This post is part of my Secrets of a Craigslist Addict series on Craigslist shopping tips and tricks. Be sure to check out the other posts in the series here: Part 1 – Keywords, Part 2 – Acquisition, How to Avoid Common Craigslist Scams, and The 1st Rule of Craigslist.
Do you guys remember the 1st Rule of Craigslist?
You never find what you’re looking for on Craigslist.
It sounds a little extreme, but I have found it true time and time again that the best vintage finds happen when you aren’t specifically looking for them. This can be incredibly frustrating when you just need that one perfect finishing piece, but take heart, because there’s another thing I’ve observed about Craigslist:
I’ve shared this story before, but it was way back in this blog’s toddling infancy, so that post was read by approximately six people –that is, if we’re counting me twice.
Once upon a time I found a totally sweet burl laminate coffee table on Craigslist for around $60, and being a tightwad (I prefer the term “financially savvy”), I didn’t want to spend the cash. Of course, it sold. Of course, I had regrets.
Non-buyer’s remorse is the worst, isn’t it? That realization that you just missed out on something special, and you probably won’t get a second chance at it… Together, we could probably write a book filled with stories about “the ones that got away.”
Except this story has a happy ending.
Lo a behold, a few months later, while browsing Craigslist, I came across the exact same table. Not just the same style, but literally the same listing photos (a trademark of lazy vintage furniture dealers). This time, however, it was $150.
This time, I didn’t want to let it get away.
So I stalked the listing for weeks, watching the price drop 5-10 dollars per week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. When the price finally dropped to $85, I offered $75, and by the awkward occasion of no one having correct change (I know, I know – my bad), the seller gave it to me for the odd sum of $67.
All in all, I got a second chance at my beloved burl coffee table and I only had to spend $7 more than I would have if I had bought it the first time around. And it’s all mine in all it’s weird, crazy, swirly Milo Baughman-knock-off goodness 🙂
Now, that was an extreme example…
I can’t promise that you will always find exactly what your heart desires if you scour Craigslist long enough, but I am convinced that things tend to go around.
You may miss an amazing campaign dresser one week, and then find two of them a few months later for $50 (yep, and I let those get away from me as well!).
You may have a set of five midcentury dining chairs (why five??) for sale for months, and the day after you sell them to a sweet couple who joke that they’ve been midcentury fans since the midcentury and lament the fact that there aren’t six chairs, you will find the odd sixth chair listed by itself.
You may be checking daily for an Ikea Edland canopy bed and stumble over a vintage brass one instead.
You might search all the time for “chesterfield”, “tufted sofa”, etc., and then suddenly stumbled across a listing for a “1970’s leather lawyer’s couch” when you least expect it.
So take heart if you’re still searching for something specific!
Sooner or later, everything turns up on Craigslist.
Do you have a story about finally snagging the perfect Craigslist find? Have you ever had a crazy second chance at something you didn’t buy the first time around? I’m all ears!