I recently found some pretty fun things (chairs and coffee table) on Craigslist for the new house. I also featured some other finds in a post on making your decorating dollar stretch.
In the past, I purchased most of my stuff brand new, but I’m learning more and more to be patient and try Craigslist first. I usually give it a few weeks before pulling the trigger on something new, depending on how urgent I feel about it.
A few people have commented or emailed to ask for tips on finding great stuff and weeding through the junk.
Here are my tips:
1. Consider misspellings. How many times do we mistype. Most messages sent from iphones even warn of typos. So, consider that when searching. For instance, if you are looking for area rug, try arae rug. You’d be surprised!
2. Consider synonyms. How else can you say Chinese Chippendale chairs? Chinoiserie, asian, fretwork, chippendale, etc all would work. There are lots of ways of saying the same thing, depending on where you are from originally. Same with colors. Don’t just type teal, but maybe blue, turquoise, blue-green, green, etc.
3. Be less specific. If you want the Chinese Chippendale chairs like you see above, just type in chairs. The yellow chairs above were just listed as aluminum chairs. Vague. Most sellers do not know all the proper terms to use. But, you will need to patiently weed through things. However, I’m going to show you a short cut in a bit.
4. Be willing to paint things. This opens up the possibilities.
How to get started:
1. Start with an extensive search. Try all the tips above when searching and search as far back as you can. This may take hours to do. However, I will give you a tip in a bit that will help!
2. Once you have done the extensive search, just keep up with the new listings under those searches.
Ready for the short cuts I keep talking about?!
It’s a smartphone app! I just got this on my iphone. It’s called “Craigslist Ultimate.” The icon is a purple peace sign. For $1.99, I promise, it will change your Craigslist life!
Above are screen shots from the app. So, you put in the city, price range and search string just like on the website. However, the cool part is that you see the images along with the blurb on the search results! No more clicking on each link to see images. Only click on the link if that initial image seems interesting and like what you are looking for!
You can also save searches. But, even better, you can set alerts. So, it will constantly run your searches and alert you when things are listed that fit that criteria! No more manually searching!
And… You can favorite things you like. I favorited some night stands, for example, because I first want to get a new master bed before I know what sort of night stands I want.
How awesome is this?! (Thanks to Ryan Wooley for telling me which CL app is good.)
There’s one more perk. Do you ever take a photo of something on your phone for a listing? If so, you can take the pic and you can then post it on Craigslist right then and there from your phone.
Amazing!! But, there is one pretty major downfall to this app. Since it runs searches constantly in the background, it will eat through your battery power. So, you may find that it’s best not to do the alert system and instead just save searches and run them manually every once in a while. Unless there is something you are urgently looking for!
Hope that helps with your Craigslist searching! What are your Craigslist search tips?