Thrift Store Thursday: Craigslist

I’m attempting to set some kind of schedule I can stick to here, folks, so I’m dedicating days.  I now deem Thursdays: Thrift Store Thursdays.  If you know anything about my thrifting history, you know that I was not born a thrifter.  I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’d like to share a few of these tips and tricks with you.

So first off, I’m going to start with the giant thrift store that is the internet.  Today, let’s focus on Craigslist.

Here are 9 tips that usually help me find pre-loved treasures:

1. Only search through posts with photos

At the top of your screen, near the search box, be sure to tick the button that says “has image.” The seller should have the time to snap a quick photo of the object for sale, even if it’s with their friend’s old camera-phone.  Don’t waste your time going to see something unless you are pretty sure of it’s appearance and condition.

2. If the image is a stock photo, reject it

Again, the seller should make the effort to snap a real photo if they want your hard-earned cash.  It’s likely that if they post a stock photo, they don’t even have the item.

3. Check the grammar

You know those “dear madam or sir” emails that ask for your bank account number in broken english?  Well, those same types post things on craigslist.  If you see a car (or whatever), it’s an extraordinary deal, and the english is really bad, chances are it’s a scam.

4. Trust your gut

Look at the post, and then look at the correspondence that you have with the seller.  Rely on your instincts: if you feel like there’s a sketchy vibe, there probably is.

5. Take a friend

It’s always a good idea to bring along a pal, especially if you are going to meet someone you don’t know.  Plus you’ll get a great second opinion.

6. Decide how much you want to pay

You might need to give yourself a little pep talk before you go in.  You know the advertised price, and you know how many dollars you just shoved in your wallet.  Know how much you want to pay going in to it and don’t be afraid to be firm.

7. Again, trust your gut

You’ll probably know the instant you meet the seller: do you trust them?  Are they an honest person just trying to get rid of a few things?  If so, get your goods and give them a fair price.  You want to get a deal, but don’t completely snake them.

8. Check every day

Like any type of thrifting, things on Craigslist usually take a bit longer to materialize.  Be patient, live your life, and trust that your treasure will find you.  Keep your eyeballs peeled and search often.

9. Crazed List

Still not finding what you want?  Willing to travel?  Try CrazedList.  It’s a website that allows you to simultaneously search all of the craigslists of the US to find your treasure.  It only works on Firefox, and it’s going to ask you to disable your referrers because it’s really an application accessing the Craigslist site.  Don’t worry, it’s all above board – I checked it out.

So there you go, a few tips and tricks to start you off!

Thanks for looking and happy thrifting!