Craig's List Finds and Tips for Selling

For starters, I first want to simply say my heart breaks for the families in Connecticut who have suffered such an unspeakable loss.  I rarely mentioned things like this on my blog as my goal with this blog is to provide a "mental break" to those in need of a small distraction.  But, the events of this past Friday continue to loom in my mind, and the question of "why?" occupies my thoughts.  To those families, my prayer is that comfort, peace and the presence of the Lord will be felt by you during this very devastating ordeal.  My prayers and thoughts will continue to be with these families. 

Craig's List Finds and Tips for Selling
As I was looking over my list of draft posts this weekend, I realized I haven't done an installment of "Let's Go Craig's Listing" in awhile.  So, I popped over to see if there were any goodies worth mentioning.  Well, let me just say, if you have the time (and money) this time of year, Craig's lists has some real finds.  Also, if you are motivated, this is a great time to get rid of any pieces for some extra cash.
 Just in Birmingham, here's what I found:

Faux Bamboo Dresser
It's hard to see, but this dresser has brass hardware and would make and amazing piece to hang a TV over in a family room.  It's currently a creamy yellow, but with a tiny investment, you could paint it black (if you wanted to be safe) or emerald green (as a current pop of color).  At only $250.00, it's a steal of a deal. 

Here's what I'm envisioning for this piece.

Black Lacquered Goodness
At only $100, this would make a fabulous accent chair for a room.  I would reupholster the seat a current fabric and place it near a fireplace, in a corner for a reading nook or as a very cool desk chair.

The shape is very similar to this one, but the price is not!  First Dibbs - $12,250.00.

Here's what it could look like . . . 

Dining Table and Chairs 
At $100, the chairs alone are worth more than that!  Occasional chairs are great for flanking a chest on an accent wall.  By adding them on either side you get more impact on the focal wall.  I tell clients all the time to look for accent or dining chairs that you can remove the seats yourself and reupholster in a fresh fabric.  But, if you are in need of some dining room furniture, you simply can not beat this price.

This image (which I'm sure lots of you have seen) immediately came to mind when I saw this listing.

Basic Dresser 
This is $80.00 - would look amazing in a nursery or child's room.  You could leave it as is or paint it any color you like to compliment the room. 

Foyer Chest - $525.00.  This piece could be really great for a formal entryway.  It also comes with a mirror (that did not WOW me).  

The only thing that's bothering me about this piece is that is needs legs - like these -   

Then, I would paint the whole thing with chalk paint in a great color like this. By painting the entire piece one color, you will tone down all the ornate detail.

If you've never experience the power of chalk paint - you need to consider it.  There is no priming, prepping or sanding.  Slap on three coats and get ready to be amazed.  So, you will end up with something like this . . . 

My Tips for Selling on Craig's List
OK, now on to selling things on Craig's list.  I get tons of questions about this from clients.  When I do redesigns, we usually have a few pieces the client does not love; but they're not sure how to get rid of them.  I usually recommend to either gift these pieces to a relative or sell them on Craig's list.  The question I always get - "Is that safe?"  Yes, if you are smart about how you deal with the situation.  Remember, you are dealing with the public and someone you don't know, so you must take steps to keep the situation safe.  Here are a few things I always do when selling on Craig's list. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Always include a picture on your post and make it a great picture!  Don't just dig around in your photo library and find a shot of your living room that has the piece in the corner of the picture.  Make sure it is a FABULOUS shot of the piece - and yes that means styling it.  Remember, your goal here is to sell something!   

Here is an excellent example of what not to do.  I just found this image on Craig's list!  Seriously?!  Do you think anyone in their right mind will come to this home and purchase this item?   

Price Is Important
With the goal being to actually sell the item, you need to be realistic about the price.  I start by searching Craig's list for items similar to the item I want to sell.  This gives me a idea of the going rate.  Then, I price it accordingly.  If, after I've posted it, I don't get a single inquiry in three days, I drop the price by at least $25, and repost it.

Timing Is Everything
I prefer to post on a Thursday night or Friday morning.  Let's face it, the majority of people these days work and can only come to view the piece on the weekend.  So, if you post it close to the weekend, you more likely to have someone willing to quickly come and pick it up!  If, on the other hand, you post on a Monday, the stress of the week tends to distract.   Then, by Friday, they have forgotten about your listing.  

The Devil's in the Details
To prevent tons of questions (which you may erroneously interpret as interest), include every conceivable detail about the piece in the listing.  All the dimensions (height, width, depth), any flaws in the piece, the materials it's made of (i.e., marble top, wrought base, painted patina).  Be sure to include a few close up images of any special materials.  Again, the goal is to prevent anyone from contacting you unless they are truly interested in buying the piece.  Also, include every conceivable word for the piece in the description.  For example, if you are selling drapery panels, you need to call them drapes, curtains, window treatments, panels, window coverings - you get the idea.  If you don't do this, you will miss lots of people who are interested in your product, but just don't know how to search for it.   In addition to specifics about the piece, always include in the listing "CASH ONLY."  

Meeting and Pick Up
This one is very important.  Once you photograph the piece, move it out of your living space into your garage, basement, or outside covered area.  I can't stress this one enough - it is extremely important not to allow a stranger to come into your home. Once you receive an inquiry about the piece, tell them they can only come after 5:00pm and make sure you have another adult there with you when they come to view the piece.   My experience has been the person inquiring about your piece is just as nervous about coming to your house as you are about having them come.  If it's a woman, they usually have someone with them too.  And I think the average person feels more comfortable coming into your garage than into your house!  

Focus on the Goal
It's always difficult to get rid of things.  Try to focus on the fact that your space is so much more wonderful without the item included in it.  And, with the extra cash you are getting, you can buy whatever pieces will look fabulous in your space!

That's it for today.  Hope you have a very productive week.  Also, remember to enter my giveaway!  I'll be selecting a winner on Wednesday for a $50 gift certificate from Shabby Apple. M. 


  1. Great find such amazing things....lately I cant find a thing on C.L. That bamboo detail dresser is amazing. Ive been looking for one like that...

  2. Great post. I think its a great skill to take old antique items and make them something new and interesting. Interior decorators now don't have to just buy brand new furniture, they can look in pawn shops and antique stores. Thanks.

  3. This is a very timely post for me. I've never bought or sold anything on CL and needed some tips on where to start. Thanks!

  4. Wonderful post and photos! I've scored on Craigslist a number of times, but my real score a few weeks ago was down the street from me. My neighbor put out a few furniture pieces with a FREE sign. Can't beat free. Found a perfect nightstand and a great storage piece for my office that I intend to paint with chalk paint after the holidays.

  5. Such a great post of tips! And, I'm dying over that dining room table set. So gorgeous and so much potential!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.