After furnishing the majority of my home with vintage and retail brand finds from Craigslist as well as using it as a resource in clientΒ projects, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned to finding the best stuff for the best deals.
1. Look every day.Β Yep, every single day. When I was furnishing my house, one of the first things I would do in the morning is browse what was newly listed. You never know if the perfect item you’re looking for was listed overnight!
2. Look past the badΒ pictures. Try your best to look past the poorly-lit, unstyled iPhone dingey basement photo of an otherwise gorgeous vintage piece and try to imagine it cleaned up and styled in your own space.
3. Ask a question about the item first. Before making an offer on an item, ask a general question about it first to start a conversation with the seller. Ask about its provenance, its condition, or its measurements. This also helps me determineΒ how safe it is for me to continue the sale. Usually I can gauge how sketchy or not sketchy someone is by how wealthy theΒ neighborhood they live in is, if they give me their name and phone number, their use of grammar, and their general tone of voice if I can get them on the phone.
4. Make a reasonable offer. Don’t offer so low that you offend the seller, but low enough that you can start the conversation and perhaps meet in the middle of your offer and the asking price.
5. Search for keywords.Β Other than searching for actual keywords like “consoleΒ table” or “dining chairs,”Β I like to search for keywords of my favorite brands, furniture styles, or materials to see what comes up, like Baker, Drexel, chinoiserie, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Persian, Oriental, Louis, fretwork, velvet, leather, marble, crystal, bamboo, rattan, wicker, etc. Other times you’ll often find that people have no idea what brand or style their amazing vintage Louis XVI armchair and they’ll just title it “chair,” so it’s important to still go digging in the generic “chair” category!
Good luck hunting!