Saturday, July 4, 2009

new couch! Pictures, and what I learned from Craigslist

Yesterday we rented a trailer and drove 5 hours to & from Phoenix to get furniture. The main aim was a couch -- if you've been following my couch saga, you know how hard it's been for me to find one in Flagstaff. So I somehow thought this was necessary.

I will NEVER do this again.

But it was worth it, just this once.

Originally I picked out what looked like an awesome couch on Craigslist.

Warning sign #1 should have been how many times it was rejected by others. Did I realize this? NO. I thought, wow, lucky us! It's still available!

Instead, said couch was barely fit to be moved to the dumpster. Both arms had fallen off and were attached only by strings of fabric.

Dan carefully turned the couch over to survey damage and (when he stopped coughing from all the hair, dirt, mites, crayons and children that fell out) could see the wooden frame broken to bits inside. "Hmmm," he said. "I don't think we'd even be able to carry this out without it falling apart."

With indignant desperation, they replied, "Well, we've moved it 3 times this year alone!"

Yes, lady. That's why it's broken.

So, not everyone's honest when they're desperate. I've learned some other things about furniture shopping on Craigslist:

1. The number of exclamation points used in the ad does not translate into buyer enthusiasm:
"This ones [sic] a real beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
This does not make me say, "OMG I'm leaving now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll pay you double!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Triple!!!!!!!!!"

2. Your ad should be literate. I want to feel like I can do a monetary exchange with someone who has basic skills and can give me proper change.
im selling my couch bc were moving and i need right away to sale!
Well, I need to buy a couch from someone who is literate.

3. All capital letters are a turn off. They're hard to read and make you desperate and annoying.
These ads also usually appear with violations 1 & 2.

4. Saying "It's a STEAL!!!!" does not make it so. The most hideous couches were almost always preceded with "gorgeous sofa!!!!"

5. If you have to repost your ad ten times, there's something wrong with it. Probably that you're asking too much for the item -- even the most hideous couches will disappear if reasonably-priced. You can get rid of anything at the right price.

I responded to an ad for a couch set someone was trying to sell for a month. In Craigslist time, that's like a year.

Growing up both with a family in the moving & storage industry AND having worked as a classified sales rep placing ads for used furniture all day, I have a feel for used goods. These people were asking $1750. I offered them the going rate ($500) and they were appalled. "But we're asking HALF of what we paid for it!! We're not even using it, it's sitting in storage!"

Fine, then keep paying your storage fees on it. And I'm sorry to inform you that you got ripped off. Your items NEW are barely worth $1750, and I don't even want all of them. Couches are like computers. What you paid does not dictate market rate. DEMAND dictates market rate.

6. Pictures! Please please post photos of your items!

I spent 2 hours Friday going to see someone's couch because it sounded nice. They neglected to mention the couches were discolored pink from the sun. Not just one shade of pink either, which may have worked, but 16 different shades of pink. When you say your couch is "brown," I don't care what color it was when you bought it 15 years ago. What color is it NOW?

. . .

Anyway so we found a couch. Here are some updated pix:

The couch comes off the trailer.

Getting ready to haul it up the steps.
Something tells me we'll be posting a
similar ad to this when we move out:
Free couch, if you can bend time and/or space."

A queen couch bed for our guests!

The couch in place.
Next we have to find desks. As long as I'm
using a fold-out table, I'm going to
feel like I'm at a convention.

Kitchen with our "new" little table to the right.

Happy 4th!


talkiingtostones said...

Your apartment looks great! The couch fits, too. Looks like you're getting settled in. Are you all going to keep the place while Dan's there but you're back in DC, or is this just for the next few months -- to be repeated next summer?

hautepocket said...

I love the tall ceilings in your apartment!

Why is finding a couch such hard work? We had to pull(?) lift(?) push(?) ours over the balcony at our current apartment. Never mind that it's 12 feet off of the ground. I have no idea how we are going to get it out of here. :)

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