secondhand

Up North for the Grayslake Flea Market

I made a pretty arduous flea and vintage market schedule this spring. Although I have been slacking, for the most part, I  did visit Randolph Street Market last month and over the weekend took a drive North to the Grayslake Flea Market.

Grayslake flea1

It was a pretty cool, but nice, Saturday and I enjoyed walking through the outside vendors over the ones in the main hall.

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This sign caught my eye right away and I just loved it! Old things are awesome and we should enjoy them!

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For instance, check out this awesome wallpaper table. It would look so awesome in an entryway if I had one of them. By the time I made a second lap back through the outside vendors, this baby was snatched up. It was a steal at $125!

I did not end up getting much, but I did find a vendor who used to be a science teacher. She found the below 1970’s science posters in her classroom one year and loved the graphics so much that she kept them.

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Thank goodness she did because I absolutely loved them! The “Our Environment” one caught my eye first.

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After sifting through a pile of them, I purchased my three favorites. K loved all the posters when I brought them home and he was actually upset I did not buy them all!

grayslake flea4

That will probably be the only time he will be mad I did not buy something from a flea market. I hope to frame them someday when I have more walls to hang stuff on. Right now we are kind of out of wall space!

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No More IKEA

The last piece of IKEA furniture is officially gone!

After much Craigslist searching, I finally found something that satisfied our needs. We have a lot of books and they need a home. This bookcase/TV stand was the perfect answer and at the perfect price, $80!

Within 24 hours, I replied to an ad, got a response, and had picked up our new TV stand.

new tv stand

We finally have a spot to keep all our cookbooks in one location. Before they had been scattered about the apartment wherever they could fit.

new tv stand2

Once it was set up, I was so excited that I just put books in any which way.

After a while, I added a few tchotchkes that were around the house elsewhere.

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I am pretty happy with it right now!

Please disregard the mess of cords underneath, we have not gotten to organizing those yet!

Sunday at Randolph Street Market

Yesterday was a glorious day here in Chicago. It was sunny with some fluffy clouds and not stifling hot.

All I wanted to do was spend time outside so after a morning bike ride on the Lakefront Trail, I hopped over to Randolph Street Market to check out the vintage goods.

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I am always on the hunt for something unique and vintage, so much so that I made up a schedule for vintage shopping. Just like my love for Craigslist, I am fascinated by the fact that you never know what you are going to find.

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I did not end up buying anything, which is totally fine. Making a purchase is not in any way mandatory. You have to make sure you are going to LOVE what you buy.

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Even though I did not come across anything that had to come home with me (or anything would actually fit in our place), I enjoyed getting to browse what was available.

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There was definitely plenty of reuse, upcycling, and vintage charm to go around.

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On the other hand, there was also some really good quality midcentury modern pieces available.

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If you visit Randolph Street Market, there are vendors inside as well as outside! When colder weather rolls around, you can still shop the market from October through December.

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I did absolutely love these outdoor chairs! Aren’t they so clean and neat? Unfortunately, I have no outdoor space, so nowhere for them to go. I am sure someone else will love them just as much as I did and will be able to take them home.

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How did you spend your gorgeous Sunday?

I Keep Flamingos on the Fire Escape

There’s nothing quite as kitschy or screams summer like a plastic lawn flamingo.

I personally think they are hilarious and have always wanted to have one in my future yard, but never really came across any and I didn’t go out of my way to find them.

That was until I found this flamingo pair at a garage sale.

flamingoes

And they are awesome! You can’t help but smile looking at them!

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According to the seller, they are cast-iron from the 1930’s and had recently been repainted. I did an e-bay search when I got home and could not find anything else like them online. They truly are one of a kind!

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Let’s keep in mind that I do not have a yard or any green space for that matter.

All we have is the fire escape.

So until then, the flamingos are going to hang out there with the mini grill and the compost bucket.

How to Be a Craigslist Boss: Part 2

The other day, I posted Part 1 of How to Be A Craigslist Boss.

Now it is time for Part 2: Selling on Craigslist!craigslist

Creating Your Post Is Important

Good Images

I personally think the key to a good Craigslist ad is all in the pictures. I will never even look at a post without an image!

Seriously just take some good pictures of the item you are trying to sell. It will take 5 seconds. Most likely the quality of the phone on your camera is amazing, so there is absolutely no excuse for bad photos.

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Nooooooooo. No images and terrible headlines (see below).

Effective and Precise Headlines

No need for flashy headlines here, just be specific on what you are selling.

Say it is a couch and you are between two headline options.

Headline #1: “Great Deal! Comfiest Couch Ever!!!”

Headline #2: “Crate and Barrel Brown Leather Sectional- Good Condition”

The second option gives the buyer much more information than headline #1.

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I could not resist this headline though. Very clever!

