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To call Craigslist a minefield is to put it mildly, but then, there's a reason the oft sketchy site has stuck around: you can get some serious deals there, particularly when it comes to furnishing your apartment on the cheap. For the uninitiated, though, jumping in can be daunting, and as such, Apartment Therapy has a rundown of tips for getting started, whether you're interested in buying, selling, or a little bit of both.
A few key takeaways we learned from the whole thing:
- Stay organized. If you're really serious in your search, make a habit of checking the site a few times throughout the day, as it constantly updates with new listings. And if you're looking for a relatively common piece, create a spreadsheet to keep track of all your options and more effectively comparison shop before making any offers. If you're waiting for the price on a particular item to go down, create a bookmark of watched items so you can check back on its progress (or lack thereof).
- Make nice with the seller. More importantly, make the process as easy for them as possible. Send a polite, concise email with details about pickup and pricing as well as your contact information (including phone number). If there are lots of comparable items for sale and this particular one is priced above average, nicely ask about flexibility on pricing.
- Or make things easy for the buyers. If you're on Craigslist to unload some old furniture or electronics, include details about pickup logistics, location, and accepted payment methods up front, and above all, include clear, naturally lit pictures. Offer delivery if at all possible (this will expand your pool of potential buyers exponentially) and confirm details with your buyer the day of the sale. As with buying, the key here is to make everything as easy and clear as possible for everyone involved.