roommate

How To Be A Craigslist Boss: Part 1

I have bought and sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist.

Past roommates have even been found with it and that is a whole different story.

In fact, I furnished my entire dining and living room in DC with Craigslist items for under $400.

Below are two Craigslist tables currently hanging in our living room.

You can even find love on Craigslist and not in the Missed Connections section. My cousin met his now-wife through it because he bought her couch. Crazy, right?

Right now, I am searching Craigslist for a TV stand and dining table, but seriously you never know what you might find, which I think is the most fun part!

craigslist

Since I do most of my shopping lately on Craigslist, I thought I would put together a handy little list of tips for those who are new to finding and snatching deals on the platform.

1. How to Search Through Craigslist Crap Like a Boss

Search Terms

As I said before, I am looking for a TV stand, but I pretty much never just search “TV stand.”

So many different items can hold your TV. Some of the search terms I use include: “buffet,” “credenza,” “sideboard,” “dresser,”  and “media console.”

When looking for my kitchen table I either use just “table” to capture every kind or “kitchen table” and “dining table.”

Additionally, you can use the pipe key “|” to include an “or” in your search.

The Map Function

I find this most useful when looking for apartments, or when I am feeling particularly lazy and am wondering what people nearby me are selling.

craigslist3

Check “Posted Today”

If you are looking for something common, such as the kitchen table I am looking for, Craigslist is inundated with these items all day long.

And if you spend any significant amount of time searching for something, you will notice the same posts you saw yesterday after a couple pages. To see what is newest, you can check the box for what was posted today.

craigslist1

 

Knowing How to Filter

I also like to filter my results by newest posts instead of by relevance and price. The faster you can reply to a new post, the more chance you have to score that deal.

craiglist2

There are a couple other ways to filter out unrelated posts too. To remove spam, you can filter the price to a minimum of $2.00. I also like to only search posts that have images and to bundle duplicate posts.

2. Timing Is Everything: When to Search

Obviously, you can check Craigslist anytime you want, but there are certain times of the year that will yield more results.

  • When people move: at the end of the school year or the end of the month
  • After holidays: people get new stuff and need to make room for it
  • Weekends: for when people need to sell stuff ASAP

3. Location Matters

Some geographic areas are just going to have better goods than others.

Chicago being a major metropolitan area provides a lot more opportunities for there to be a bedroom set you are into and a lot more people to buy that weird coffee table you have been trying to get rid of.

For instance, I have a friend who was in the market for a vintage Coleman cooler like ours below.

cooler

He lives in Michigan and Craigslist did not have any listings for these type of coolers, but when I searched in Chicago, there were at least 5 available. I ended up getting the cooler for him here in Chicago and he picked it up the next time they were in town.

Stay tuned for my next post on selling on Craigslist!

Additional Resources:

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6 Years and 8 Apartments Worth of Stuff

I have acquired many things over the years. I have also lived in a number of situations throughout school, grad school, and post-grad school. I have lived alone, with 4 roommates, with 2 roommates, and with 2 separate Craigslist roommates (that did not go so well either time).

Since graduating from high school, I have lived at 8 different addresses between 2 states (although District of Columbia is technically not a state, yeah yeah yeah).

Each housing situation is different. Not just because I was in a different apartment or house, but because depending on how many roommates you are living with, what you need varies. Additionally, each apartment I have lived in has been unique. So that step stool I needed to reach above the kitchen cabinets in one apartment, was not necessary for another.

What you need for living alone varies wildly from what you need to have when you are living with 4 other people.

Not only do I have my own stuff I purchased for these living situations (either new or from Craigslist or garage sales), but I also have some of my older brother’s college stuff, and my cousin’s.

Each time I moved back home for the summer, my school stuff would get piled in the attic or the basement, ready for me to add more to it the next school year and also leave some behind. Before I knew it, 6 years passed from when I first left for college. So that is 6 years and 8 apartments worth of things.

Now that I am moving into my 9th apartment, it is time to go through the 8 other apartment’s stuff, which I started doing this weekend.

garage stuff

For the most part, this is stuff from my last 2-3 apartments that has been in the attic. 

I got my boyfriend to come over and help me go through the attic and the basement. After all, he will be my new roommate, so if we want to keep something, he should be there to speak up. We went through a lot of things, as you will see in the pictures below.

stuff

School stuff that was in the basement (ex: super old printer)

I do have a question for you readers, how many of you use koozies to keep your drinks cold? I do not think I have ever in my life reached for a koozie, yet I have many of them. They are now a popular thing to give as favors at weddings, graduation parties, etc. Thanks, but no thanks. No more koozies for me.

koozies

Koozie-Palooza!

Speaking of drinks. I have plenty of plastic cups from college. What you see in the picture below is probably 1/8 of what I used to have. The super freshman reason I had so many was because my roommate and I tried to build a pyramid of cups in our dorm window. You know, to be cool. Ha!

pizza x cups

A VERY pared down collection of cups from college

I will keep going this week and next and will eventually post where I will be donating and recycling my items. Look out for that!