Keywords

On the same note as headlines, you need to use specific keywords in order to get people to view your post. At the bottom of the post body, add tags to help people find it when searching.

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Good amount of keywords and not keyword overload.

Be Specific

Include any details that you happen to know about the item. Some details you may want to include:

  • Manufacturer
  • Age and when you bought it
  • Condition (missing pieces, scratches, dents, etc.)
  • Smoke and pet free home (especially important for upholstered items)
  • Dimensions
  • Any links to the item if it is still currently being sold

Pricing

Shoot for a price that is not too low and not too high, but leave just enough room for buyers to negotiate down.

You can list that your price is firm or will accept OBO (or best offer).  The good thing about Craigslist is that you can always change your price later if you are not getting any bites.

Make sure to do some research and see what similar items are going for on Craigslist too.

Also, take into account the condition of your item. If it is broken or missing pieces, say so and price accordingly.

Being Safe

Safety is an important aspect when you are selling things to random strangers online. 100% of the time, I have never once had an issue, but still please be careful.

  • Do not post your actual address. Just use your zip code or a major intersection in the area.
  • If you can, schedule to meet in a public place such as a crowded, well-lit parking lot.
  • Have another person with you if you can (I have actually brought my grandmother before, but not like she could help beat off an attacker).
  • Do not accept PayPal, check, wire transfer or anything like that. Go for cash only.

 

What has been your experience selling or buying on Craigslist? Or any additional tips? Let me know!

More Resources:

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

Vintage Shopping Schedule

It’s March.

Which means it is almost April.

Which means spring, summer, and warmer, sunny weather are just around the corner.

What better way to get pumped about the season than by planning out which vintage/antique/flea markets you are going to head to?

I have been to a handful of markets around the area, and I plan on checking the rest off my list this year.

Chicago

Randolph Street Market

Website: http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/ 

Schedule: May 27-28, June 24-25, July 29-30, August 26-27, September 23-24 (there are markets all year round, but these are the outside ones!)

Admission: $8 (discounted tickets and packages are available)

Have I been there? Yes, and it is awesome. Highly suggested. Just pretend you are on Flea Market Flip.

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Randolph Street Market, photo: Eric Clarke

 

Vintage Garage Chicago Flea Market

Website: https://www.vintagegaragechicago.com/

Schedule: April 23, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15

Admission: $5

Have I been there?  Yes, the market I went to had some cool stuff, but I did not buy anything. Also, it is held in a parking garage, so be aware that it is much cooler in there than the temperature outside. It was hard to hunt for treasures when my toes were freezing in my sandals.

vintage garage chicago

Vintage Garage Chicago Flea Market, photo: Courtney Laper of Courtney Michelle Photography

 

Wolff’s Flea Market

Website: https://www.wolffs.com/

Schedule: Sundays April through October

Admission: $2

Have I been there? Not yet. I will be making some plans to head over there on an upcoming Sunday.

wolfs fleamarket

Wolff’s Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/wolffsfleamarkets/

 

Chicago Suburbs

Kane County Flea Market

Website: http://www.kanecountyfleamarket.com/

Schedule: March 4-5, April 1-2, May 6-7, June 3-4, July 1-2, August 5-6, September 2-3

Admission: $5

Have I been there? Not yet, but I have heard great things!

kane county flea market

Kane County Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/KCFMARKET/

 

Grayslake Flea Market

Website: https://www.zurkopromotions.com/grayslake-illinois-vintage-flea-market/

Schedule: April 8-9, May 13-14, June 10-11, July 8-9, August 12-13, September 9-10

Admission: $7

Have I been there? Not yet, but I will be marking my calendar for one of those weekends.

grayslake vintage market

Grayslake Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/GrayslakeAntiqueMarket/

 

Southern Wisconsin

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market

Website: https://www.nlpromotionsllc.com/

Schedule: May 21, June 25, August 13, September 24

Admission:$5

Have I been there? Yes, and it is exhausting. Held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds, a map is absolutely necessary to remember where you have been and where you still need to go. Make sure you wear comfy shoes because you need them to keep looking for treasures.

elkhorn flea market

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/NHLPROMOTIONSLLC/

Have you been to any of these markets? Do you have any other suggestions? Please let me know!

Additional resources for shopping in Illinois:

 

Green Wedding Resources

As I go about this experience of planning a wedding, I have attempted to compile some information and resources for other ladies and gents who are taking in consideration the footprint of their big day.

