Saturday, March 15, 2008

Craigslist 101

Good evening ladies and gentleman, and welcome to "Craigslist 101". I'm here to show you how to make tens, hundreds, even millions of dollars from crap you have laying around your home, yard, or garage by selling it on How is this possible you ask? Well, my friends, it's simple. I'm here to tell you the secret lies in these 3 little words:

1. beautiful
2. vintage
3. shabby chic

With these 3 magic words you can transform your junk and cast-offs into cold hard cash. And I'm here to show you how.

Let's start with the first magic word- "beautiful". Now you might think that to list your item as beautiful it would have to be "pleasing to the eye" or "nice to look at". But folks, here's where you need to widen your horizons. The definition of "beautiful"need not be restricted to such stifling terms. Take these examples from my local craigslist listings, whose titles all contained the word "beautiful": As you can see, "beautiful" can also mean "lots and lots of flowers" or "ruffly" or "very busy" or "lots of bright and shiny colors in an alien face pattern". You may have thought you would have to set these items out on the curb for trash pick-up, but I'm here to tell you that simply is not the case. Just list your flowery, ruffly,busy, or shiny items on craigslist using the word "beautiful" in the listing title, and you can now charge hundreds of dollars! Wow! So easy!

Okay, let's move on to "vintage". This is the magic word that immediately turns "old and kinda gross" into "old in a very cool and stylish way". Yeah baby. When you use the word "vintage" in your listing title, people will want to just open their wallets and dump all their cash right into your pockets.

Take this old Barbie van that someone dug out of the box of toys their mother saved from when they were a kid. Put vintage into the description and voila! From junk to $30.

How about this duck lawn ornament with a broken beak? Call it "vintage" and BAM! It just went from trash to $20. (This duck is white and has peely paint so it could also be classified as "shabby chic", but more on that later.)
Now for the massage table. You might think this is junk, but add the word "vintage", and WHAMMO! Fitty bucks. Do you know how much people will pay for a "vintage massage"? Me neither, but it must be a lot judging by the price of this table.
And take a look at this suitcase. I'll bet you all have an old suitcase or two lying around the house. Well take a lesson from this seasoned seller, and put that baby up for sale as "vintage". This particular suitcase has been in the lister's family for 25 years! Don't be shy to tell people that. It speaks to the true quality and durability of the piece. So dig those suitcases out from the recesses of your attics and make a quick $25!

And lastly, this lawn chair. You might think the dirt and rust would make this non-saleable, but you'd be wrong. It only adds to the "vintage-ness" of the chair. List it as such, and make an easy $15.

And last but certainly not least, we'll move on to our last key word, "shabby chic". If you have anything white with crusty peeling paint, then "shabby chic" is the word you're looking for. People will pay top dollar for these items.

Old door frame as "shabby chic" home decor.

This table isn't banged up. It's "shabby chic!"

This headboard doesn't need a new paint job. It's so "shabby chic". Also, the house behind it was not listed, but it should have been. It's not dilapidated. It's "shabby chic" and I'm sure it could fetch top dollar listed as such.

So there you have it people. Put these lessons into practice and you'll be sure to make some quick dough. And don't forget to join me next time for "Craigslist 110" where I'll be discussing how to turn your junk from the 50's into dollars by using the term "mid-century".


Robin said...

Good one! And to think of all the "beautiful" things I have given away for free...

Janssen said...

Bwhahaha. That's the most awesome post ever.

Kristi said...

It's true! You are awesome for pulling this all together. Maybe I should list my car as "shabby chic" the white paint is peeling off of it.... ;)

Ralphie said...

You are going to laugh your pants off when you see what I just bought off of craigslist. Shabby, chic-ed, and all.

Jen said...

I wish I had seen this a few days ago. I just put a beautiful, vintage, shabby chic office chair out on the curb with a a free sign on it. If only I had know that the large tear on the seat and the two wheels that didn't work could have earned me top dollar.
(Seriously, 97% of people who use Craigslist are insane and the other 3% are laughing at the insane ones.)

Gretchen said...

Oh man! You hit the nail on the head :)

Jules said...

Oh, so true!! When you do mid-century don't forget to cover "modern" which covers a variety of things. :)

Kimberly said...

That is awesome and sadly, so true.

Erin said...

You're a riot Sheyenne! And how true that is- I guess I need to quit throwing out all my old "junk" and put it on craigslist instead!