I Just Want to Buy a Craigslist Sleigh Bed!

redbazelJanuary 21, 2012

....Or "Slay" bed as some spell it. I would even buy a Padded headboard and mount it to a metal frame. I might even consider something a little different than what I have in mind.

But I can't get any Craigslist seller cooperation, and I've been looking since December. I can find the beds, but either most posters don't have a phone number listed and only have the email address, or even if they have a phone number, they don't answer or don't return the call in any kind of immediate time frame. I just spent another fruitless Sat morning finding 3 possibles and NONE had phone numbers! It's so frustrating. Two weekends ago, I finally broke down and emailed for information on a bed I loved. That was Saturday morning. The return call came in on Sunday just before we left for a meeting at 4p.m. I'm not going to look at a bed or move a bed or load a bed in the dark, so I thanked her and moved on. Last weekend, the next seller emailed me back a day later and again, it was nighttime so I passed on that. Monday, I had MLK day off and tried to go look at stuff in the morning, right after the sellers had posted. One didn't answer her phone even though the ad had just posted. She called me back that night.

You get a day off, you find something, you want to go buy it. You don't want to get a return email one or two days later. I do understand that sometimes the seller's convenient time and my convenient time won't mesh. But this email addy only stuff is really cramping my ability to furnish my second bedroom.


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When I see something I want, I email them immediately. That is the best way to get a response and put your own telephone number in the email. Most often they call or email me. Of course if it's not the first day of the listing then you're competing with many other possible buyers so I always write a very polite email and add, "I'm very very interested, please let me know if it's sold so I don't keep checking my email constantly. Thank you so much" It's amazing how fast these items sell so it's understandable if they don't get to every one but speed is of the essence.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:07PM
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I get that, yayagal, especially the point about checking on things that have been listed for a little while, but my point is, that when they post a phone number, you can find out if it's sold or not, and maybe even go look right away, without tying yourself down to your own computer, like I've done all morning!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Sorry that you are having such a hard time.

I feel the opposite. I would rather email (with my junk email address) than call someone. Same for selling. I feel you should not list your phone number, especially your home number. Those can be traced to an address, and you do not want strangers showing up at your door without notice.

Have you tried to local antique/junks shops? or a relative? My daughter just inherited a sleigh bed from my mother. :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Well, I do see it's a point of view thing, that's why so many don't include a phone number. I've just been viewing CL the same as any newspaper classified ad like I've been calling on for many years. YOU have something to sell, you put in an ad and your phone number, hoping to get someone willing to call you and come see your item. I look at the ads, find something that looks possible, call and after finding out if the item is what I think it is, I get your address and go take a look. I just find the whole email thing slows it down if I want to go look at it right away. And I don't want to go at night. I just don't.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:13PM
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No, don't ever go at night unless you have someone with you, and the neighborhood is safe.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I don't know any sane person who would put their phone number on craigslist! That's an unrealistic expectation.

You need to expand your timeline. :) You are simply not going to get instant results from email contacts. People often post on one day and do not have access to email at work to be able to respond. They'll do it later that night when they get home. 2 days for email back and forth to find a mutually agreeable time is is a short process for a craigslist transaction. If you have to limit your transactions to daylight hours, you will also drastically cut out many suitable prospects. If you do not feel comfortable going to a strangers home after dark by yourself, you need to enlist a family member or friend to go with you. Or you will be giving up a lot of nice things to others who are willing to pick it up after dark.

I've never had any problems with any transaction, either daylight or dark and always by myself. Only once did I get my sister to go with me, and that was for muscle not a bodyguard. Of course, I have ground rules that I won't violate, such as asking detailed questions and asking for extra pictures. That proves that the merchandise exists, and how someone answers the questions give you a feeling if they are being truthful about the merchandise. I only go to certain areas of town after dark, namely my suburb, the wealthier other local suburbs, and the university area. Of course, those areas have the best stuff rather than the more economically challenged ones, so that's not a hard rule to keep to!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 5:50PM
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You don't have to go right when they email you. Just make contact and find an agreeable day and time.

