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Posts Tagged ‘Craigslist’

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Happy Memorial Day! We’re so thankful for those who have served and do serve in our country’s military in order that we may enjoy our freedoms–life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let’s make this day more than just about cookouts and summertime…thank a vet or active enlisted today (and everyday)!
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Everything vintage seems hot these days. Maybe it’s “Mad Men,” but the forward-looking mod styles of the 50s and 60s are becoming very popular again. Emulated by current furniture designers or sought after at estate sales or antique stores, it’s easy to find mid-century inspired furniture and accessories these days.

We spent quite a few months and a lot of effort bringing an old bedroom into the 21st century. However, it seemed appropriate that, when we decided to purchase a new piece of furniture for the room, we tip our hats to our 1961 traditional ranch house by incorporating of this old-become-new fashion into our modern makeover.

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We were slow to get into the local Craigslist after we moved to DC, but moving to our new house has evidently opened a new chapter of steals and deals.

The day before we moved from the rental to the new house, Bart and I sold our Kirby vacuum cleaner to a couple with two mastiffs (aka 200-lb dogs). They definitely needed the suction power more than we do (we only have one room of carpet in our house). I was a motivated seller for the vacuum as I didn’t want to move it, so I listed it at a very competitive price. Initially, I got a handful of interested parties wondering if I’d do 50% less on my already bargain basement price. Um, no? I got emails from people with very poor English (and let me just say, you can be a native English speaker and have very poor English) and could barely understand what they were trying to say. I got emails asking if “the item” was still available; sorry, but my policy is to not deal with any bot or scammer who won’t call my item by name in the listing. But rather than pounce on the first sketchy email, I waited patiently, and sure enough, a reasonable person finally contacted me about it. Having that extra cash in our pocket was helpful for some initial purchases for the house.

Like, for instance, something off Craigslist.

Since we have two large outdoor living spaces and had sold all our outdoor furniture before we moved, we knew we’d be needing some tables and chairs and such in the near future. Bart was on the ball looking for patio furniture on Craigslist and saw a listing for a whole pile of chairs and tables for $100, which, if you’ve priced outdoor furniture lately, you know is a huge steal. The cushions were a little worn, but for that price we could still easily replace them and come out ahead. So we voluntarily made a trip west of town in the middle of rush-hour traffic to pick them up. Totally worth it.

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We decided to place them in our screened-in porch for now, as they will be covered from the elements during the winter and might get a little more use on pleasant days. But we’ll see what the future holds for them.

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Meanwhile, I can look for new cushions or get motivated to sew my own. I’m an okay seamstress, but that’s a big task!

Oh, and my little pansy pot doesn’t have to sit on the floor anymore.

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Have you scored any awesome deals lately?

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My good friend and kindred spirit, Mary-Hall, recently posted on her blog about her woes with Craigslist. We were both totally hooked on Craigslist in Denver and got pretty spoiled with finding all kinds of random steals in a very active market. She and her husband moved from Denver just a couple of months before we did and are now back in their old stomping grounds in Mississippi. Unfortunately, Craigslist in the south isn’t quite as bustling as it is in more populated metro areas, so I totally empathize. Thankfully, DC appears to be just as active as Denver (sorry, MH; wish you were here?…).

Her post on Friday must have gotten me in the mood, because today Bart and I made our first Craigslist transaction here in the DMV. Up until now, we’ve scoped the website for a few items we were interested in purchasing, but it wasn’t until this weekend that an item we were in the market for aligned with a timely and well-located posting. So it was time for finally testing the waters to see how Craigslisters out here roll compared to their western counterparts.

Right from the start, the worst qualities of Craigslist sellers came out. We emailed about an item on Sunday and never got a response….this is absolutely my biggest Craigslist pet peeve of all-time. I mean, you go to the effort of listing an item, and then you don’t want to respond to someone who’s standing here with cash for your item? I just don’t get it. Granted, they could have sold the item before we emailed, but in my humble opinion it’s only common courtesy to reply either way. But that’s just me.

We emailed a second person and got a response (albeit over a day later) that it had sold. But I can cut them some slack as they were probably waiting to actually complete the transaction before telling us it was gone. The third time’s a charm, however. I pounced on a brand new posting just an hour after it hit the site. This person was the cream of the crop as sellers go, responding almost immediately and being willing to meet same-day. She gets an A++ in CL cred.

Fortunately, this item was in our neck of the woods. Bart and I were known to trek all over the Front Range for good deals. Some people won’t drive across town to a different grocery store, but we’d load up and drive to Colorado Springs for a gem (mostly because we enjoyed the trip itself for the entertainment value). We got to know the Denver area really well that way, and we were very comfortable getting around there. Here in DC, however, not only are we still tied to our GPS outside our current haunts, but we also have to battle horrible traffic and congestion to get even a few miles at the worst times of day. This has contributed to some of our reluctance to make a deal up until now. But finding an item relatively close by seemed like a perfect way to start.

We made it on time to the house for our meeting. Evidently she and her husband were moving, so they were selling things they weren’t able to take with them (which is exactly what we did!). We exchanged pleasantries, chatted a bit, paid up, grabbed our loot, and headed out–all in all, exactly the way purchasing something off Craigslist should work. So far, Craigslist here appears to be just about the same as Denver, so I’m excited to make use of it here, especially as we anticipate moving again and setting up home in a new house.

And we are super pleased with the item we purchased. More about that later, but I’ll leave you with a hint of what we bought…

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