Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Craigslist Score

The hubby and I made our first official Craigslist purchase this weekend. And the price was a steal! But before I get ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning.

Ever since our wedding, I've been on the hunt for a buffet/sideboard for our tiny dining room. We got so many new dishes and small appliances as wedding gifts that we have completely run out of cabinet space in our kitchen. We even had a yard sale to scale down the amount of stuff we had. But even with the yard sale, our kitchen cabinets are filled to the brim with stuff. So I thought a buffet would be the perfect solution - we could store our small appliances in it, or we could move all of the dishes that we don't frequently use in it.

So I started my search online. I wanted dark wood, tons of hidden storage, cabinet doors and drawer space, and preferably somewhere to store wine/liquor bottles. These were the top contenders:

The problem? Buffets are expensive! Furniture in general is expensive. Maybe I'm a little naive about what a decent price is for furniture considering every item in our home was a hand-me-down or free (with the exception of our mattress). But I refused to spend $200-$300 for a buffet. So, I turned to Craigslist.

I've been searching on Craigslist religiously for the last two months or so. Although we technically live in Central Florida, we are on the very northern edge of it. So, I spend most of my time searching the Ocala Craigslist. Every once in a while, when I would get bored with seeing the same listings posted multiple times, I would scan the Orlando Craigslist. I figured both of our parents live in Orlando, so if we found anything there, we could just make a weekend trip out of it. We more than likely would have to go to Orlando to borrow my stepdad's truck anyways. And what do you know...

Last Thursday night I was doing another search on the Ocala list and got really frustrated. Before shutting the laptop down to start making dinner I decided on a whim to check Orlando's list again. It was the fifth posting listed, and it was perfect! I seriously squealed. Like school girl squealed. Which is really not typical for me. I anxiously showed the hubby and waited for his approval (our tastes are similar, but we're both very particular and stubborn). He loved it! Sold! Here are the pictures from the website that I snapped with my cellphone so we could show our parents what we were getting.

But now what? I've never actually bought anything from Craigslist before. Sure, the hubby had sold a couple of tools about a year ago, but he handled all the communication on that. There wasn't a phone number listed, so I emailed the seller immediately. Told her we thought the price was totally reasonable, but our only concern was the width of the piece (too wide), so I asked again for the exact measurements just to be sure. The seller emailed back within 10 minutes and confirmed the measurements. We thought about it for a little while, and decided that we loved the piece so much, and since this living arrangement is only temporary, we'd go ahead and get it.

The only potential problem was that we wouldn't be able to go and get it until Saturday morning. And the seller wasn't sure if she'd have any left (turns out she had like 13 identical cabinets). She wanted me to contact her before we left for Orlando to double check that she still had one - if she did, she would hold it for us at that point. Luckily, everything worked out, and we were able to pick up the piece from their warehouse Saturday morning.

My stepdad was nice enough to loan us his truck. We were hoping we might be able to fit the piece into the hubby's car once we had it back at my parents house, but that simply wasn't going to happen. So, the hubby and I drove the truck back to our house (which is two hours, round trip, from my parents) to unload the piece. We stopped by my sisters house and borrowed their dolly. Without that thing, there was no way the hubby and I would have been able to get it up a flight of stairs by ourselves. In the words of the hubby, "That piece is SOLID."

When we finally got to our place, we realized we were going to be racing against the incoming storm...

I didn't take any pictures of us trying to get this thing upstairs. I was a little preoccupied.

We set it in our dining room against the only cleared wall we had at the time. We both knew it would eventually move somewhere else, but for now it was going to work. Even the cats seemed to be excited about the new addition.

So, how much was this buffet? I'm sure you're dying to know! Well, it actually fit right at the top of our budget for this piece of furniture. It came out to an even FIFTY BUCKS! Yep, 5-0. One whole Ulysses S. Grant. Now do you understand the school girl squeal? You should have seen my mother-in-law's face when I told her how much we paid for it - her jaw seriously dropped. If you want to get technically, it cost us a little more than that with all the driving back and forth we had to do, but I still say it was a steal!

The piece is 3 feet high, 4 feet long, and 2 feet wide. It seems to be made of solid wood. The front panels seem to be clear plexiglass. The seller taped some white cardboard behind it to make it look more white/frosted. The hubby and I are considering frosting those pieces anyways.

On the inside are pull-out shelves. It looks like they had some type of plexiglass dividers in them, but the seller had run out of pieces for that. As it is, I don't think I want them anyways, so we'll probably take those out some where down the road. So far the pull-out shelves are working for us. But, we haven't crossed out the possibility of taking them out (or maybe just one set) and replacing them with standard shelves. Why? Well, I originally wanted to store our wine glasses in there, and I don't feel comfortable with them sitting in a movable shelf. But we'll see and I promise to keep you posted.

Sorry for the blurry shots... I was trying to snap pictures while also shooing away the cats.

The top is Formica, and it's pretty scratched up along the edges. The seller was nice enough to rotate the top so that the worse side was facing the wall. We're thinking about getting some white craft paint and just touching up the nicks for now. Eventually we'd like to replace the top, but we're going to wait until we have our own home and see what we want to do with it then.

Yesterday I moved the piece along the wall with all of the picture frames, which I think is where its going to stay for now. I might move the pictures frames over to the adjacent wall and find something else to put above the buffet. The whole room just looks a little unbalanced to me right now. We decided to move the fish tank into our living room, so that should help some. But this room still needs a lot of work to make it work.

Last night after the hubby got home, he helped me move the fish tank into the living room. I moved one of the chairs into the empty void there to balance out the chair on the other side. If we put all four chairs around the table, the area just looks crowded. It looks a little funny with just two chairs around such a large table, but for now I think we're going to live with it this way. We're entertaining the idea of finding a small, square, wooden dining table to replace our current table. Neither one of us has ever been a fan of this table - but it was free, so we've learned to live with it.

Anyways, this is what the set up currently looks like...

 (the sign is from our wedding reception)

But there you have it. Our first Craigslist purchase. And the first piece of furniture that we've actually shelled out some dough for. I couldn't be happier with the piece! Have you snagged any good deals lately? Maybe at a thrift store or yard sale? I love hearing stories about good deals!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I like the one you ended up getting more than all the retail priced ones. Love the color and the doors. I have bought a few things on Craigslist. Such a great source for furniture. I like you refuse to pay all that money. Great find!



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