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  1. #1

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    Craigslist: Any luck selling furniture?

    I have a lovely oak rolltop desk that's too big for my house. I'd like to sell it and several people have suggested Craig'slist.

    I've used Craigslist before to give things away for free and to advertise yard sales so I know people read it. But does any of the stuff listed there for sale really sell? There seems to be an awful lot of it.

    Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated. I've cleaned out the desk but if I keep it around much longer all the drawers will start to fill up again.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  2. #2
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    I sold a couple of very nice kids' bikes on there. I had several inquiries - I didn't even have to post a photo of them.

    I tried to sell these identical bikes for less at a garage sale, people wanted to give me $5 apiece and I ended up selling them on Craigslist for $35 apiece.

  3. #3
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    I sold several pieces of furniture on craigslist after a big move and the things were in storage. One tip, clean it up really well. Polish it and take good photos and include the dimensions. It will greatly reduce the just looking calls. Good advertising is the key. List how many drawers and what it's been used for and approximately how old it is. Is it solid wood or just veneer? These are questions you need to be ready to answer easily. When you take the photos, take them from every angle with the drawers opened and closed, with the rolltop up and opened.

    Do a search to see if there is anything like it on the net to determine pricing. If not in your immediate area, then look in the next area closest to you. Set your price fairly but maybe a little higher than you might want to give you some negotiating room.

    Good luck!! Let us know what happens!

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    One of my best girlfriends just bought a house and bought furniture for both of her daughters' and her own bedroom. I just visited her new home last week for the first time and the furniture was beautiful. I am in the process of moving and want all new furniture, but can't afford to buy it all new. I'm definitely going to try my luck! I know several people who have had very good luck with Craigslist.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

  5. #5

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    I've purchased several nice pieces of furniture on Craigslist for prices >$100 per piece, if that helps. Good descriptions make a big difference.

  6. #6
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    I've purchased several things on craigslist: TV, Dining table, chair, sofa. As others have mentioned, write a detailed description and use a lot of different key words in your ads, so that they'll appear in multiple searches.Make sure to include the best method of contact. Also, remember to remove ad once item has been sold.

  7. #7
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    Be sure to say in your ad who is responsible for moving the item and how many helpers it's going to take to lift it.

  8. #8

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    We tried to sell a couch but the best offer we got was way below what was worth the trouble. I think that is more of a sign of the times than anything, though. I posted an ad about a job opening last night and woke up to tons of emails this morning (despite clearly stating to only come in to apply if interested, guess who wont be getting hired?) so craigslist certainly reaches a lot of people.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  9. #9
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    We bought an antique bed on Craigslist for $50. Be sure to add a picture or two to your listing; we don't even look at ads without pix. I doubt furniture is selling well in NYC anymore, due to our bedbug infestation. That could affect your sale if you live anywhere with the problem.

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    dbny: I know it's a terrible problem for the NYC people but I still can't get past the EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW factor of the bedbugs. I've never bought used mattresses or box springs before. If I needed new I'd buy off lots or last years stock or something. Although with the problem NYC is having, I would even be euspect of even that!

    Good point of saying how heavy something might be and possibly needing a couple of extra people to move it. And CASH only, thank you! Checks are never a good thing. Also, using the key words so it shows under multiple spots is a great idea!

    See how much we learn everyday? Amazing!

  11. #11
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    i've heard that bedbugs can even hide in wooden furniture - it's not just fabric anymore. i'm a bit concerned re: buying things off craigslist now.

  12. #12
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    I bought a cute puppy from CL. I can't imagine life without her anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonDudd View Post
    I sold several pieces of furniture on craigslist after a big move and the things were in storage. One tip, clean it up really well. Polish it and take good photos and include the dimensions. It will greatly reduce the just looking calls. Good advertising is the key. List how many drawers and what it's been used for and approximately how old it is. Is it solid wood or just veneer? These are questions you need to be ready to answer easily. When you take the photos, take them from every angle with the drawers opened and closed, with the rolltop up and opened.

    Do a search to see if there is anything like it on the net to determine pricing. If not in your immediate area, then look in the next area closest to you. Set your price fairly but maybe a little higher than you might want to give you some negotiating room.
    These are excellent guidelines. I'll add:

    1. Deal ONLY with local people.
    2. Cash ONLY sales. No checks, money orders, wires, etc.
    3. Do not reply to e-mails with messages like "do u still have this?" or "i'm interested". Those are spam.
    4. Talk to the person on the phone before giving out your address and making an appointment for the person to see the desk. You can tell a lot by talking on the phone.
    5. Be careful about letting people in your home. Try not to be there by yourself.

    I sold several pieces of furniture (including 3 desks) on Craig's List in a midwest city and had good luck.

    Good luck to you!

  14. #14

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    I sold an upholstered chair a file cabinet, and a desk chair on craigslist,.
    I listed a desk that didn't sell. Oddly, no one tried to negotiate price, and they paid cash.

    I also sold a car on craigslist. This took a while, and involved many lookers who wanted to lowball the price by a lot, and was a headache in many ways, but we did get our price. My advice is to be sure your car is in good shape, that if there are any problems with the car that you know about, fix them before you try to sell, but in no case offer in your advertisement any warranty, implicit or explicit, including puffery like "Good as new". Just produce good photographs, attractively positioned. Include the mileage and facts about the car, but no opinions. And print a copy of the add yourself, because if the buyer claims you made some guarantee to him, you can show you didn't. Craigslist does not keep a copy of your ad forever, so you want to have a copy.

    Most people do not want to carry large sums of money with them. On the other hand, many internet style scams involve checks. Even bank checks can be faked or have no money there. Verify the identity of the person buying the car. Despite not having as wide an area of exposure, I would only list a car locally, so that you can be absolutely sure the person is who he or she says they are.

    If a bank check is involved in the purchase, make sure the purchaser goes to your bank with you to deposit it, and that you both have set aside time for that when you are going to turn over the car. If a loan is involved, his bank may require that their check have a signature by both the seller and the buyer. If the check is 10K or over, especially, you may experience bank procedures that you have not seen before.

    If the buyer goes with you to deposit the check, this limits the possibility of any questions by your bank about whether the buyer's signature on the check is forged, since they will verify the driver's license/identification of the person. In our case 3 days later (after the check had already cleared ) our bank wanted the guy to come in, because some second level person felt the guy's signature was scribbly. Finally we talked our way around this, because

    1: The check had already cleared
    2: Any consequences of the check not being paid to the bank (or called back by the buyer's bank) always lie with the depositer in any case.

    This was trouble we could have avoided if we had arranged for the buyer to come to the bank to deposit the check.

    Be aware when buying a car out of state that if you decide you want to claim that a guarantee was given, and that the car failed in some way, that the small claims court case and laws implicit are those where the sale took place (in the seller's state). You will have to travel there for the case. And any lawyer you use must be licensed in the seller's state. At least that was how it worked here in CT. The buyer took the car to the dealer who told him that when we repaired the muffler at Midas, that that was not good enough because it was not a factory part, and tried to get us to send him a check to replace the Midas muffler with a factory muffler (ostensibly). Not happening. He threatened to sue. We gave him our lawyer's number (a friend of ours). Our lawyer informed him of the procedure, and he disappeared.

    It was an educational, but highly unpleasant process. OTOH, we did get a better price than we would have on a trade-in, even if that were feasible, which it wasn't, as we were down-sizing from 2 cars to 1 car.
    Last edited by DORISPULASKI; 10-19-2010 at 09:28 AM.

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