How to Find Furniture on Craigslist + Our Favorite Finds EVER!

If you know me at all, you know that I love a good deal. I’m one of those people that will happily sort through 16 racks of socks on sale for 2 hours just to find that perfect pair. Because, hello, deal. It’s kind of a problem, but Craigslist lets me scratch that itch in a productive way. It is also my secret weapon when it comes to finding furniture.

Craigslist is full of unique pieces with unique stories that the seller is often more than happy to share with you. Plus buying used means less landfill waste.  That’s a win, win, win in my book.  Read on for our best tips for scouring big on Craigslist and 4 of my favorite Craigslist finds…ever!

One // Victorian Headboard for the Dexter House Master Bedroom // $195

I found this solid, antique headboard on Craigslist and immediately fell in love. I was out of town, so promptly emailed the seller to set up a time for Garrett to pick it up. I should say thankfully I wasn’t in town because this sucker was heavy and I’m sure Garrett was cursing my Craigslist obsession as he egged it into the back of the truck.  At $195 it wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever gotten on Craigslist, but it wasn’t bad either. The previous owner had purchased it from a designer for a lot more than $195 and stripped the paint off. When we got the headboard home, we realized that it was more of an oversized full than a queen, but we were able to build out the frame accordingly to make it work with a queen mattress.

Two // Solid Wood Cabinets for the Ravenna Basement // $160

I saw these custom cabinets pop up one weekend afternoon and immediately emailed the seller. I was first to respond and first to schedule a time (for Garrett:) to pick up these heavy suckers, which won us the prize. Can you believe that these solid wood built-ins were listed for just $200? Even crazier, Garrett talked the seller down to $160. They fit perfectly in our Ravenna House basement remodel and totally make the space (seen here back in 2014).

Three // Rope Bed in the Dexter House Guest Bedroom // $60

This rope bed is one of my favorite antiques ever. It’s super sturdy (especially after we retrofitted it for a full-size mattress) and just plain beautiful. The seller was really kind and shared the story of the bed, which is just too sweet. Related: would you guys want to see a DIY on how we adjust antique bed frames and head boards to fit modern mattress sizes?

Four // Patio couch in the Porch House sunroom // $300

I originally bought this patio couch for the Dexter House backyard, but shortly thereafter, we bought our Farmhouse. It came with us and briefly had a spot on our front porch before moving over to the  Porch House sunroom where it has sat ever since. It will be returning to the Farmhouse shortly, but in the meantime it looks great here.  Originally listed for $500, we talked the seller down to $300.  It certainly wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever gotten on Craigslist, but it’s one of my favorites.

Now that I showed you all of our favorite Craigslist scores, lets talk about how we scored them. Because if you’re on Craigslist often, you know it’s easy to let those great finds slip right through your fingers OR spend way too much on things you don’t love. So here are six tips that work for us:

Tips for How to Score Big on Craigslist

Check listings in big cities // we’ve noticed that Seattle has so much more to offer than our small town (our town doesn’t have Craigslist but a couple surrounding towns do). So when we need something, I look in Seattle a day or two before we’re planning to be over there.

Check often // the best stuff on Craigslist goes fast, so you have to check listings often. If I’m in the market for something specific, I’ll check multiple times a day. Usually a seller will sell to whomever emails first or whomever picks up first, which brings me to my next point…

Offer to pick it up right away // if at all possible, try to be available to pick up the item right away (the same day). My email inquiries usually look like this: “I love your table! It would fit perfect in our old Farmhouse. Could I come pick it up this evening or tomorrow?” And if I’m not 100% sure I’ll buy it, I’ll say something like “if it’s in good condition, which it looks like it is, I’ll take it!”

Ask for Measurements! // Save yourself the hassle of going to look at something that won’t fit by just asking the seller for the measurements ahead of time.

Crappy photos usually mean good deals // Do not be deterred by crappy photos or a little dirt on the item. You were going to clean it anyway. And crappy photos usually mean you can get the item for cheaper (since those photos will scare away a lot of buyers).

Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount // Garrett’s policy is to always ask for a discount, usually 50%. And while I’m not always so gutsy, I’ll often ask for a lower price if the item isn’t something we absolutely need or it seems overpriced. It can be hard to bargain, but honestly, that’s just part of selling on Craigslist, and if you’re polite, you usually will end up with the item anyway.

What did we miss? Do you have any other tips?!

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