This morning was a doozy! Hugo ate a gel ice pack while I was in the shower. He also ate my phone charger... and my phone was dead so I had no way of calling Nate or poison control or the vet. Ugh! Thankfully, my vet was able to take Hugo in once I rushed him over.
Oh, and on top of that, today is a big day at work... not one that I should have been late to!
Since we've been on the topic of Craigslist lately, I thought I should share this gem of an ad I came across yesterday:
"A year old table that cost 500 and I'm only asking a little over 100 and yet I can't sell it. Its like I'm trying to sell land in a swamp. This is unreal. I HAVEEEE to move. So please buy. I can't take lower then 100. Pleaseeeeeeee this is my life I'm talking about, thanks."
Ah, whipping out the good 'ole sympathy card to get someone to buy from your Craigslist ad. Nice one!
I feel for ya, lady, and I'd like to help you out with your sale so here are a few pointers that might get that $100 in your pocket:
- Take a better picture. I can't at all tell what you have going on there! Try moving the table outdoors and turning off the flash; it works like a charm.*Bonus points for posting multiple pictures and the store's stock photo.
- Show proof of value. I believe that C&B would sell a $500 glass console table, but it would help you out if you showed the masses some proof. Can you post a picture of a the price tag? Maybe you can link to the table on the C&B website?
- Repost every day under different titles. Posting the table then letting it sit for two weeks isn't going to get you anywhere.
- It's time for a rewrite. You sound a bit desperate here and there's no way that someone would think that they needed to pay $115 based off of your phrasing! Think about adding in more descriptive wording to increase your search traffic. Try this instead:
Tags: entry table, console, glass, shelves, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, CB2"
- Oh, and it's "Crate & Barrel" or "Crate AND Barrel." No one is out there trying to buy a crate out of a barrel, k?
Have you seen any crazy ads out there lately? What would you change about this seller's strategy?
Before I forget, I'd also like to give a great big shout-out to a couple amazing bloggers... Chelsea at Someday I'll Learn and Marie at Frugalapolis... for the blog love they recently passed my way. Make sure you go and check out their blogs today!
Finding great deals on Craigslist is as simple as four easy steps... just kidding. I know this post is a bit lengthy, but I felt it was about time to get all of my tricks out there. I actually put a lot of work into getting the great deals that I find (see this, this, this, this, this, and this) and I wanted to pass along the info on how I do it.
**The following is more geared towards finding home furniture and decor, but many of the tricks can be used in your other searches.
1. Find great stuff.
- Searching by “all for sale/ wanted” works for some keywords, but I find that car ads usually clutter my screen unless I narrow my search by “furniture by owner,” “antiques,” “household,” or “general.” **Note: brand keywords usually work under "all."
- Sometimes I’ll simply search by an area of town. Remember, nice neighborhood usually equals nice stuff (also remember that people don’t always list their areas).
- Use web search tools like Craigslook to search with thumbnails (I’ve used this before, but I do find it a bit difficult to narrow at times).
- brand names: West Elm, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Pier One, World Market, Ballard Designs, Williams and Sonoma, CB2, Design Within Reach, Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie **Note: Watch out for tricky wording like “Pottery Barn STYLE” (unless that’s what you’re looking for). **
-Know the lingo
- OBO = "or best offer" aka "PLEASE just make an offer!"
- must sell; needs to go = "Seriously, just pick this thing up! I'll practically give it to you!"
- cash/ carry only = you need to pay in cash and pick up everything yourself; this seller has been around the block
- price is firm = unless you want to pay the price, don't bother with these people... they're no fun
- “Hi, I’m interested in _____, but I’m not sure if it will fit in my space. Could you please let me know what the dimensions are?”
Have you ever missed out on an item because it was already sold? Emailed someone and not received a reply? Lost out on a sale to other buyers? They might have thought that you were either a scammer or not serious about the purchase. Make sure to use strong wording when replying to ads:
- “Hi, I’m interested in _____. I can come to look at it/ pick it up as early as _____. Let me know!
- “I think I’ll probably need to repaint it anyways. Will you take ____ for it?”
- “Is that your absolute best price?
- “The most I can do is _____. Is there any way that you can work with me on the price?”
**Remember; NEVER pay more than half of retail! In most cases, you’d probably be able to buy it yourself at that price.
-Don't forget to: Ask yourself if your find is really a great deal for you.
- Remember; you don't need twelve sofas or two chandeliers for your closet (or maybe you do... and I'm jealous). Think of a good deal as: something that you were going to spend more on OR an upgrade on something you weren't so hot about.
Meeting a stranger over the internet is serious stuff. I feel comfortable with most of my Craigslist buys because of a few of my rules:
- 1. Only meet during daylight.
- 2. Bring a friend along.
- 3. Do a background check. This is actually easier than you might think! Just take the email address that they use to reply to your email with and do one of two things:
- A. If their name is attached, plug it into Facebook. If I see that they have friends and a real live I tend to feel more comfortable about meeting them.
- B. Google the user name. They’ll probably use the same one for any message boards that they’re involved in.
-Your find is more than you bargained for.
-You go to pick it up and the home reeks of smoke, is filled with fleas, etc.
Be polite and say that it’s bigger than you realized then get out of there! Many sellers will post that they live in a smoke free/ pet free environment. If you’re worried about the conditions, just ask.
Did I cover everything? What are your biggest Craigslist tips?
My requirements were simple: light diffuser (the old one would glare like crazy), around $100, and have a modern look. I must have looked at hundreds of lights in my search, but it was really hard to find something that fit all of my requirements (especially the price!). Thanks to a few recent giveaways on blogs I read, CSN Lighting came onto my radar. From track lighting to outdoor lighting, CSN had literally thousands of options for me to choose from in my search. After narrowing my results down to only the lights that fit my requirements, I found a potential winner. There was only one drum pendant light out there at a better price (a very popular blog features it in their dining area), but I realized that I'd have to pay an additional $100 for my electrician to convert it from a plug-in to hardwired light (boo!). So when CSN contacted me about doing a product review for the blog, I knew the Olwen Three Light Pendant Lamp was the clear winner!
It's only $109 (with free shipping), takes three 60 watt bulbs, makes a great modern statement, and comes with a glass diffuser. Plus, the installation was easy enough for me to do myself (well, I did have a lovely assistant... thanks Nate!). I'd say that it's a keeper!
Do you ever browse through the real estate listings in your neighborhood and daydream about your dream home? Do you also like to spend a Sunday afternoon visiting homes while you don’t even have yours up for sale? Do you make estimates on your monthly payments and calculate the amount of cash it would take to bring certain listings up to your standards? Okay, call me crazy because I’ve been known to do all of that. I guess you could blame it on my “starter home syndrome.”