Jun 12, 2009

Craigslist Hell

So I don't know if I've mentioned this here or not, but about a month ago I moved. Nothing major. I just loaded everything into a truck and hauled it 40 blocks closer to my work—effectively cutting my commute in half. The new apartment is pretty fantastic. I got 300 more sq. ft. for a whopping $3 more each month. It's partially underground, so it stays cool on even the hottest days. Plus, I'm getting two roommates (the boyfriend and his current roommate) in t-minus 1 day.


Of course, as with any move, there is always some trouble figuring out where to store everything and the occasional buying/selling of furniture. Part of my additional 300 sq. ft. is a dining room, which I didn't have at my old place, and so I've added a dining table to my shopping list. And because my kitchen is about half the size of the old one, I don't have cabinet space for some of my dishes and food products, so I've added a stand-alone pantry to the list, too.

Because I hate buying new and having to pay exorbitant prices for what more often than not is particle board that will fall apart in a few years anyhow, Craigslist has become my new best friend. The only problem? Wading through dozens of ridiculous/overpriced/trashy pieces of furniture, often with bizarre/vague descriptions and no pictures, or written by people who are so creepy just in writing that I have no desire ever to meet them in person.

In Portland you see a lot of advertisements for "vintage" or "antique" furniture, which they've marked up to antique store prices, but which often lack antique store polish. For the "vintage" dining tables, I've come across far more heavily scratched, stained or damaged finishes, mismatched dining room suits, and just plain tacky 10-year-old cheap furniture than I have anything that I would actually be willing to pay a little extra for due to its historical value.

Then there is all of the stuff from IKEA and Target being resold at almost the same price as new items from those stores, and after a couple of years of use, I'm sorry, but it's particle board. It doesn't retain value.

There is everything listed as "brand new," which usually means: 1) it is being sold by a furniture store at furniture store prices, 2) it is being sold by someone who really did just buy this furniture and are being forced to get rid of it for whatever reason and are trying to lose as little as possible on the deal, and 3) the stuff that isn't new at all and is just being peddled as new so people can drive up the prices. Not that the differences in this category really matter, though, since most of the stuff in this category is pricey, and even if the item is pricey for good cause, that doesn't make the money magically materialize in my bank account.

The rest of the stuff on Craigslist, the stuff that has been listed honestly and is being offered at a reasonable price and isn't total rubbish? Most of it is just tacky. Nobody wants to buy anything wooden (or particle board) that is the same color as the wood paneling in my parents' house that's been there since 1972. Nobody wants your smurf blue couch...or your couch that's the color of baby poop...or your couch that has the pastel patterns that haven't been in since the 80s. And nobody over the age of 19 wants your futon, okay? Nobody. So just do everyone a favor and leave it by the dumpster.

Then, after searching for days and days and finally finding something you actually like that is in a reasonable price range, you e-mail or text the person (whatever they say is the best method of contact) and wait anxiously to find out if you can have a now much-coveted piece of furniture. After all, you've wasted hours of your time scouring the internet to find it. You feel almost like you deserve it for the pain you've endured. But about half the time, you never hear a word of response. The other half, the stuff you actually liked has already been sold. And you're back at square one.


Seriously, if it's this difficult to find decent furniture on Craigslist, why the hell do people even bother trying to date on Craigslist?

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh dating service if craigslist? I don't try it but I hear it's even more of a nightmare. Sorry you have to deal with all those, why don't you just buy from ikea?