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how to craigslist using Craigslist to score stuff for your digs
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 3

taking the buyerís plunge
Once you and the seller have exchanged info and established that yes indeedy, youíre hoping to do business, itís time to meet up -- so you can get your goods, and your seller can get the dough. As Craigslist is community-based and posters are local, this is almost always done in person; most sellers prefer that you just mosey yourself over to their pad at some mutually convenient imminent time to make the transaction. As with any meeting with random strangers youíve met on the internet, common sense rules apply. Let someone know where youíre going and who youíre meeting before you dash over; donít fork over the money until youíve really examined the goods.

The buying is pretty straightforward when youíre dealing with small items like lamps and plants. But what if the score in question happens to be a hefty solid wood dresser, or a six-foot long sofa? If youíre the proud owner of a vehicle, of course, no biggie: clear out the trunk, push down the back seat, maybe bring some rope, bungie cords and furniture blankets to help secure your new goodie in place. But for those of us who are living the car-free life might have to do a little more prep-work to ensure that hauling away our find is actually feasible.

First, unless the ad has already clearly stated pick-up only, it never hurts to (nicely) ask the seller in your initial communications whether thereís a possibility that they can deliver. This might involve a fee (fair enough), but if the personís eager to clear the goods in question, it might not. Second, ask around to see if any of your friends might be willing to either loan you a vehicle for an hour or so, or make a pickup with you. Alternatively, if your friends are as vehicle-less as you are, figure out whether the item can be broken down into more manageable pieces, and lugged by you (and possibly a strong buddy or two) via foot/ public transport. Consider bringing a few supplies with you when you pick up your buy: sturdy twine, newsprint, packing tape, a big backpack perhaps. Finally, if thereís absolutely no way to get the goods without a vehicle, all is not lost: you can always rent a pick-up/van for a couple of hours, or pay someone to make the delivery for you. Itíll add to your cost of course, but if the Craigslist score is a really good one, you might find itís still worth it.

Whatever tactic you end up taking to truck your new find away, make sure that once the deal is made, you make that pick-up in a timely manner. Let the seller know when youíll be able to get your lovely new item, and be there exactly when you say youíre going to be. Sure, you might be doing the seller a favor by taking some unwanted stuff off their hands, and giving them a good chunk of cash in return. But like you, your seller has plenty of other things they need to get done in their busy lives. Be considerate, be polite, and youíll ensure a satisfying Craigslist experience for both parties Ö and good karma when it comes time for you to purge your own stuff, and post a Craigslist ad of your own.


check out these related articles:
10 tips for furniture foraging  | how to estate sale | how to thrift store


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