my favorite craigslist search terms

Marian ParsonsAntiques, buying & selling antiques, buying & selling antiques, Shopping Tips, Shopping Tips

If you haven’t picked up on it, yet, I am an avid “craigslister”.  It started with one dining room table about 9 years ago and it has become my go-to place to browse for furniture and other miscellaneous things.

I love that I never know what I’m going to find.  I love that you can weed through all of the junk and find some real gems for a good price.  I love that I can shop from the comfort of my sofa.  I think it’s all-around awesome.

I shared a bunch of my best tips for shopping craigslist HERE, but I wanted to update and expand the search terms I use, since I was asked and that it can change depending on trends and what I’m into.

Before I share the terms I use, I want to mention that I aways search in all “for sale” categories.  People put stuff in strange categories sometimes and this way I can find everything that might be listed in antiques, furniture, housewares, garden, building supplies, etc.  It casts a wider net.

So, for a piece like the “craigslist counter” I’ll use search terms like…

counter | shop | store | display | industrial | file cabinet

I found this antique candy counter on my local craigslist with just those search terms.  At $600, it was a bit more than I wanted to spend and I couldn’t think of a practical home use for it, which is key for resale, so I passed.

But how cool is that piece?!

When searching a word like “counter”, you do have to wade through counter stools, change counters, and kitchen counters, but finding an old shop counter is possibile!  You never know.

For a piece like the antique French breakdown wardrobe, I’ll try…

antique | wood | old | dresser | wardrobe | cabinet | armoire | French | European

One of my favorite things to search for lately has been primitives, like this gorgeous antique step-back cupboard.  So, I’ll search…

primitive | rustic | farmhouse | cupboard | dry sink | bead board | pie safe

I also bought the Bergere chairs off of craigslist as well as the Gustavian sofa below…

…and all of my dining chairs…


For upholstery, I’ll search…

chair | sofa | couch | settee | wing chair | arm chair | cane

I do come across a lot of ugly, overstuffed upholstered pieces (and walking canes), but I find something worth pursuing every now and then.  I seem to hit streaks.  I have definitely had an empire dresser streak, a French chair streak, and I seem to be on a cupboard and table streak at the moment.

And, when I’m looking for something specific, like a drafting table, I always start with the most general description and narrow it down from there.

So, when I was looking for a drafting table for my studio, I simply searched “drafting table” to see what came up.  Obvious, I know, but I thought I would mention it just to share I don’t have any super secret method!

The key thing to remember is that your search terms are only going to work if someone knows what they have and how to describe it.  There are people who list things all the time without even writing a description.

Shopping on craigslist takes time and patience.  I think I find a lot of good stuff, because I look frequently and I try a lot of different search terms to see what they yield.  Sometimes I’ll just search “old” or “wood” to see if I can find something that’s been overlooked.  Sometimes I do and sometimes it’s just a rabbit hole.

That’s all a part of shopping on craigslist, though!

Speaking of listing things on craigslist, I just listed the Ikea Ektorp sofa that’s in my studio.  I need to clear some things out, so it’s up for grabs.  It’s $100, but that’s mostly for the two almost new slipcovers that go with it.  One is oatmeal and one is white twill.  You can view the listing HERE if you’re local and interested.

my favorite craigslist search terms

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