Resources for Anyone Anywhere:

A Practical Wedding

This amazing website and book tell you basically everything you need to know. In true fashion, I ordered the book secondhand from Amazon for about $4 and devoured it in 3 days.

apw

via Amazon.com

APW is focused on creating a culture that supports laid-back, feminist weddings. All that stuff wedding media tells you that you have to have? We think you
don’t have to have it (unless you actually want it). And we don’t believe that all those things people tell you are tradition
s actually are traditional. -APW

Craigslist

I live for Craigslist for all of my furniture (I have several tabs open as I type this), so there is no reason not to turn to it for wedding materials. All you need to do is search wedding and there will be tons of results for local brides selling items they used only once. From crafty DIY materials to table runners and decorative pieces, wedding dresses & rings, Craigslist has it all.

craigslist

Thrift Stores

Are you pining for that mismatched vintage look? Head over to your local thrift stores to see what little pieces you can start collecting. For your tables, look for glassware, plates, platters, serving trays and cake stands. For decorations, look for old books, candlesticks, globes, and frames. Your purchase may also support a local charity!

Resources for those in the Chicago area:

Green Wedding Alliance

GWA is a group of eco-friendly vendors in the Chicagoland area. They put on great events like the Committed Wedding Event and the Great Wedding Recyclery.

green-wedding-alliance

Chicago’s Green Wedding Alliance connects a growing community of environmentally and socially responsible event vendors with the conscious consumer for mindful weddings, commitment ceremonies, and social events. The Alliance is a collaborative network of over 50 member vendors who strive to grow and inform their responsible business practices. -GWA

Do you have any other suggestions that I should be aware of? Let me know!

Vintage Shop Hoppin’

It is no secret that I love secondhand, thrift and vintage finds. So when I heard about the Vintage Shop Hop, I was all over it.

2 days

300+ stores

Northeastern IL and Southeastern WI

Sign. Me. Up. 

vintage-shop-hop

While I did not get to caravan all over IL  and WI for two days, I did get to spend the entire day with my Mom driving around the Northern suburbs. From 9 AM – 3 PM, we hit approximately 16 different shops (with a quick lunch break).

 

 

I was on the lookout for a number of things:

  • A plant stand for our future herb garden
  • A catch-all for K’s dresser
  • Cake stands for the wedding
  • Vintage house/address numbers for table numbers for the wedding
  • A TV stand
  • Napkins and handkerchiefs

While it was a super amazing day of getting to look at so many different vendors, we did not load up the car like we had hoped.

That is okay because I want my finds to be perfect, not just so-so.

As we finished the winding hallways of an antique mall, I found the perfect plant stand.

I took one look at the chrome and white enamel kitchen cart and said, “This is the one!”

kitchen-cart

It is a beauty and I cannot wait to show you what I end up doing with it. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

We are Saying ‘Adios’ to Our Last Piece of IKEA Furniture

Back in college and the post-college days, K and I both had an assortment of IKEA furniture.  This included dressers, bed frames, coffee tables, nightstands, etc.

When I moved to DC, the easiest thing for me to do was pick some up from the IKEA in Maryland and lay it all flat in the back of our car (followed by 11 hours of putting it together). Then when I made the move back to Chicago, I sold all but one piece of it to the next person moving in.

 

That one unsold TV stand is now the only piece of IKEA furniture we have left in our apartment after selling a number of other IKEA pieces (aka K’s super wobbly dresser as seen below) shortly after we moved in.

 

dresser-for-sale

If you so much as poked this dresser with your pinky finger, it would wobble all over the place

 

 

Legitimately every other piece of furniture we currently own was previously owned by someone else.

For instance…

couch

Couch sourced from my aunt


 

coffee-table

Coffee table sourced from Craigslist


 

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End table sourced from Craigslist


 

IU chairs done 2

Kitchen chairs sourced from the IU Surplus Store & attempted to be refinished by me, but failed, so my dad helped


 

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Dresser sourced from Craigslist


 

dresser

5 piece bedroom set sourced from my Grandmother (50+ years old)


 

cabinet done

Metal cabinet sourced from a family friend and refinished by me


Not pictured are our kitchen table and mattress and that is mostly because I did not feel like clearing off the table to take a decent picture of it. The kitchen table came from a garage sale and was refinished by me, while the mattress was from a friend of K’s.

So now we are on a mission to replace the lone piece of IKEA particle board with something of a bit more quality, maybe something that won’t get instantly dinged up. Don’t worry, the TV stand will move on to another good home. My brother has his eye on it.

tv-stand

Lone piece of IKEA furniture left in our apartment, in what used to be a sea of MALM

The best part is that I love hunting for that perfect replacement piece. We are thinking of a midcentury modern lowboy dresser to provide us with some extra storage. Now it is down to finding the right one, at the right size, and the right price.

Sure, I could go online and order a TV stand that is made of particle board and will fall apart in 3 years, but I would so much rather have a real piece of furniture.

One that someone else loved.

I will be scouring craigslist, garage sales, and thrift stores until I find the perfect one. That will provide me with so much more satisfaction than just clicking “Place Your Order.”