Is there anything more thrilling than a good Craigslist steal? The answer: definitely not. When it comes to furniture and decor, Craiglist offers unmatched savings. Here’s some of my favorite Craigslist pieces, and some tips for how to nab some deals of your own! (Side note: My mom is guaranteed to hate this post, mainly because she hates when I walk into strangers homes to view potential buys. The phrase “Have 911 already dialed on your phone when you walk in the door” has definitely been uttered. What are moms for? 🙂 )
Ikea Expedit Bookshelves
These are two now vintage Expedit shelves. (Ikea discontinued the Expedit in favor of the very similar new Kallax series to cut some costs.) These guys retailed for $40 each at Ikea, and the black storage boxes are another $10, ringing in at a grand total of $90. I knew that the Expedit was just what I needed to house some of my favorite books and double as a TV stand, but I knew I could do better than $90. I hit up Craigslist and monitored it for a few days, always searching specifically for what I needed (white expedit, white ikea bookshelf, etc.) After a few days, I found these guys- exactly what I needed- for $40 total!! I offered $30 (Because this is Craigslist, and offering below the listed price is fairly standard), and the seller accepted. Such a steal! And as an Ikea shopper will understand, the best part is that they were already assembled!!
Lessons learned: 1) search specifically for what you need, know that you can offer less than the listed price.
This beauty solves a much needed kitchen storage issue in my current apartment. The kitchen is teeny tiny, with little to no cabinet space. There is a large rotunda-like space in the area right next to the kitchen (not the best use of space, but what are you gonna do), and in that area there is a wall that was begging for a storage solution. I wanted closed storage, because there is a real hodge-podge of things needing to be stored: mason jars, mixing bowls, tupperware, etc. I wasn’t sure of a specific product that I wanted, but I knew that I’d know it when I saw it.
I searched “cabinet” on Craigslist for a few days before finding this perfect solution. I asked the seller for dimensions, and sure enough, it was a perfect fit for the wall I had in mind. Bonus: the color and molding fit in perfectly with the design of our apartment. Bonus bonus: It is solid wood, so I know it will last a long time, and be easily customizable down the road if I want to update the paint. Bonus bonus BONUS: It was $60. A small price to pay for organization, said the girl with borderline OCD.
Lessons learned: Make sure to ask for dimensions, and you can’t go wrong with solid wood!
Ikea Karlstad Couch
This is my most recent Craigslist purchase! In about 3 weeks, I’ll be moving into my own place. (Oh dear God. Typing that out makes me want to start packing NOW.) As I’ve previously mentioned, my wonderful roommate owns our current couch and futon, which means I don’t have a couch for the new place. I didn’t want (slash I am not patient enough) to move into the new place without a couch, so I started my search.
My dream couch from West Elm is way out of my price range. Even when I found it at the outlet, it was still way out of my price range. I knew I wanted a dark grey couch (to hide the Finn fur) with clean lines. I dug in and did some research and found out that my favorite home decor/DIY blog, Young House Love, purchased the Karlstad from Ikea. I was able to read about how they liked it, how it held up against the wear and tear from their dog, etc. They’ve had it for years and still rave about it, so I was sold. It can be purchased in a range of options (loveseat, sofa, loveseat with chaise, sofa with chaise, sectional, etc.) The best dimensional fit for my new little place is the sofa. It is affordable from Ikea (around $500), but the little Craigslist angel (devil?) on my shoulder kept whispering “You could get it for cheaper…and already assembled…” and I listened.
I found the sofa I wanted in the slipcover color that I wanted in about a couple weeks. It was listed for half price at $250, but the seller accepted my offer of $200. I went to see it prior, not only to make sure that the couch was in good shape, but to confirm that it wasn’t coming from a dump. The seller was very polite and had a nice clean house, which comforted me. Another great thing and a must have for me when purchasing a fabric item from Craigslist is that all of the cushion covers are removable and machine washable. Check and check! I went to pick it up the day after seeing it (credit where it’s due: I couldn’t have hauled it around without my boyfriend’s help), and it is now sitting happily in my dining room, waiting for its home in my new apartment. The money I saved is now going to getting movers instead of forcing my boyfriend/friends to help me move. Money well spent!
Lessons learned: When looking for couches, find the right dimensions/silhouette/color you want, read reviews on the specific product you are thinking of purchasing, check it out in the seller’s home beforehand, and make sure you can wash the covers if you are a clean freak like me.
I hope this post helps you all in your Craigslist-hunting in the future. Use common sense when it comes to safety, protect your contact information if you can, and enjoy saving oodles of money! If you have any tried and true tips, I’d love to read them in the comments.