Find a back issue

Hilary Walker Hits Craigslist

The lovely Hilary Walker is back with more ideas for creating a majorly cool home with minimal funds. This week she explores the Interwebs for low-cost design goodness. Here’s what she discovered.

*******

By Hilary Walker

Okaayyy… just one more week of second-hand furniture talk. Twist my arm.

In our first week, we kicked things off with the joys of thrifting, then we moved on to the advantages of vintage. Today, I’m ready to take on the X Games of second-hand shopping — Craigslist!

Are you intimidated, doubtful, hesitant, concerned about safety? All is understood, but there’s a lot to be found in this “underground” marketplace, which is why I turned to my friend Stephanie Casey, Dallas-based creative producer and fellow Craigslist champion, to share a few of her expert tips.

 

(The photo above features a super cool lamp scored on Craigslist sitting in a corner of Stephanie’s Dallas home.)

Take it away Stephanie.

*******

Stephanie’s Craiglist Tips:

  • 1. I exclusively search in “For Sale by Owner,” as it’s always going to be a better deal over shops.
  • 2. Photos are a must. I never waste time driving somewhere to look at an item for the first time. If photos aren’t posted, I will ask them to send me some. If not provided, I move on.
  • 3. As far as safety concerns go, I have never, ever had any trouble – both as a buyer and seller. You can tell from e-mails or phone communication if there is any cause for concern. It’s 99.9% real people just trying to unload their goods. If communication is in any way sketchy, I just abandon that item as an option. Even if it’s just the person is flaky. Next!
  • 4. Sometimes you get lucky with people moving far away. “Everything Must Go!” My West Elm bedroom lamp is from a couple who were here for just a year while the husband was finishing up dentistry school. They had all new furniture from West Elm. I bought their bed frame, the lamp, and their couch. They lived up the street from me in Deep Ellum. Because we had friendly chatted when I purchased, the wife emailed me right before they left – “we have a few other things that didn’t sell. It will have to go in the garbage, so if there is anything else you want, come and get it for free.” 
(I did.)
  • 5. You can bargain on the spot. When I got my leather loveseat, I told the guy I was going to come back with a truck, rather than rent one at the storage unit to haul. 
He was so eager to unload the item right then, he knocked the price down the cost of the truck rental so I would take it immediately.

 

You can find more of Stephanie’s adventures in bargain shopping on her blog, Those Tricks.

 

(Ed. note: You can keep up with Hilary on her blogFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.)