This style of wooden stool is very expensive in stores right now. I have seen them in both Pottery Barn and Target for $70-$100 a pop. I've always liked the simplistic, Asian feel to them, so I am very happy to now own a pair ($30 for both!). I apologize for the cruddy photos of all these items. I am storing them at my parents' house (bless them) and don't have a lot of room to take good photos.
I still have no idea how I managed to snag this deal recently on Craig's List. The apartment my soon-to-be husband and I will be getting has very small closet space, so I dreaded investing in a dresser because they are so darn expensive. I came across this beautiful Drexel Heritage piece on Craig's List and had to have it. It comes with a gorgeous (but hefty) mirror, which I will show you in the future when I put up shots of the apartment. The top has a nice wood inlay pattern and it has dovetailing on the drawers, so this is obviously a well-made piece. The original owner was so sweet and she explained to me that her step-mother worked for Drexel for many years, so I assume she either got a good deal on the dresser or was given it as a gift. I went online when I got home to learn more about the company and my jaw dropped when I saw their prices.... Dressers going from $800-$3000! I got mine with the mirror for just $175! It is in excellent condition, aside from one issue you should watch out for, which I will mention in the body of this post
Here is a neat corner cabinet I got for $25. It has obvious Asian lines and will be great for extra storage because there is a closed off area at the bottom (cut off in this picture). Corner cabinets are handy space savers in small apartments because corners are often difficult to fill or work with.
These were FREE!!! I still can't believe they wanted to get rid of these because they are in practically new condition and are definitely worth something. The apartment we are moving into has a huge porch, so these chairs will be perfect for lounging out there with a lemonade. :)
Craig's List is a wonderful resource that I encourage you to take advantage of! It is mutually beneficial because you need what the person is trying to sell and they are either attempting to get it off their hands or make some money. Both parties win! I have found some excellent pieces for great prices on there and I am happy to share some helpful tips.
1. Check Multiple Times Throughout the Day
People put A LOT of junk on Craig's List. If you really want to get a great deal or find, you have to be diligent about searching on a regular basis. Even ten minutes after you check Craig's List, there will be a ton of new items posted. I personally found the best deals and items during the weekdays, even though the quantity of posts are greater on the weekends. There were many, many days that I would find absolutely nothing on Craig's List that would ever suit my taste (you couldn't pay me to put this furniture in my home!). However, when you take the time to search for a deal, it makes it that much sweeter when you score a special item that you will love.
2. Don't Trust the Pictures and Don't be Afraid to Ask QuestionsWhat you see isn't always what you get on Craig's List. The pictures they upload are often small and not the best quality or lighting. Don't be afraid to ask the seller specific questions about the item. ALWAYS ask about the condition and if there are any flaws. I made that mistake once where I went to pick up a table and discovered it was badly damaged. Also, ask the seller if the piece comes from a smoke free home or if they have any animals if this is a concern for you. I am horribly allergic to cats, so a couch that a kitty slept on wouldn't work for me. When I brought home the Drexel dresser (pictured above), I discovered that it reeked of cigarette smoke, which I am also allergic to. However, this was able to be remedied with a little bit of work. I let the drawers air out in the sun for a few hours, washed the entire piece down with Murphy's Oil Soap, and put cotton balls with lavender oil in the drawers. This did the trick!
3. Keep an Open MindSome people try to get rid of items on Craig's List specifically because they are damaged, scratched, or worn. If you fall in love with an aspect of a piece, think of practical ways you can re-purpose it or fix it up. I have bought many wood pieces where all they needed were a wood pen/brown sharpie marker to fill in the scratches, Murphy's Oil Soap, and polish to make them look almost new.
4. Negotiate Prices when NecessaryPeople love the idea of getting a lot of money out of an item they don't need (who wouldn't?). Therefore, I see a ton of....well, crap on Craig's List for ridiculous prices. If you find something you love, ask them if they will take a lower price for it, especially if it is worn or damaged. If you are the only one that has been interested in the item, they may go for it. It is always worth a try, but do it in a way that you will not insult the seller. You will often see "OBO" in the item descriptions. This means "or best offer", so you are perfectly just in offering a counter price at that point.
5. Exchange Phone Numbers and Make a Verbal CommitmentALWAYS exchange phone numbers when you are seriously interested in an item. A verbal commitment is much stronger than a written exchange through e-mail. Let them hear you give a specific time to meet and express your interest. It is also smart to offer to meet at a public place. This will ease their minds if they are worried about their safety and what kind of person you are as the buyer. Even if they don't choose to meet at a public place after you offer, it will make them feel more comfortable.
6. Look up Directions and Be PunctualLook up the directions beforehand to judge how long it will take you to arrive for a pick-up. If there are multiple people interested in a hot item, make sure to be on time or they may offer it to someone else. Sellers fear no-shows and are often anxious to get the item off their hands.
7. Be Careful and Bring a BuddyThis is perhaps the most important tip I will offer. If your gut instinct is telling you something is not right, do not ignore it. While Craig's List is a great resource, you must be careful when doing these exchanges. I REALLY encourage you to bring someone with you when picking up an item. Not only will you be safer, but it is always nice to have someone to help when lifting heavy furniture. If the item is small enough, suggest to meet at a public place (like a Starbucks) to seal the deal. I have only encountered nothing but lovely people through my Craig's List experiences, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Well, I hope I gave you some good tips and suggestions for your future Craig's List quests! Be on the look out for my next post where I will share my recent furniture makeovers. I have some interesting pieces that I have transformed! Take care and enjoy the upcoming weekend...spring is almost here! :)