Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coffee Table Sneak Peak

The other project I had to finish up was my $15 (!) craigslist coffee table. This didn't take long at all, especially compared to how long the cabinet took. I'll let the paint and stain cure while we're gone and when we get back I'll distress the edges a bit, since they'll get distressed anyway.

Here's what it used to look like:

And here's what it looks like right now:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cabinet Sneak Peak

There's nothing like a firm deadline to give me the extra push I need to finish up my projects. We're heading out on a roadtrip to visit family on Monday, so I had to get all my painting finished and the pieces brought inside. The paint will cure while we're gone, and I'll put it all back together when we ge back.

In the meantime, here's a reminder of what the cabinet used to look like:

And a sneak peak of what it looks like now:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How I find great deals on ebay and craigslist

I've found some great deals on ebay and craigslist and ebay, but it takes some patience and some know-how.

On ebay, I search for whatever it is I'm looking for, say a twin size chamois sheet from PBK. I don't want to be too broad, but I also don't want to be too narrow in my search. My search parameter in this case would be: (PBK, Pottery Barn) chamois sheet twin. When the results are returned, you have the option to "Save this search and alert me later". If you click on that and follow the instructions ebay will email you every day with any new items that match this search.

Every day I check my email to see if something has been listed that I'm looking for. Usually not, but every so often there will be one I want to keep an eye on, so I save it to my watch list. From there it's just a matter of keeping an eye on the auction (ie, not forgetting when it will end!) and deciding how much I want to spend and not spending more than that. I tend to place my bid in the last 30-45 seconds, which prevents me from upping my bid if my bid isn't high enough and usually prevents others from outbidding me.

On craigslist, I've been searching for various furniture items, so I have much broader search parameters: I search in 'furniture', leaving the search for box blank so everything will come through (people call things by so many different names, it's best to err on the side of too many results rather than too few), and  putting a price limit on it- minimum 0, maximum $60. Once the results come through, I copy the url and add it to my google reader feeds. Several times a day anything that's been posted that matches that criteria shows up in my reader, which is much easier than visiting craigslist multiple times a day. Once the posts pop up, it's just a matter of deciding if I want to call on anything that came up.

Have you found any great deals on ebay or craigslist?

edited to add:
If I won't be home, or am too busy too watch an ebay auction end, I use auctionstealer. It's a sniping program that allows 3 free snipes per week (the week starts on Sunday) and places your bid (up to the maximum you stated) in the last 10-12 seconds. If you pay a small monthly fee, you can use it more frequently and it will place your bid in the last 3-4 seconds. I don't use it that often, so I've never bothered with the expense. The program is easy to use, and I've never had any problems with it, and have won a number of auctions using it.