Friday, April 12, 2013

The Art of Craigslist.

Never in my wildest dreams would I think that I'd have to guts to meet someone on Craigslist to buy/sell an item!  I have always been a fan of second hand clothing stores like Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exchange.  But, buying other used items just seemed kind of gross (and it actually sometimes is, but more on that later).  Reality set in when Nick and I were moving into our new house a few weeks ago.  We had nothing.

One shopping trip to Walmart and $400 later... we had some things, but not anything that would take up space and make the house look like people spent time in other places than just our room.  We decided we needed a couch and time was running out.  Or so we thought... in retrospect we could have waited to buy a better couch than the one we went with (but again, more on that later)!  So, we found a sectional on Craigslist and I texted the seller and offered $200.  He gladly agreed and we went to look at it that night.  With our first Craigslist experience, we made many mistakes:

  1. We walked into a strangers house at night to look at the couch.  Probably not the best idea, but the people were very friendly and not killers (lucky us!).
  2. We didn't really feel like we had the right to say no after we saw it.
  3. We paid half of the cash up front, not providing us with enough time to really think about our purchase.
  4. We didn't look at it very well.  Or smell it.
In the end, we picked up the couch the next morning (moving day for us) and as we carried the cushions out we noticed HUGE disgusting smoke stains.  And the smell... oh the smell.  I wanted to throw up because the lady cigarette smell permeating from every inch was terrible.  But, again we had paid and were on our way so there was no turning back.  

I washed the cushion covers twice, soaked the entire couch in a water and vinegar solution, scrubbed it and followed up with a whole bottle of Febreze.  Still awful.

So, Nick went at it with a concoction of Simple Green and water, a scrubbing brush and paper towels... when that didn't work he went the Oxi Clean route.  In the end, a co-worker of mine graciously lent me her Bissel cleaner which was the most successful out of our attempts.  But, smoke stains still outline parts of the couch and I swear sometimes I can still smell it!  Lesson learned... you can back out of a purchase if you don't like what you see or smell!

Here is what our couch looks like now.  Not too bad.  But, the fact that Nick worked for almost 10 hours and the $200 cash meant we had ended up with the short side of the stick.  I cannot wait until we can get a better couch!

This doesn't mean that all Craigslist deals go awry.  In fact, today I scored a brand new desk for my office!  I have been looking for a nice white desk to go with the future decor of my room where I plan to vlog and blog!  White desks are few and far between or really expensive.  I wasn't looking for anything of high quality and was going to settle for this desk on Amazon.  I thought the almost $100 price tag was a bit much, but it would be worth it to get the look I was aiming for.  This week I gave Craigslist another go and found a white desk that was almost identical to the one I was going to buy this weekend.  It was brand new and only $30! Plus, the seller even offered to assemble it for me at no additional cost.  We picked it up from his warehouse business and it was a simple transaction that I am completely happy with.  My office is not set up yet, but here is a photo of the desk that was posted on Craigslist.

And last of all, I was recently on the selling end of Craigslist.  I hated my Kindle Fire!  There was nothing wrong with it, but I just never used it and every time I tried to it just made me angry for some reason.  So, one morning I posted it on Craigslist and asked for $120 firm.  I thought I might be asking a little too much in today's Kindle market... I had paid $180 originally, but the model was now outdated.  Surprisingly I had an offer within 30 minutes!  I was supposed to meet the person the next morning at a local CVS store because Nick would be available to go with me.  However, the lady called to say she was able to meet that afternoon and really wanted to pick it up for her daughter.  I felt safe with the fact that we were meeting in a public place and agreed.  In the end, she was more scared of meeting me than I was of her!  I did of course text a few friends to let them know what I was doing and where I was meeting this person... just in case. 

Everything went off without a hitch.  She loved the Kindle and paid cash for it.  This is also another important note... always pay cash when buying and always request cash only when selling!

In the future, I probably will use Craigslist to buy some more items.  However, I will definitely be more careful when inspecting things!  A documentary called Craigslist Joe (you can find it on Netflix) is actually really inspiring and demonstrates that Craigslist is more than just buying/selling.  It's a community!  I highly recommend it to anyone who has an hour or two to check out the film!


hi there!

hi there!
i'm angelica. a twenty something, newly engaged, lover of literature and coffee.
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