I’ve been making a lot of exterior changes this year, but there’s one change going on with the living room I wanted to let you guys know about:
It’s finally time for new living room furniture. I’ve started by selling off the coffee and side tables last week on Craigslist, and soon the couch will be gone too (I haven’t decided on a camel leather one or a gray MCM style one yet, but once I do, it’s buh-bye couch).
Almost all of the furniture pieces I’ve used in the living room are relics from my apartment-dwelling days, making them some of the oldest things I have in the house (other than my bed in the master bedroom). They aren’t really bad, and it’s not that I hate their look, but you see how the tables have a lip around all four sides? Since adopting a dog that sheds as much as Charlie, it gets really annoying to not be able to cleanly dust these tables off if stray dog hair gets in the corners (and you’re welcome — another glimpse into my glamorous life). ;)
I’d rather build or buy new tables that don’t have this feature. My current favorite is this carved one from West Elm, but since I haven’t built a lot of furniture around the house, I think the challenge could be fun.
Anyway, I sold my tables off within just an hour or two, and since I’ve done this a number of times to have a sort of checklist to how I go about it, I thought I’d share some of the tips I tend to use whenever I want to sell furniture or larger items online. Answering questions after the fact is often the most time-consuming part, so that’s my priority: to eliminate wasted time and frustration.
My Checklist for Selling Furniture On Craigslist
- Include a shot of just the items for sale as the lead-off pic.
- Let buyers know right away if you’re willing to negotiate — “$50 OBO” (“or best offer”) — or if you aren’t looking to haggle — “$50, price is firm”
- As for the price itself, I do a quick lookup for what else is already online (check the competition), then set a firm number I’m pretty sure I could sell it for within a few hours. If I am not in a rush to sell, I’ll sometimes increase the price and change it to OBO to see what the demand is.
- List measurements (so people know if they can fit it into their cars).
- If I have one available, I’ll include a photo of the item in the room so buyers can visualize both scale and color.
- If there is damage, I photograph and list it out. This set was already cheap to begin with, and after ten years, several moves, and normal wear and tear, there were some chips and damage I wanted people to know about right away. It can be a deal-breaker, so giving that info upfront helps me eliminate people who would try to show up and then haggle because of condition (no thanks). And because of my DIY background, I sometimes still give advice on what can be done to cover it up (such as using a stain pen).
Other Tips for Selling Items Quickly & Conveniently
- For whatever reason, taking photos outside and photographing them on my lawn seems to work really well.
- Give everything a good cleaning before you photograph. I like to do this quickly with a Swiffer duster for dry dust and hair, a Magic Eraser for any gunk, and finish with whatever furniture polish I find under my sink.
- I like using Venmo for the transaction itself. These days, many people prefer the convenience of digital payment and it motivates sellers (like myself) to hold onto an item if it’s already paid for instead of moving on to the person who is willing to pick it up soonest (but to each their own). I have had these pieces for so long that pretty much anything I made off them would be something I was happy with, so I was really glad when a girl who was moving into her very first apartment contacted me and immediately wanted to buy. She asked me to hold onto them until she could get a vehicle that would allow her to get all three pieces at once, but paid immediately. Win-win.
- In this situation, the buyer needed to take apart the furniture in order to load it into her car. I helped but decided not to take it apart until she had arrived and was loading it so that I could make sure all of the screws and parts stayed together (taking no chances there!). I also let her load it into her car by herself so that if she bumped it into anything, I would not be responsible for any damage to her car or to her new (used) furniture.
There you have it. Do you have any rules you like to follow for selling? Has anyone tried selling on Facebook Marketplace yet? What was your experience like (and do you have a preference if you’ve tried both?)?