Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson

Posted February 22, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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Adventures in Craigslist

Read More: Craigslist, Furniture, Shopping

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In the past couple weeks Sabrina and I have been shopping for a lot of new furniture.

We bought a bunch from a furniture store nearby, and ordered several items online. And we've been doing the CraigsList thing. is pretty much in every city -- you log on, find ads for whatever you may be looking for, someone in your area is probably selling it.  Contact the seller, drive over, meet the person and see the thing in person, if you love it and the price is right, it's yours!

We've found some really incredible deals on some beautiful pieces, and have been lucky getting a great table for the family room, a dresser for Willie, chairs, a desk, lotta good stuff.

But in a sign of troubling times we've been meeting sellers who've lost their jobs, who are losing their homes, who are selling all of their possessions because they have to move and need to liquidate. One charming couple we met lost their jobs and house -- and are moving to Uganda to help AIDS patients. 

Here was a couple somewhere in their 40s, and they were deciding to make lemons out of lemonade, and make something positive out of a situation that others would see as hopeless or disastrous.

Once we look at something, Sabrina and I go outside and talk about whether we want to buy it or move on.  We wanted this table, for the girls to do their work on in one corner of the family room, since they're now homeschooling -- here's the table, sitting at one end of our family room (can you find the cat in the photo?):



and we got this buffet to go in our dining room from the same couple:


Normally we would try to negotiate the price down when we buy from a private party. But because we felt like this couple had already lost everything, and they were going off on an adventure to do good work, we just paid what they were asking.  We wanted to support what they were doing.

We also saw pieces that looked good in the Craigslist photo, but when you got there the thing was absolutely horrific. So it's hit and miss, naturally.

Craigslist is an odd way to buy furniture, but it can also be oddly satisfying. Normally you buy from a salesperson in a store, but with Craigslist, the furniture can have a story and a history, and a chance to make contact with interesting people.

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And here are the girls tonight, sitting at their new table with their friend, Briana: