How to Shop Craigslist:
I have a crazy obsession with Craigslist. I think it was born from a couple of different reasons. #1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That always feels good, right?! #2. I want THAT, but I don’t want to PAY THAT. Solution, find it used! I can find almost anything I want, and friends and co-workers have asked me, “How do you do that?”, or they say “I can never find anything on Craigslist.” I have decided to share my secret! With these 5 easy steps, you to can be a successful Craigslist shopper!
1.Know exactly what you want.
When you know exactly what you want (example: a new couch, new washer/ dryer, etc…) you can sort thorugh the overwhelming number of ads easier. I search the internet for design inspiration, furniture pieces, appliances, etc… at all the expensive stores that would look great in my space. Then I take that inspiration to Craigslist! When you know what YOU’RE looking for, it will help you sort through the ads faster and more efficiently.
Want a cheat sheet?? Get a FREE list of Craigslist Keywords, to help your Craigslist search!
2.Search everyday for that one thing.
When you know exactly what you want, then search for it everyday, even multiple times a day. That way, each time you search for the item, there is a smaller number of new listings to go through. There are many Craigslist apps available that you can download to make searching on your phone easier, or if you have continual access to a computer, the website works fine too. I like the cPro Craigslist app because it allows you to save favorite listings. Craigslist.com will not save your favorites list if you leave the site (I have no idea why!). If you are using a computer, I suggest using the “gallery” view when searching to easily see pictures. You can also narrow your search by selecting from the items listed on the left hand bar:
For more Craigslist search help, check out my Craigslist Search Secrets!
3.Use synonyms when searching.
When searching for the item you want, use different words that mean the same thing. For example, if I’m looking for a new dresser for my bedroom, I might search for “dresser”, “side board”, “wardrobe”, or just “bedroom”. The reason is because Craigslist will only search for the words used in that ad. If a seller is posting their entire bedroom for sale but never includes the word “dresser” in the ad, that ad will not populate in your search results. If you need help with finding synonyms, do what I do and use an online Thesaurus. Start your first search within a category (example: furniture, appliances, etc…) and then narrow down the ads that you like. Next, search other categories. This allows you to see posts that may not have been categorized properly by the seller. Example, if your looking for an infant crib the seller may have posted it under furniture instead of baby items.
4.Contact the seller as soon as possible.
Craigslist is first come, first served! So act quick! Believe me when I say, THE GOOD STUFF GOES FAST. From my experience, most sellers are up front about what number you are in line for purchase. If you’re number one, great! But sometimes you’re not first in line, and depending on your budget, you can always offer a little more money to seal the deal.
5.Pick up the item as soon as you can.
All sellers on Craigslist want their stuff gone (duh), and many want it gone quickly. So the sooner you can pick it up, the better for sealing the deal. My husband has a pickup truck, so I know I can bat my eyes and get him to pick stuff up with me. But if you don’t, make sure you have a friend on-call with one! Or from time to time, we have rented a U-haul trailer for large items. It is super fast and easy!
Using these 5 tips will make your Craigslist experience less stressful and more productive! Getting the look you want for less always feels good, and when your Craigslist searching pays off with the deal of the century, it’s priceless!