My girlfriend and I completed step one of three in Operation: Dog Acquisition yesterday. After weeks of scouring Craigslist, Beth found a brilliant living room set that included a couch, a loveseat and an ottoman, all for $200.
Better yet — we bought it from a well-intentioned bachelor who lives in a cozier part of town and for him, the transaction was about freeing up space for new furniture and nothing else. He originally posted for $500, so by the time we paid him, he was just happy to be done with the ordeal.
You should’ve seen where we went on Sunday. Beth found another nice couch/loveseat combination, so we headed over to East St. Paul. The owner had promised she had no pets and didn’t smoke. The furniture had some tears in the seams, but at $80, we were willing to overlook. We arrived at the seller’s residence, a seedy triplex that looked like three double-wide trailers soldered together by an 11th grade shop class. Think: Crack den chic. Upon entering, we were hit by the smell of stale smoke. There was an ashtray on the coffee table filled to the top with Swisher Sweets remnants. I know this because there was a Swisher Sweets box right next to the ashtray. Deal: Off.
Maybe we watch a little too much Intervention, but my assumption is people are selling their goods on Craigslist for one of three reasons:
- They are moving and not taking furniture with them.
- They bought new furniture and want the old stuff gone.
- They want drug money.
I don’t think those three reasons are necessarily inaccurate. They matter, too. Each individual reason dictates the quality of the product, the ease of the sale and, most importantly, peace of mind.
Beth and I sold a couch and a bar table on Craigslist before moving away from Portland. We made $70 on the table and $150 on the couch, and while that put us at a loss compared to what we originally paid, we made a little cash and didn’t have to worry about disposing of our stuff. Not to mention some nice people purchased some quality secondhand furniture from a young couple whose hands were tied. And no point did they have to wonder if the couch had bed bugs or if we were off to Corvallis to score some meth.
In cases where furniture is clearly being sold for drug money, you have to wonder what that poor furniture has been through. What’s slipped between its cushions? What’s been swept underneath it? What type of resin or smoke has it absorbed? What and who has happened upon it? Don’t kid yourself — furniture keeps a history. Never purchase furniture you’d be terrified to shine a black light upon. That’s the most important axiom for Craigslist shoppers, I think.
Our purchase yesterday couldn’t have gone smoother and we’ve enjoyed our new furniture all the more knowing it came from a clean, happy home. After Sunday’s debacle, I implored Beth to raise our budget a bit and only consider buying from nicer neighborhoods. (My logic being wealthy people more often purchase new furniture on a whim, so they’re less concerned about recouping on old furniture.) What began as a search for dog-friendly furniture resulted in the type of furniture any guy would be happy to have in his man cave.
So, step one is done. Next: Pay the $200 nonrefundable deposit. The hope is we’ll pick up Cooper/Olive (TBD) Thanksgiving weekend, thus changing our lives — and this blog – for the foreseeable future.