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Craigslist and LBYM
Old 12-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #1
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Craigslist and LBYM

My nephew graduated from UCF, got married and accepted an entry level job, all in the last three weeks. Due to severely restricted finances (and other circumstances), he and his bride were married in a civil ceremony with only my sister and brother-in-law in attendance as witnesses. While moving back home was an option on paper, it was not practical. He and his bride's sole possession is a very experienced Honda Civic. She still has one more year to go in school and has a part time job, therefore she needs to be close enough to walk, ride a bike or take a bus. As a result, they found a reasonable apartment in a suitable location. Well, after first, last and security, they had virtually no money left for furniture.

Well, my brother-in-law and I get the smart-a$$ idea to get furniture from the free section of Craigslist. So this weekend, we made a serious effort to accomplish this task with up to seven people and 5 vehicles working in Operation Freebee. Orlando being a large metropolitan area, there was a huge selection. Now a lot was junk and where a phone number was provided, it became relatively easy to sort out the junk over the phone. From 7AM on Saturday to 7PM on Sunday we were able to completely able to furnish a two bedroom apartment for free! While virtually none of the furniture matched, we were able to collect astonishingly high quality pieces in very good condition. I think some of it is better than my stuff (which after 31 years of marriage is 90% hand-me-downs). The living room collection included what looked like a custom made wall unit, a sofa, loveseat, recliner, end tables and a couple of lamps. The dining room got a pecan wood table, six chairs and a buffet. There was a complete office suite for the one bedroom along with a second non-matching desk. Two sets of drawers and some night stands completed the bedroom (my nephew confiscated his old bed from home). We found two tvs, the second one was a nice 32" LCD, so the first will go back on Craigslist for free. My wife even found a complete set of dishes. So short of linens, flatware and pots and pans, the young couple was able to setup house for virtually nothing. They were very happy at the outcome. And as an added bonus, we were able to score four free tickets to the "Russell Athletic Bowl" from Craigslist. The game was terrible if you were a UM fan, but hey it was a night out after all that work.

I was surprised there was not more interest in some of the stuff, but I guess there is not much of a market for used furniture in this area. It was amazing what people were getting rid of. One man's junk is another's treasure. Anyhow, my nephew and his bride got a lesson in LBYM. But the reality is, they already understood it.

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Old 12-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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Nice work, I remember being newly married, poor and without much!

When my ex-wife died last year, DD and I tried to sell her furniture. Amazingly, we didn't get anywhere near the prices we thought we would. I guess there is a glut of used furniture on the market due to the high number of foreclosures and subsequent people moving into apartments and giving up spacious homes.

We put an ad in Craigslist to get rid of a free refrigerator and washer and dryer as we had no buyers. They were gone in one hour after placing the ad.

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Old 12-31-2013, 05:54 AM   #3
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What a wonderful thing you did to help out the newlyweds. I agree that used furniture does not retain much resale value. In my area it would be fairly easy to furnish your entire house with very nice lightly used furniture for 10%-15% of the original price via Craigslist or garage sales. Our area is fairly transient and mostly affluent families so you see some pretty nice stuff for sale cheap when it comes to moving time.
My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:01 AM   #4
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Craigslist is great for giving away stuff or buying/selling stuff.

We've bought and sold lots of furniture - nicer stuff usually goes for $100-250. It is also a great place to give away things. Just last month I posted a "curb alert" for our 6 year old artificial Xmas tree with 3 prelit strands not working. I probably had 10-15 inquiries before it was gone in 2 days.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:02 AM   #5
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Try Goodwill for cheap flatware and kitchen equipment.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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The nature of CL has been changing a bit. It's getting harder than it used to be to snap up a good deal on Craigslist as "Craigslist flipping" has become a cottage industry with some people continually scanning the local lists all day long. Free stuff, it's worth anything, is usually gone within hours.

Went to look at a desk for sale the other day ... got there and the fellow (retired) had a whole garage filled with furniture for sale Most of it bought on CL .... all being sold on CL.

In addition, many small used car dealers & used furniture/appliance stores now scan CL continually to pick up new inventory. I've a friend who has had a small used car lot who does't even go to auto auctions anymore and I know another fellow skilled in appliance repair who sells used appliances (no storefront) at great discounts and with warranty - most of which he picked up off of CL.

That said ... it's still a good resource. In the process of downsizing the big house & moving to our new right-sized house we ended up leasing a place for a little over a year. We furnished the leased place completely with CL stuff .... and after moving into our new house managed to sell everything we no longer wanted for what we paid or more.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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Great story!!
Fine material for an HGTV episode.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JPatrick View Post
Great story!!
Fine material for an HGTV episode.
I'd definitely watch!!
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
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Good job GT1 Doug! I have a lovely old antique four poster bed that my (then) fiancee and I found in the local classifieds in Los Angeles in 1997 (the pre-cursor to CL). It's a beautiful piece of furniture, and we paid just $35. At the same time, we also got an IKEA nightstand in almost new condition for $15. It retailed new for $350, and was one of their higher quality offerings.

I now live in the SF East Bay, and good furniture is often left out on the street outside apartment buildings when people move. The best times to find things is at the weekends, especially near the end of the month. Recently, I found a large wooden futon frame in excellent condition, an IKEA CD rack, and an IKEA corner table all in excellent condition - all for my SO when she was setting up in a new apartment. I have since seen many other good pieces, but had no need for them.

Lots of garage sales around here. This is a good area to find good stuff cheap or free.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #10
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Craigslist is a great resource. I have sold 2 vehicles and countless other stuff on it. I found a $350 brand name HS baseball bat for my son for $90, unused and still wrapped in plastic...........
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)

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Old 12-31-2013, 06:35 PM   #11
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If they have the time and inclination, they can unify some of that wood furniture with paint and some darkened gel to distress the furniture.

There is also this fabulous gel stain that you can buy (Amazon sells it) that is fantastic. I read about it online. People have used it to re-do their old looking bathroom cabinets, their kitchen cabinet, and any wood furniture.

It works great and looks great just like brand new furniture. I'm having computer problems right now, or I would look up the name of it for you.
But if you are interested, I will, and get back to you tomorrow with it after I straighten out my computer.

You just rub it on with a cloth, or sock, or sponge brush (two or three applications), sand lightly on last coat with fine paper, and then either apply the gel finish coat or buy the spray cans of Poly. You can go on line and see pictures of the before and after of some people who have used it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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DS bought a washer & dryer from Craigslist when he moved into his apartment this summer - I think he paid $350 for both including delivery and installation. It was from someone who picks up freebees and rehabs them. When the dryer had a problem after a week or two, they came out to fix it.

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