seemed so overwhelming! I am loving your tips and can't wait to see the finished product! Thanks for sharing!

    Jenna l Clothed in Confetti

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