Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Me, Craig & His List

Hi! Long time no talk. Sorry about that! February was a busy month with Brent out of the country in Asia for a week + lots of planning, sourcing and scheming about several big projects we have coming down the pipe at our house. We are kind of in this in between stage right now. We have a lot of projects and plans on the horizon but nothing is quite ready to share. Hopefully, things will fall into place soon so I can start updating you. In the meantime I thought I would tell you a little bit about my friend Craig. Craig is a longtime friend who helps me sell items around my house in addition to buying treasures from others. He keeps things organized on his list and I'm a fan.

Yes, I'm talking about Craigslist and guys....I'm good at it. Like, I can and have sold so many random things. Not only is it fun to make money on stuff cluttering up your house, but it's a fun high for me to see how quickly I can sell something and how good of a haggler I can be when looking to buy for myself. Did you all catch my latest purchase on Instastories last week?

I happened upon this antique Pyrex "cooking set" as the buyer listed it, and knew instantly these pieces could be great to use for staging on projects or even at my own house. There is a tea pot, coffee pot, double boiler and single boiler. He was asking $75 for the double boiler and $55 per piece for the other 3 items. We emailed back and forth for a few days negotiating price and finally ended up at $140 for the set ($35 each). I was so excited to see the near perfect condition the pieces were in and really felt like I got a great deal.

Below are a few of my top tips for making the best of this great resource!

Tips For Selling:

1. Don't underestimate what will sell on Craigslist. Remember, that one mans junk can quite literally be another man's treasure. I've sold everything from a ceiling fan, old refrigerator, boob lights, a bike, a cradle, a dryer to my most recent sell - a popcorn cart we bought for Croix's 2nd birthday and a baby gate we never used. It's always the random items that sell quickly. Like the popcorn cart, it sold almost instantly and I had more than 10 people asking to buy if the buyer dropped out. Anything is fair game on Craigslist. So, even if you can't imagine why someone would buy something, list it anyways and just see what happens.

2. Be flexible on price. You are not looking to retire from the money you make selling stuff on Craigslist (hopefully), so be open to negotiating the items you list and never expect to get your list price. Some money is better than no money as far as I'm concerned and if I have it on Craigslist it's nothing that precious to me to begin with, so getting paid anything just to de-clutter my house is a win-win to me.

3. Be up front and honest about what you are selling. I sold a refrigerator a few months ago and was very clear in the description that the freezer had never worked very well since we moved into the house. I priced the refrigerator to sell and was happy to find a buyer that felt confident he could fix the freezer. Awkward interactions at the time of pick up due to misleading items are not ideal. Honesty is the best policy to ensure a smooth transaction.

4. Good Photos. Professional photography is certainly not needed. I use my iPhone for all of my shots BUT do try and take well lit photos with a clean background. With anything in life, we buy with our eyes so the better the picture, the quicker the sell.

I love to sell to de-clutter my house, and making a little money along the way is icing on the cake. But I also love to buy because Craigslist truly is a great source for finding unique items that not everyone else will have.

Tips For Buying:

1. Check-in regularly. I peruse Craigslist at least once a week. Sometimes I'm looking for something specific and sometimes I'm just looking to see what jumps out at me. Earlier this year I bought the Magnolia umbrella holder from Target for our mudroom area. I was on the hunt for cool umbrellas to fill it with and was kind of disappointed with the findings on the Internet. Then one night I happened upon a listing for a "Gentleman's Umbrella" that looked to have a really cool handle. It was listed for $20, I haggled the price down to $15 and now my umbrella stand is in business! 

2.  Have exact cash. During my umbrella buying transaction (above) I did haggle the price down to $15, but on the way to get the umbrella the seller told me he had no change and I only had a $20 so I ended up paying "full price". Womp, womp. Most sellers won't have change, so be prepared with the exact amount so you don't end up paying more in a pinch. 

3. Ask. Regardless of the price, ask if items are still available and if price is negotiable. 9 times out of 10 it is. Also feel free to ask to come see an item before committing. I purchased a great antique rug for our Bell Cabinetry & Design Showroom last year, but definitely made a point to go see it in person to ensure the coloring and size was what I had in mind before letting the seller know I wanted to purchase. 

4. Don't give up. If you are looking for something specific, be patient. My long time dream is to have a SMEG refrigerator in my laundry room. They are expensive and some  may find them impractical, but a dream is a dream people. About a year ago Brent found one on Craigslist! I'd never even thought to look on there and was so excited to see one listed. That particular refrigerator didn't work out because he wasn't wiling to budge on price, but it gave me hope that maybe one day I will find another one. So, now part of my CL routine is typing in "Smeg" to see if anything is listed. I know the chances are pretty good that eventually something will pop up again. Fingers crossed!

They say great homes are those that feel collected and finding treasures on CL is a great way to find  pieces that can give your space that edge.

All photos are my own. 

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