Why I love and hate Craigslist

By Mir
May 8, 2012

Once upon a time, some people (possibly my husband and me) built a cool new screen porch and wanted some comfy furniture for it. But those people (again, not naming any names) may have finished up that project and realized that their funds for buying new furniture were… shall we say… depleted.

Enter Craigslist! No problem, thought those people—we will simply look for a used set of furniture.

They looked. And looked. And looked some more. Apparently patio furniture is in demand in the spring. (Who knew?) And one day a cheap set popped up, and those people pounced on the listing, called immediately, and made plans to drive over an hour to look at it. The drive was made, and the owners said, “Ooops, we should’ve called. We sold it already.”

On that day, I pretty much hated Craigslist.

Later, we, er, I mean, those people did find a set of furniture on Craigslist. They probably paid a little more than they should’ve (desperation!), but it was a decent deal and a relatively happy ending to the saga.

But today, I love Craigslist. We have been looking for a bike trailer to take camping, that our dog can ride in (stop laughing). I refuse to pay $100+ for a sidecar for the dog, y’know. Today, we snagged this Burley bike trailer, barely used, for—I hope you’re sitting down—$40. (In case you didn’t feel like clicking through, retail on that trailer is $529. I’ve owned cars that cost less.)

What’s your best Craigslist deal? Go ahead, brag about it.


  1. I have so many good deal stories, it’s hard to narrow it down. But my favorite was a Campaign Style dresser for only $10! I re painted it and it serves as a buffet in my kitchen and I love it!

  2. I found my SO of 3 years through the personals section of Craigslist! Best deal ever! We don’t tell people how we met, though, I’m a little embarrassed by it. But he’s great and I’m glad I found him.

  3. a GIANT Lego brand Lego table. Retail on the site for 750.00. Listed by guy cleaning out a daycare center onto craigs list: 75.00. When we told him we were foster*parents he GAVE us a second one. Huge Score!

  4. I’ll admit, I’ve found two GREAT daycare providers on Craigslist. I don’t tell my mother, because she’s still skeptical about meeting people over the internet, but I couldn’t feel luckier to have come across them!

  5. Ive only ever been the giver of good deals on Craigslist, and I can tell you the circumstances under which a good deal happens. No more time, space, or money! 🙂 The upside is that it’s a great way to get really annoying and heavy things out of the way. Like last month when I had two combo washer dryer units in my living room. Yes, two. My entire condo is probably smaller than most of your living rooms at 650 sq ft, so it was just a tad bit annoying.

  6. My best score was a collection of 3,000+ Pokemon cards for my son for $10. He is autistic and abruptly decided that he loved Pokemon and needed to learn EVERYTHING about them after seeing one show. Within a couple days he had every card memorized and organized by whatever his system is. The happiness that those cards brought him was priceless.

    My second best score is finding our lawn guy. He only charges $15 and does everything. With my allergies, it had become more and more difficult for me to mow. He is such a bargain compared to the kids who were coming around wanting to charge $60 to mow and use our mower and gas.

  7. Can you say NINE PIECE mid century mod dining room set for $300??

  8. I found my job on Craigslist. Started part time, grew to a little more than that, then, I was office manager, and now, just over two years later…drumroll…I’m “CFO”. Ok…it’s a small local company, and I’m not making bucket loads of money, but I like the job, the people I work with (most of the time – lol) and, if I have to work, it’s a great job. Without a doubt, it’s been the best “deal” I’ve even gotten on Craigslist.

  9. I bought my car on Craigslist for $10,000. It was a 6 year old Honda Civic with 20,000 miles on it. Yes, a little over 3,000 miles A YEAR. It had double floor mats and was pristine! I hope that elderly couple never sees it because my three sons have done a number on it but it still runs fabulously five years later.

  10. Drum set for 5 year old for Christmas. That was he only thing he really wanted. $500+ new in a store. Found a slightly used set from a wonderful man who’s son had outgrown the junior set. He sold it to me for $50. Christmas wishes do come true!

  11. 25 feet of upper and lower cabinets with the granite countertops to boot: $1500. Now we just need to get them painted and have our beloved Greek contractor install said new kitchen 🙂

  12. 75 gallon aquarium (several hundrend in the stores) for $10. It is a lovely bearded dragon home.

  13. When I was about a hundred years pregnant with my son, I found a barely-used Baby Bjorn for less than half of retail price on Craigslist. I drove 40 minutes to buy it. (I liked to tempt fate by driving far from home and getting myself lost, hoping it would be enough to send me into labor. It never was, darn it.)
    The seller and I had arranged to meet in the parking lot of a school in her neighborhood, but she called me while I was on my way and said that her son was sleeping and asked if I would just come to her house. (She asked if I was an axe murderer, first. Better safe than sorry, you know.)
    I picked up the carrier, and we chatted on her front porch for a few minutes. She had a little boy who hated the Bjorn and she hoped I had more luck with it than she did. I told her my story…expecting a boy after several years of infertility with an 8-year-old girl at home…and she asked if I needed any clothes. I had only brought enough cash to buy the carrier, but she said she just wanted to get rid of them. She gave me several bags full of baby boy clothes–so many, they barely fit into the trunk of my car. I was SO grateful. It was definitely the best deal I’ve ever found on Craigslist.

  14. A vintage American-made Rockwell (now Delta) 14″ band saw with an upgraded Dayton (premium) motor for $125, and it even included the original fence. A typical unit of this saw in this condition goes for $450+.

  15. Just today I got a set of solid oak bunk bed in great shape, two twin mattresses, and four sets of sheet for $100! That would have been AT LEAST $500 new (probably more). I’m so stoked.

  16. About a month ago, we got a $900+ Pottery Barn leather ottoman for $50!! Brand New Condition! Score! Now, if I could only find a pottery barn twin bedroom set for my daughter……

  17. Adorable twin headboards for my girls for $30 — and delivered to me! The woman who owned them used to live in my neighborhood and drove an hour to bring them to me. I was pregnant and it was so nice not to have to go anywhere at that stage. I gave her just-baked muffins as well as the cash!

  18. I just look at Craigslist. So far I haven’t bought a thing. High five!
    My daughter did score an Arms Reach Co-sleeper for a huge discount.

  19. Can I break the rules and brag about a thrift shop find instead? I’ve not scored any killer deals on craigslist.

    I found what I was sure was a bed in many pieces at the thrift shop. It was white and had a flower engraved on it. I needed a bed for my daughter. The people working there were sure it was just a crib, but I didn’t think so, the headboard part was way too big. They sold it to me for $40, and I loaded it up and took it home.

    Hubby and I googled the brand name to try to figure out what exactly we had and how to put it together. Turned out it was a twin bed AND a trundle, and a fancy one at that. Original sticker price? $1000. Not. Kidding.

  20. Wow, I am feeling put to shame by some of these awesome deals. I procured a fancy treadmill for I think $200, which was probably more like $1000 new. Sad to say the humidity in our basement killed the electronics inside, and now it’s a big heavy thing that we’ll have to take apart and carry out piece by piece. But I was really proud of that deal.

  21. Set of Encyclopedia Britannica: $60. Kids thought I was crazy to drive an hour to get these, but we were going that way anyway.

    Huge set of the complete Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout for my husband, including some titles with several copies: $100. He still thanks me for these.

    Also we sold a rocker/recliner for cheap–$20?–that for us was old, worn out, etc. The couple who bought it were ecstatic. You never know what someone’s going to love.

  22. gorgeous buffet for my dining room, needed a few pieces fixed (took the hubby 1/2 hour) for FREEEEEEEEEE

  23. oh also we’ve sold a car, we’ve had great traffic and yard sales, I’ve snagged 3 freelancing gigs . . . . all through craig’s list.

  24. My current job and that was 5 years ago. Small office, nice people, great commute!! Never bought anything, but have sold many items that are too big for me to ebay. As kids outgrew bikes, sports gear, snowboarding equipment, etc I listed it. Even at work got rid of a broken wide paper plotter, sold for parts.

  25. I found an awesome roommate who I’m still close with 8 years later, an apartment, and my dog on Craigslist!

  26. We’ve bought a camper, a boat and I found a brand new Garmin Forerunner gps watch on Craig’s List, all on the cheap! Hubs also bought a snow plow for his four-wheeler from CL

  27. All of our tenants (artists) on our farm came from craigslist. Never had a problem! If they weren’t a good “fit”, we told them the space was taken… by my “cousin”. Can’t fight that one!

  28. My wonderful ‘everyday’ watch – a Tag Heuer – for $300. Yes, before going to the guy’s apartment to look at it, I called a dear friend & said “if you don’t hear from me in 45 minutes, I’ll be at …” just to make sure I wasn’t going to a serial killer’s lair.

  29. So many good deals I’ve gotten. Must narrow it down to one buy and one sell.

    BUY: A long-haired chihuahua who had been abandoned at a rental house. She was free. What’s a better deal than FREE LOVE?

    SELL: One Saturday I bought at a yard sale for $10. Mid-century modern, in perfect condition, avocado vinyl seat and back, walnut arms and legs. Got it home and had nowhere to put it. Took pics, threw it on Craigslist that same day and started a bidding war between two people. Finally had to stop the madness and sold it for $50.

  30. Chair. I bought a chair at a yard sale. Must proofread better.

  31. Front-loading washer and dryer, about 6 years old but had spent several years in storage–$140. They were moving and wanted to get rid of them. I was the first one to call. They probably cost around $1200 new. I’ve had them for a year now and love them.

  32. I have not bought nor sold anything on Craigslist, but I’m so happy to read about the deals others got. I’ve always been a little skeptical and fearful of Craigslist. Seems you only hear about the bad things, never the good.

  33. I scored 156 canning jars, mostly quarts, for 20 bucks. Also, some of them came packed in 3 fabulous vintage fruit crates. Double score!!

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