Craigslist has been an amazing resource for flea-market junkies like me and Jill. When it started, it provided this whole new world for vintage seekers to hunt, negotiate, and score their perfect next treasure. You’ve seen lots of examples from Jill of items she’s found through Craigslist and spruced up to fit her home. She seriously has a knack for it. I was a bit leery of it at first, just because I’d read stories of burglaries or people taking advantage of those buying or selling. However, last year I decided to give it a whirl, and now it’s definitely a go-to resource for our family. I’ve also had luck selling a few things, which makes it even better!
After taking baby steps and talking to pro’s, like Jill, there are a few tips for buying and selling on Craigslist that I’ve learned along the way:
Make sure you’re photography is helping sell the item. It amazes me that people post coffee tables with trash all over them, or a chair with clothes all over the floor in the background. C’mon, put a little effort into it people! Those of us buying online are so visual, so anything you can do to “stage” your piece will help sell it. Clean up your item for sale and take a photo of it in a room as you would recommend using it if you can. If not, try to at least make sure the photo is bright enough that potential buyers can really see it. Too often, people take a photo in their garage or basement on their phone, and it’s really difficult to see the full potential of the piece.
Give all the dimensions and product information you have. This is something I didn’t really think about at first. I posted my first items for sale and forgot to even measure them. The first questions I was always asked was, “what are the dimensions?” So, after that, I decided to give every measurement I could, the brand name, the exact color, and anything else I thought was pertinent for a potential buyer. That helped cut down on the email questions I received that never turned into sales.
Be willing to negotiate. You have to understand that people shopping on Craigslist are looking for a deal. Part of the fun is negotiating a price that makes the buyer feel like their hunting paid off. So, start your price a tad higher than your bottom line – that way, you have some wiggle room. If you aren’t willing to alter the price at all, type “price is firm” in your description. But what’s the fun in that?
Keep yourself safe. If you’re a buyer, have the seller meet you in a public parking lot if possible. Do the same as the seller. Or, if you have to go to the seller’s house, ask them to bring the piece outside for you to view it. As the seller, you should do that as well for your buyer. Email is great for initial discussions, but talk with the person over the phone as well to understand why they’re interested. And try to have someone else with you if you can.
Here are a couple of my favorite Middle Redefined Craigslist finds.
Jill’s fabulous media console re-do.
Before Media Console
Media Console After – middleredefined.com
And my pendant lights.
Craigslist Pendant Lights
New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs – Middle Redefined
Hope this inspires you to give Craigslist a whirl if you haven’t already! It takes some serious time to weed through everything. But when you find that perfect treasure, it’s all worth it!
One of our friends, Brianne, also has an addiction to the West Bottoms Flea Market. So for today’s guest post, we asked her to share her favorite finds and how she’s used them in her home. As you can see, she’s so creative and has a knack for accessorizing. Jill and I are thrilled to be able to share her post with you because we know you’ll be inspired. Hope you enjoy today’s post, written by Brianne herself – thanks Brianne!
About two and a half years ago I was watching The Nate Berkus Show (RIP, unless you count the reruns on Oprah’s network, which I don’t.) There was a lady on that was showing how she repurposed furniture and she mentioned having a store in Kansas City called Good JuJu. She mentioned it being in the West Bottoms, which I only knew as the location of the haunted houses and a cool backdrop for urban style family photos. A quick Google search showed me that her store was amongst others in the Bottoms, all of which were only open the first weekend of every month which was called Warehouse Weekend. I hit the next sale to check it out for myself and have missed very few weekends over the years. Just to show you all that the West Bottoms have to offer, I thought I’d share some of my favorite scores! All store’s vendors replenish stock throughout the weekend. Many of my earlier purchases came from Good JuJu. I purchased this buffet from a vendor there. She then painted it for me the color I needed. I love the clean lines and all of the storage it provides.
Refinished Grey Hutch
This turquoise mirror is also one of my Good JuJu finds.
Little Girl’s Room
I custom ordered this bookshelf from a store called Bottoms Up Antique Market. Bottoms Up has over 60 vendors and four floors. The vendor had one bookshelf on the floor but could also make them the dimensions you need and with the metal finish you’d like.
Metal Shelf Accessorized
The tar-stained wood was from a chicken barn and was unfinished, but after living with it for a while I decided to stain it. The darker look just felt more like me and now I love it even more!
This milk crate came from a shop called Nook and Cranny. I love the milk company’s name on the front. I cleaned it up and filled it with some of my husband’s favorite adult bottles since we don’t have space in our home for an actual bar. Father’s Day gift success!
My most recent purchase was this amazing gold ornate mirror at this month’s sale. I literally walked/ran to it when I saw it from the doorway of the second floor at Bella Patina because I was so worried that someone else was seeing it at the same time I was. It was seriously large Marge and although I had no idea where I was going to put it, I knew I had to have it and would figure it out.
My favorite store by far for antique & vintage shopping in the West Bottoms is Restoration Emporium. Much of my smaller decorative items have come from here. From mason jar soap dispensers to décor for every season and holiday, it has everything and is always our first stop. I came across these vintage bug prints and knew they’d be perfect for my son Rowan’s camp-themed room. I purchased the wood-grained finish frames from Ikea and hung them above his art table. If you only have time to visit one store in the West Bottoms, Restoration Emporium is a can’t miss.
Little Boy’s Room
Thanks for checking out some of my favorite flea market finds! Hope they’ve inspired you to do some exploring and rethinking for your own home!
I am so ready for the West Bottoms Flea Market this weekend. Are you? The West Bottoms Historic Distric is this fantastic area of Kansas City where flea market and antiques vendors rent/buy space to sell fantastical items the first weekend of every month. Some of the vendors are open more often than just one weekend. However, that one weekend I can be found lost in the West Bottoms for HOURS just walking in and out of beautiful brick buildings, searching for that perfect addition to my home.
This might be one of my favorite things Kansas City has to offer. At this particular event, I have purchased chandeliers, vintage hubcaps for decoration in my son’s room, a lamp shade that I turned into a hanging pendant light (I’ll show you that on Friday), and other items that Jill and I are refurbising to sell on our very own Etsy shop - coming soon.
Good Juju is the name one of the many shops open during this vintage extravaganza. And while I love many of them equally, I honestly think that “Good Juju” might be the best name for a flea market ever in the history of flea markets. Don’t you? Hope to see you there!
Here are some more photos from the last time I was there.