Yes that is what I thought to myself when I broke the #1 rule on Craigs List! I was so excited about a listing that I had to go and get it right then,before someone else grabs it! Even though I had no one to go with me :(
Usually larger items (furniture) are in the garage or driveway of the seller when you pull up.... But this wasn't the case :(
This item was in Brea which is a really nice area and I had previously spoke directly to the owner. His name was John and he sounded like a nice old man.. Normally I am taller then most people especially the older ones that are "shrinking". To my surprise a gentleman answered the door and he was at least 6''2 (i am 6"0) he was very nice but he said the dresser was upstairs...*gulp*.. ..but that cute dresser was calling my name ! So he shows me the dresser and opens the top drawer.. guess what was in there? Bullets (for a gun) and rope!! OMG inside I was DYING but he was real casual like it was old marbles rolling around in the drawers... I did get lucky he was a complete gentleman and even loaded it in my car!
This was my $30 dresser in PERFECT CONDITION
While I was there I scored some other great pieces that I will show you in a later post.
So do as I say and not as I do!
A few CL tips
1. Do go with someone else even if it's one of your older kids.
2. Talk directly to the person, get some contact info in your phone in case anything would happen :/
3. Only bring the amount of money you think you need . Sometimes I might even have a little less ($5-$10) and sometime as your counting it they will just accept what you have ..(keep the other $ in the other pocket just in case they don't budge on price)
4. When making initial contact be very personal and tell the seller that you are looking for a item for a gift or for a child or parent . Sometimes if you "click" with the with similarities they will want YOU to have it no matter how many people are asking :) Most people want to know there items are going to a loving FOREVER HOME I know it's weird but I never say I refinish and resell.
5.When you go to look at the item never act over excited (even if you are) they are more likely to lower the price if they think the $$$$ could walk out the door!!
6. Because of such a fast pace you need to check CL at least 2 x's a day for some awesome deals, you might just get lucky!
7. When contacting the seller (sometime I might contact up to 12 in an hour) also copy and past the URL of the listing. Some mail programs do it automatically and some don't. When you respond to the buyer you want to make sure your talking about the right piece.. This can get confusing when the listings may all say "Vintage Dresser" it's better to have photos to refer to.
8. Look not just in your county listing ( I am Orange County) but also look in the adjacent counties( LA, Inland Empire, sometime even San Diego for me!) because some deals are worth the gas!
9. In case you can't pick up the item soon some sellers will agree to a pay-pal deposit . This shows good faith (there are a ton of CL Flakes out there!) That will secure the item and you don't have to worry about the item being sold. Also when you use paypal if anything goes wrong they will guarantee your deposit refund.
10. Enjoy the challenge, just because you didn't get the item the first time believe me there will be another and sometimes it's even better, you just have to keep checking! ;)
I hope this helps some people who are new to the whole CL world
Have Fun, Genine