I often look at an item several days after contact. Often times just being able to communicate will rule things in or out with just good questions.

I always email my husband's name and number for the initial contact.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Why not try a "wanted" listing on Cl? You might find someone who doesn't want to go through the whole SALE thing but who would be glad to work with an interested buyer one-on-one. Or someone who didn't know they wanted to sell until they saw that you are looking for exactly what they've got. I'm not sure if you could list it in the regular furniture listings or if you'd have to put it in the Wanted category. Good luck, Red!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 7:15PM
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CLs is a weird place but you can get some fantastic stuff so don't give up. I would never, ever, ever post a phone # on CLs. I only exchange #s with someone when it is necessary - like when I am going to view an item or someone is coming to view an item.

I was looking for cabinets on CLs and I was not getting any responses. I discovered that if I clicked on the email link in the CLs ad the message was not making it through the firewall that I have set up. To make sure my inquire was getting out I need to click on the email link and them copy and paste the email address into a new email send directly from my email account in order for the email to reach the seller.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Dearest Red,
This is just one more piece of evidence that you need to be elected Queen of the World and I will gladly be on your campaign team. Only then will you have the power and influence to enforce your unerring sense of how to operate in this world as a functional being to those so in need of your direction. The masses need your guidance on how to be most productive while juggling the minutiae of life that otherwise distracts those of us not blessed with your laser focus and extraordinary multi-tasking abilities. You somehow manage to move through life as a whirlwind of accomplishment, using your remarkable insight into human nature and scathing sense of humor to facilitate your objectives, and I am continually amazed by your prowess in the game of life.
Help us, Red. You're our only hope.

Your humble servant,
DLM2000 :)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:32AM
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If you want a quick response and daylight pickup hours, then perhaps a furniture store would be more suited to the way you want to shop. They take credit cards too!

Not trying to be nasty, it's just that I think you have an unrealistic view of what Craigslist is. It's a bulletin board for the masses, and the only people who post phone numbers for the public to see would be those who are trying to do scams or the naive. If you were selling something, would you let a stranger have your phone number or let them into your home into your home after a single email contact?

Your caution on meeting buyers goes both ways! You are not the only possible person at risk here. People who just want to recycle some of their furniture and get a few bucks for it will want to email back and forth a bit before they feel you are a legit buyer and are comfortable letting you into their home. And, with work and soccer and grocery shopping, even setting up a meeting with someone that you've gotten comfortable with might take a day or two. And that time might be after soccer practice and grocery shopping so it might be after dark. Find a friend who's willing to go with you for those meetings. You'll need the help to load up the stuff anyway! And you can return the favor when she wants to buy a table and chairs.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Nope, I never give out a phone number -- either when I'm placing the ad or even when a person has set up a time to come see the item. I do e-mail only. That gives me (and the prospective buyer) time to answer any questions about size, condition or whatever that perhaps the buyer didn't understand or that I might have absentmindedly forgotten in the ad. And it's a cautious move on the buyer's part, too.
And THEN I give the buyer my address.

Sometimes it works out that everybody's schedules mesh. It can irritate me, too, when I have to wait.

I don't understand with the return call that came on Sunday -- would the person not consider holding on to the item another day or two (or until the weekend) for you? Did you ask?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Deb, You get me. You are absolutely right. I do want to control how things work when I have some time off and want to go do something, buy something, or find something. It's so wonderful to be completely understood. Now I need make no apologies for my demanding nature! (And to think I used to mock Mr. Red for being annoyed that Home Depot was closed on holidays that HE wanted to get work done!)

And all kidding aside.....Deb IS right. I really do think that this should be easier. After all, you can't sell anything or buy anything without meeting somehow, some way. And some of the same people who craigslist also put their stuff out on the drive for a garage sale, posting their own (horrors!) address and even buying neon pink signs to slow down traffic and direct them to their home. As I mentioned before, there are Thrifty Nickel ads and newspaper classified ads that have worked well for decades, with only...

"Nice Queen Anne table, 6 chairs. $300. 555-1212"

You don't get a photo, so the phone call is a must. You ask a few questions about condition and color. You find out if the seller is 10 minutes away or on the outside of nowhere. You get a feel for them and they for you. It's about the best you can do if you want to buy used furniture and they don't have what you want at the consignment store/thrift shop/antique mall.

Folkvictorian, I've never tried a "Wanted" ad. I might think about that. But GreenDesigns has me pegged pretty well, that I don't want it to cut both ways. I want to sit here drinking coffee, scroll through 50 photos, then, maybe email or call a couple that I'm interested in, and then decide if I want to make a trip across town. I don't really want to field a dozen phone calls with texted pix from the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. But I may come to that.

I completely disagree with Hollysprings' first sentence, but Holly, I do like the way you worded your last paragraph, and I pretty much do my CL shopping the same way, except that I occasionally take DH with me for his truck and fabulous tarping abilities.

My "not at night" rule is not hard and fast. If it's something I really want, I will go at night and bring DH. Mostly, I don't want to fool with going to look at stuff at night. And I don't want him to have to load stuff at night, or unload into the garage at night. For that, I use my son in law.

So, the general consensus is to cut these people some slack? All right. Fine. It's annoying to be told that the Used/Antique Furniture World does not revolve around me. I can barely believe it. May have to make some Pecan Muffins and brew a fresh pot of coffee, sit down with the dog on my lap and cogitate on that for a bit....

Deb? You are wicked. You know that.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:19PM
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It's annoying to be told that the Used/Antique Furniture World does not revolve around me. I can barely believe it.

hahahaha, thanks for a good chuckle, Red. As usual I don't have any helpful advice. The only times I've looked at CL, after seeing some fantastical find by someone here, I only find stuff worse than the stuff I'm trying to get out of my house.

Good luck. Can't wait to see what you, eventually, buy.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:52PM
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red- to me, this is simply the price for admission. There are some great deals to be had, but it isn't going to be anywhere near as easy or smooth as running down to the store. Set your expectations low and prepare to be impressed!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Ah Red, sellers make the rules, don't you know that?

Here are some things you may want to consider from someone who has been buying and selling heavily on CL for several years...

1. I have a hearing loss, hence it's much more productive to do business by email. An ad that says phone is the only contact method, I usually skip over unless it is absolutely, without a doubt, THE perfect _________. And then I usually have to get DH to call, and that is not a good thing on so many levels.

2. What if I posted the ad at 2am? Would I want or expect someone to call me at that hour because they "want it NOW!" That would be "NO!" Works the other way for me too; I wouldn't call someone at that hour, knowing full well they had just placed the ad and probably are available. It's not appropriate. Email I can do at my leisure either way. Everybody's hours are different.

3. I, and most I would guess, ENJOY the photo for the phone number/20 questions trade-off. Big time and gas saver! I skip over ads with no photos, too.

4. There are too many weirdos out there... you're in the minority here and you're definitely in the minority on CL. The Thrifty Nickle scenario, I'm against also. I would never have my phone number printed in the newspaper, then or now, cheap classified rag or major news outlet. A lot of people who do list their phone numbers on CL try to disguise them by typing some of the numbers out or other equally clever things, which, to my understanding, do nothing to protect them.

If I had a sleigh bed for sale it probably wouldn't get sold to you because you want to play by Red's rules. I'm the seller, I make the rules. You don't like my rules, I'll sell it to the next sleigh bed lover who will. There are far too many out there.

