I got acquainted with Craigslist a few years ago when I realized that garage sale ads are listed on their site rather than in a newspaper. That's because Craigslist posts them free and newspapers charge. The neat thing about Craigslist is that you can organize the sales by town and find the ones closest to you quickly. I began to use it faithfully.
When we decided to move to a different town and into a much bigger house. Rather than shop in the new town, I decided I would buy all the furniture here on Craigslist and take it with us. I scoured the furniture section of Craigslist and little by little I found pieces I wanted at prices I could afford. It was the perfect method of shopping for me.
I purchased a daybed, a futon, an end table and coffee table, a desk, and more. The savings were terrific compared to buying retail. It also helped the sellers who needed to get rid of items they no longer wanted. So it was a win-win situation.
A few years later we decided to return to the Bay area and move into a much smaller house. I promptly began putting my extra furniture for sale on Craigslist. I took photos of everything I wanted to sell and wrote ad copy to entice readers to call and come. I offered my pieces at reasonable prices and still made money in many cases. The best thing is that we didn't have to pay to ship the extra pieces and we wouldn't be overcrowded when we returned.
I have often been asked about the safety of using Craigslist.
First, I expect a cash sale no matter how much the amount. I also like to know where my buyer(s) are coming from and when they are coming. When they arrive I make sure my husband is home. I let the buyer(s) know that we will not help them carry something heavy. I tell them ahead of time to bring a friend or a helper if it's a big piece of furniture. In all the transactions we have done over the last several years we have never felt concerned about our safety. Most people are nice. Most are honest. I describe my item accurately with as many details as possible and a good picture. No one has ever come and changed their mind by the time they reached my house so it's always been one buyer to deal with. The others who have inquired I notify them that the item is sold out of courtesy and delete the Craigslist ad asap.
If one wants to sell furniture, a consignment store and an auction are the only other alternatives besides a garage sale which is a lot of work. With the consignment and auction methods you have to move your item there and you pay a commission when the item sells. If it doesn't sell, you have to move it back. This is more work and less money. Craigslist beats these methods hands down.
There are the other benefits on Craigslist. They have a pet listing and I got lucky twice and adopted two adorable dogs free. I have also gone on the free listings and found a piano for the taking as well as a desk and other good things. I have also given away things on the free listing. And I have advertised my garage sales with great results.
I don't how how I got along before Craigslist. I guess I paid for my garage sale ads and consigned my furniture. Now it's so mush faster, easier, and cheaper. Thanks Craigslist!