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How to search Craigslist: 5 Tips to Scoring Amazing Stuff

Feb 29, 2016

How to search Craigslist like a pro

Image via Style Me Pretty 


How to search Craigslist. Hmmm. This can seem like a daunting and nearly impossible task for most people, especially if you have the patience of a 7 year old boy. (Me? No!)

Have you always wanted to love the idea of scoring something awesome on Craigslist, only to be overwhelmed by the amount of junk you find when trying to search the website? 

One of the unforeseen outcomes of spending pretty much all of my adult life living on a modest budget: learning how to search Craigslist like a pro. This came from years of old fashioned trial and error, but luckily, you can learn from my experiences, and jump right in like the experienced internet stalker that you are.(Because, let’s be honest–who wants pay full price for everything!?)

Read on for my tips on how to search Craigslist and score the best stuff ever. 


Start your search close to the end of the month 

You’ll find the biggest influx of goodies near the end of the month when people are gearing up to move, so start searching around the 15th-20th to get the best selection. On the flip side, if you’re really hunting for a deal, wait for sellers to get desperate–the best bargains can typically be found on the Wednesday/Thursday before the last weekend of the month. This especially comes into play when June, July and August roll around, and everyone and their mother seems to be moving around the city. 


Use specific and brand-rich keywords 

To avoid having to weed through flea-bitten basement sofas to find that gem of a couch, type brands that you love into the Craigslist search bar–for example, “West Elm” or “Restoration Hardware.” Also try searching several different synonyms, such as “Chesterfield sofa” and then “Tufted sofa.” Often times (especially in the case with vintage furniture) sellers might have no idea their sofa is even classified as a Chesterfield sofa, and will list it as “antique style,” “Vintage” or “tufted.” 


Search keywords like “moving” “urgent” or “must go” 

These keywords are often associated with the best deals, as these are sellers faced with an urgent deadline. This is also an indicator that you can likely negotiate the price down in exchange for getting the piece out quickly. 


Sort search “by owner” only 

To avoid having to sort through spammy, hideous furniture from local furniture dealers, just click the “by owner” box next to the search bar. Craigslist will automatically search “by owner” and “by dealer” if you don’t select this option. 


When contacting the seller, be specific and detailed

If you’re serious about a piece, make a serious offer to the seller. Know that often times, the seller will be faced with several buyers bidding for their piece. Usually, the person who can get it out of their hair fastest, wins. When contacting them, you should make them an offer (and make sure it’s competitive) and let them know you can pick it up as soon as that day. If you don’t have a car, you can arrange for pickup with companies like Schlep–basically like Uber for moving stuff! Totally a Craigslist game-changer. 

Do you have any tips on how to search Craigslist? Whats your best Craigslist find? 

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