Stalking Craig February 3, 2011 Thrift Store Finds 8288 When it comes to Craigslist, no one stalks it like I do. Image courtesy of howstuffworks.com As tempting as it is to jump on the first thing you see that meets most of your requirements, resist! If you’re looking for something specific, it will pay off to be a little more selective. I had been looking for a new dining set for a few months (even going so far as to set a notification of new posts including the words “dining table” on my phone). While I did love the set I refinished last year, we were just outgrowing it. Hosting 10 people for brunch was just getting ridiculous, people had to take turns sitting at the table! When I finally decided to bite the bullet and start looking for a new dining set, I had a few rules. If you don’t have rules, Craigslist can be really overwhelming and you might pounce too soon. Buyer’s remorse is not an option since there’s no return line at customer service. Rule #1- Price. This is key. It might be tempting to purchase something at a higher price because you feel like you’ll never find anything like it. If you’re really on a budget, hold out. You’re maximum price should be non-negotiable. I decided on $100. Why? See Rule #2. Rule #2- If you’re replacing a piece of furniture you already own, think about how much you could sell it for. Consider that when setting your maximum new-to-you piece price. I figured I could get at least $100 for the set we had, so I thought I could break even. Of course this won’t always happen, but it’s helpful to think about (especially when trying to convince a spouse!) Rule #3- Check Craiglist often, you don’t want to miss a listing- the good deals go fast! Armed with the rules, make a list of your requirements. Mine were Must seat at least 6 and have 6 chairs. A leaf would be nice, but the table could seat 6 without it. Must be rectangular After about 2 months of stalking, watching tables come and go, and being tempted to go over my $100 limit, my patience paid off. I got notified via my phone of a set with 8 chairs for $100. Solid wood. No, I am not lying. I emailed about it right away, and she sent me a picture. Not only was it in great condition (which wasn’t really a requirement, since I planned on refinishing it), but the chairs were upholstered. And I could tell from the seam in the table that it must have leaves. Jackpot! I asked her more questions about the dimensions and the leaves, and unfortunately she said there were no leaves. No big deal, the table was big enough without them. I suspected that the table had leaves at one time, but they were lost. I figured we could always make one! When going to purchase a large heavy item, I do what any self respecting woman would do- drag my brother. Here’s another little CL tip- bring tools. You can’t depend on the seller having them or even really wanting to get that involved in the process aside from taking your money and showing the goods. I knew we’d need to take the legs off the table so I brought a few screwdrivers, pliers, and a wrench (these also happen to be tools I keep in the Jeep to keep it running). When we started disassembling the table, I realized that indeed this table once had leaves…possibly two LARGE ones. I was giddy with excitement! This could be our “forever” table! Both the table and chairs were solid, much larger and heavier than I thought. I was beginning to think we’d have to make two trips! But, fortunately my brother inherited this weird packing gene from my dad (well, we both have it, but I am slower). I snapped this horrible pic on my phone, but it doesn’t even begin to do justice to the cargo capacity of this vehicle. Somehow the table and 6 chairs fit in the Jeep. The other two chairs were tied to the roof rack. Needless to say I drove home very slowly in the right lane. When we got home, I immediately started stripping the upholstery. It was white yellowed vinyl, and also happened to smell of smoke. I febreezed the heck out of everything, washed all the woodwork, and recovered the seats in drop cloth (what else?) My long term plans are to refinish it (maybe in an antique glazed white, with a stained wood top?) and add color in the chair covers, but for now it’s definitely functional. That’s good news because I really really hate sanding in the winter! I’m pleased as punch with my purchase, but I haven’t even told you the best part yet. I put old dining set on CL for $125. Why the inflation? Well, we bought it 5 years ago for $150 with some paint marks and dings. But, instead of selling it with and additional 5 years of wear and tear, I had recently refinished it. I figured I deserved something for my time. Besides, I could always lower the price if it didn’t sell right away. Which it totally did. I even shocked myself this time folks. No Responses FawnDear February 3, 2011 I’m a stalker too! Loved your guidelines. Hate Buyer’s remorse. Reply Lovely Crafty Home February 3, 2011 Haha there should be a stalker club! Thanks for stopping by! Reply Courtney February 3, 2011 That table was certainly worth the wait! Thanks for stopping by my blog I am now a new follower of yours 🙂 Courtney Reply Lovely Crafty Home February 3, 2011 Thanks Courtney!! Reply Kathy Matthews February 3, 2011 Hi Rachel, Your blog is great, and so is your new table! Thanks for following me. I am following you too. Please check back next Monday and I’ll feature your blog and link as a new follower. Take care and have a great weekend, Kathy Reply Lovely Crafty Home February 3, 2011 Thank you Kathy!!! Reply Christine February 3, 2011 Wow! You did really well. Congrats! The dining set is perfect! Just became your follower too, thanks for stopping by…Christine Reply Brittany February 3, 2011 Hey thanks for commenting on my curtain rod post. I came over to check out your blog and love what I see so far. That table is nice! we got our dining set at a yard sale. It was a killer deal as well! 6 chairs, 2 leafs and a 70″ round table for less than $200. It looked brand new too since it was an older lady’s table previously. So did your table come with the leafs or not? It think the drop cloth covers look great! Good job! Reply Lovely Crafty Home February 3, 2011 Brittany- Thanks so much for stopping by! It sounds like you got a great deal on your set as well-I absolutely love thrifting! To answer your question, the leaves were lost along the way (the lady we got it from got it second hand as well), but the table does expand to it will be easy to make a leaf or two and stain to match (or just use a table cloth). Reply Slice of Pie February 3, 2011 Thanks for stopping by … love your dining set and can’t wait to see it refinished! I’ve enoyed your site and will follow you! Thanks for sharing. Reply SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime February 4, 2011 Just a heads-up that I nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award! Check it out at http://www.homemakeronadime.com/2011/02/manage-blogs-youre-following-blog-award.html Reply Jordan @militaryspousehouse February 4, 2011 Hi Rachel, Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m soooo glad I followed you back over here. I love your blog! Your new dining set is so nice and even better that it was $100! I love dropcloth (so many uses! ) Congrats on selling your old one for profit too! 🙂 Reply Lovely Crafty Home February 4, 2011 Thanks Jordan! Glad to know I’m not the only drop cloth obsessed person out there haha! Reply Board and Batten, I Heart You October 14, 2011 […] a perfect spot for some b&b (that’s what all the cool kids call it), especially after my dining table […] Reply Inspiration Mondays: Dining Rooms October 14, 2011 […] on design blogs is the dining room. I’ve been working on ours for awhile now, starting with a new dining set, some board and batten, a stenciling project, and a chandelier […] Reply It Was Fate October 25, 2011 […] It wasn’t exactly a crazy suggestion-I do this all the time (it’s how I got my whole dining set home), but the piece just seemed so delicate with the glass. At this point we’re both pretty […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website CAPTCHA Code * Check here to Subscribe to notifications for new posts Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.