Believe it or not, a few of Jenny Komenda’s favorite furniture pieces in her home are Craigslist finds. Here, the Little Green Notebook blogger shares tips for navigating the site so you can successfully and safely score the furniture of your dreams without the costly price tag.
Terms: My favorites for searching are brass, Lucite, MCM, mid century, midcentury, pair, and Regency. Recently, Milo Baughman has become the new stand-in label for stylish and interesting vintage furniture. Eames is also a helpful search term. Getting Lucky: The best deals can be most easily found using the Gallery view in the Furniture category and by Owner only. I keep a Craigslist tab open on my laptop, and once a day, I’ll refresh the search and scroll until I get back to the previous day’s listings. Right now, I highly recommend the Craigslist app cPro. Tip: Search often and move fast when you see something you like.
Initial E-mail: Go beyond the usual “Is your lamp still available? I’m interested.” This will not help you, especially if sellers are getting numerous responses. I like the first e-mail to be short but super expressive and sweet. I’ve found that sellers are more excited to sell their grandmother’s furniture to someone who is absolutely thrilled to own and love it next! Transaction
Etiquette: If I’m going to negotiate for a price drop, I do it in the second round of e-mails. And I never ask for more than 20 percent below the offer price. Similar to flea market negotiating, asking for a further discount can be offensive.
Use Caution: I always try to bring a second person with me to the pickup. It’s safer, and my buddy can chat with the seller while I look over the piece and decide if I really want to buy it. If the condition is a little worse than the pictures have shown, it’s fine to politely ask for an additional price adjustment.
Plan Ahead: If you aren’t able to bring a friend, be sure to meet in a public setting. If the piece you’re buying is large, confirm with the seller beforehand that someone at the location will assist you with loading. It’s a good idea to find out if there are stairs involved, too!
(Almost) Like New: I prefer to put my Craigslist finds in my garage for a week or two for a quarantine period after buying. While they’re sitting out there, I give them a thorough vacuuming and spray them down with a disinfectant like Lysol. If I have any worries beyond that, I have the pieces professionally cleaned or reupholstered before bringing them inside my home. Better to be safe than sorry!