Do’s and Don’ts of Being A Craigslist Newb

Let me kick you a scenario. It’s August 5. You’ve just moved into your first off-campus apartment. You’ve made countless trips to Wal-Mart, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, because no room is complete without that over-the-door hanger, am I right? But alas! You forgot one minor detail. One you were just hoping would take care of its own. Furniture. 

My roommates and I sat on our living room floor contemplating where and when we were going to buy a sofa. But we couldn’t just buy a single sofa. Obviously we needed a loveseat as well. What if all of our friends come to town for the weekend and we decide on an impromptu movie night? One sofa will simply not do.

That’s when we turned to Craigslist.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found Craigslist sort of creepy. I imagined it as a place where ex-cons go to prey on the hopeful hearts of college women everywhere. Although I cannot speak for everyone, that was fortunately not our case.

We started our search shortly after we moved in. Many a day and night was spent in the local Starbucks searching the hundreds of posts, hoping and praying a matching, brown, microfiber sofa and loveseat would fall into our hands. Okay, so we were a little picky at the beginning, so what?

Two weeks passed, and still nothing appeared but floral oversized chairs and sofa sleepers from the 70s. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a nice floral print, but these weren’t exactly what we had in mind.  Below are a few pointers I wish we had known before beginning our search.

  1. Search often.

Seriously though, items disappear quickly, so if you want something more specific, make sure to look through the posts several times a day.

  1. Prepare to negotiate.

Being in college, my roommates and I knew we didn’t have a ton of money to spend on our couches, so we asked sellers if they were willing to accept a lower offer. It never hurts to try!

  1. If not specified, ask if the items are from a pet free/smoke free home.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t want to take my afternoon nap on a couch that smells like an ashtray, and has a layer of cat hair on it. Especially if it’s not my cat.

  1. Don’t get hung up on one idea.

Our dreams of a matching, brown, microfiber sofa and loveseat were a little far-fetched for three college students on a budget, but we opened up our minds, and ended up with something much better.

Here is our lovely sectional.

We now own three pieces of brown, microfiber greatness. It took us three weeks to find this, but I can tell you, it was worth it. So if you are a little skeptical of Craigslist, throw all caution to the wind! However, as with everything else, please be smart about it.

Oh, and I also bought this table. Holla!

 

 

 
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