I have to admit that I have only made one major Craigslist purchase for myself and I suggested a purchase for a friend but we have both experienced unproblematic transactions and great satisfaction with our purchases.
I purchased the dining room table and chairs pictured below for $300 (not pictured are the two extra side chairs and the additional leaf allowing for seating of 8). The seller was even kind enough to deliver the set to my home allowing me to save the expense of renting a moving truck. (This dining set is currently undergoing a makeover to be unveiled soon.)
When my friend, Symone's Mommy, was searching for a set of chairs to go with a newly purchased dining table, I found this set of four antique dining chairs on Craigslist for $120 a mere 30 minutes after they were posted to the site. Again, the seller was kind enough to deliver the chairs to her house.
Here are a few tips to narrow down the hundreds of Craigslist furniture postings to find the really good bargains. Note: These tips are based on my experience searching the Dallas, Texas area postings. Please Note: Always be safe when going to examine or pick up furniture. Never go alone and trust your gut reactions in certain situations.
1. I limit my search to my general area of the city. For example, Dallas postings are categorized by five localities. Because I would more than likely be charged by the mile or hour to rent a vehicle to pick up the item, I don't want to spend the extra money and time driving clear across the Metroplex, so I shop close to home.
2. Next, I select the "furniture - by owner" category in the drop down box. This will weed out all of the dealers and stores selling their wares. I find you can get better prices on items when the owner is selling the item due to relocation, redecorating, etc. They just want the item out of their garage and are usually not looking to make a large profit.
3. I always check the "has image" box because NO picture does me NO good!
4. Unless I am just looking for fun, I always set an upper limit that I am willing to pay for a particular piece that I am searching for. I do set this max price slightly higher than my actual max price in case there is some room for negotiation. Also, I would hate to miss out on a great piece just because the set price may be only $5 more than my actual max price.
5. Lastly, the keyword search can make the difference between finding a piece that you adore at a great price or declaring that Craigslist sucks and is only full of junk. There are no preset categories, so a seller may describe that French Provincial style sofa as just a sofa, couch, love seat, antique, old, etc. That is why you must be very general in your search because some postings may not contain a thorough and accurate description and the picture must be viewed to see a truer representation of the piece.
Happy Craigslist shopping!