I’ve been looking at Craigslist a lot lately because that is what you do when you’re overdue with your second baby and fantasize all day long about decorating your new place.
This area doesn’t have a super heated vintage/thrift culture (except maybe if you’re looking for Civil War-era artifacts like spittoons and bed pans and weird hunting display cases for $1), unlike, say, in places like L.A. or Nashville or Portland. Which is good because it means you can find the occasional gem for a fraction of what you’d pay in trendier areas, but the downside is that you have to wade through eight times more crap that sellers, either out of ignorance or delusion, try to pass off as “unbeatable steals,” like a beat up laminate computer desk they probably picked up on clearance for $25 at Staples and are now trying to unload on CL for $225. It’s crazy the amount of garbage you have to sift through while muttering at your screen, “Seriously? You seriously think you’re going to get $200 for a used Ikea coffee table? Yeah, good luck with that, buddy.”
Above is an item I spotted the other day. The seller advertised it as an “exercise pen” for dogs for $30. Yeah, that’s some exercise that dog’s going to get confined to that miserable cell. These are the same kind of people who call euthanasia “peaceful slumber.”
I’m still somewhat new to the whole Craigslist scene — I’m more of a troller than an actual shopper — but I have seen a few really cool pieces I would love to have for my new home.
The other day I came across a listing for two really cool midcentury lamps and side tables that looked in decent condition for $10 each, or best offer. (Try finding THAT in Nashville!) The seller posted a single photograph of all four items from about 7 feet away. Half the lamps were cut off. The image was blurry. (I would link to the posting but I don’t want to propagate bad juju so imagine with me, will you?) The write up of the items offered no information beyond what was blatantly obvious: “2 lamps, 2 side tables, $10 each, or best offer.” The seller was located an hour away.
So I write the seller and ask if they wouldn’t mind sending a few additional close up images so I can get a sense of the items’ general condition. She writes me back and tells me okay, but she won’t be able to do it until 6 or 7 the following evening. I say fine, whenever, and can you please provide measurements — how tall are the lamps? What are the dimensions of the side tables? I tell her I’m located an hour away so I want to be sure the pieces will work with my space before I make the drive. I don’t bother to tell her that I’m also explosively pregnant.
A day passes and she writes me back: