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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Things I've learned on craigslist

I'm in the process of replacing all the stuff damaged or lost during our move last fall. We still don't have a sofa, coffee table, washer and dryer, etc. Consequently I spend a ridiculous amount of time perusing the craigslist free and for sale forums. I've learned quite a bit about human nature shopping for used possessions.

  • People are really bad spellers when it comes to writing descriptions. Buro is an animal, not a chest of drawers. There is no such thing as rot or rod iron. WROUGHT iron, people.

  • People do not see their own mess or clutter. If you're going to photograph an item, take your piles out of the picture. This goes for people trying to rent their apartments as well.
  • Know what you are selling. End tables are also called side tables. They are not dining tables or coffee tables.  Sofas are not love seats, nor are chair and a half. If you don't describe what you are selling, people will pass by your ad.
  • In electronics, post model numbers and again, what the item is. If you just list "dryer for sale" nobody will know if it is electric or gas. BE SPECIFIC.
  • Please make sure that you include photos, and make those photos tell the whole story. If there is a known fault, SHOW IT.
  • If you are moving, give drop dead dates for pickup. Don't make buyers get into multiple emails asking questions that should be in your post.
  • Know that MOST buyers will not look at any ad if there is no picture. I am one of those people.
  • Lets talk about IKEA. DO NOT list your IKEA item for more that cost brand new in the store. If your item is loose or in poor shape, put it in the FREE forum. I've been hoodwinked twice with used IKEA pieces and my motto is "Never buy IKEA used." It just doesn't stand up to being moved.
  • Size matters. Measure your furniture! Tell the sizes of your clothing. Know what size your rug is. Your tape measure is second in importance, right behind your camera.
  • Don't lie. If you do not know an item's provenance, don't call it an antique.  If you're pulling out stuff from dumpster diving, it probably IS trash. 
  • DO NOT give out your address right away. If you have small items you are selling or buying, meet in a public space. If you are selling, it is better to deliver if you can rather than have strangers show up at your door.

I hope these tips make you experience with craigslist easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

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