Just this last Friday someone emailed me 2 hours after I had updated and edited my ad with sizes and prices of boards I had left for sale (I'd had at least one of each size available when I placed the ad). This person emails the question, and I quote "What sizes do you have left? Prices?" Why would I want to field that over the phone? It's right there in the ad, fool! I'm not making that much on these things anyway, if I've got to spend time with you on the phone, profit just goes downhill from there. Via email, I can just ignore it or remail them at my leisure to look at the updated ad in the same amount of time it would take me just to dial a telephone number.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:23PM
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My only suggestion is to wait until summer when you have more daylight hours to inspect the merchandise. ;)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Interesting about the phone numbers. On our local CL (smaller city), emails typically result in spam from people wanting to deal in cashiers checks and shipping companies, or else people who ask "is XXX still available?" I respond "yes, call XXX-XXX-XXXX if you want to arrange a time to come see it" and they never answer back.

So now I put my phone number in the ad and tell them to call or text. I get serious buyers that way, with whom I can have a dialog. Never had any problems, and never had any crank calls or axe murderers showing up on my doorstep. Perhaps there are fewer wacko's in our neck of the woods, but CL emails have been nothing but headache.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I hope you find your bed, Red!

I would never put my phone number on Craigslist either. Nor would I ever go alone, or at night. Sadly, I'm just not that trusting of people anymore. . .

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:22PM
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when i am emailing about an item for sale, i always leave my husband's cell number (and make sure hubs is updated.)

with craigslist, if it's truly a deal, the item won't last.
i remember when i was looking for a car, i would refresh the 1st page every 10 minutes, to insure i was the first to call when a new ad came out.
otherwise, it gets too darned competitive.
i have often made arrangements with seller, to meet following weekend...
so yeah, it can take awhile.

patience and flexibility...
you should be good to go.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:31PM
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That is the whole trade-off for buying on Craigslist vs retail. You spend your time and energy instead of your money. It's a big game to see if you can "win" and save a load of cash. Some people have no patience for that. I think about it every time I go into Marshall's, TJ Maxx or Home Goods and have to wait forever to be checked out. I'm paying with my time rather than my bank account. Sure, I could go straight to the local department store and be waited upon immediately, but the same item would cost more in hard-earned cash. Same when I buy groceries in Wally World vs. Publix. Frequently, when you go the cheap route, it costs more in time. But I'm all about cheap and I LOVE craigslist. :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Thanks for all responses, even the ones that totally disagree with how I want things to happen on Craigslist!!

Update: I hoped to be able to update with a finished room and the bed, but time and illness and having to fly to Florida twice in the last 6 weeks has interrupted my room redo.
I finally all but gave up the idea and then, one day, I saw it! It was late March and was on the San Francisco CL about 3 hours away. Also, the guy didn't post his phone number. So, I immediately emailed him, told him I was interested and added my phone. Didn't hear anything for hours!! So, sent a second email and new subject line, asking an extra question. I wanted MY email to rise to the top. I got a response and he told me I was the first in line and that if I REALLY wanted it, he would hold it till I could drive up on the weekend! (this was about Tues...) He included his number and sent me his address. We kept in touch and he stressed that he was not negotiable on the price. He also told me that if I found I couldn't come, just give him a call it would be all right, because he had six people wanting it. (I paid $220 for those who care about such things)
I was purely excited and just hoping to be over the flu by that Saturday. DH and I jumped in the truck by 7am Sat morning, (I was still sick but going anyway...) and got to his (absolutely gorgeous hillside home) place at the stated time, handed over my money and the boys loaded it up. The drive was wonderful, the area a treat for the eyes, and I can't wait to have the time to get things the way I want in the room.

Here's a photo of the bed right off Craigslist...There were other closeups he had online and also emailed me, but this one shows the style. It's even better in person, since I LOVE the rustic look.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:40PM
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So happy for you...now we need to see it in your room. :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 7:30PM
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I haven't read the whole thread so forgive me if this was mentioned already.
Email them from another email acct if you don't get a response from the seller in a timely manner.
Some email accts send CL messages right to spam.

There's a Sleighbed on my CL.. The seller wants $1,000. Too rich for my blood.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Fabulous! And worth the wait --

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:14AM
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