Since the beginning of the year I have purchased a couch off Craigslist and sold a dresser and a chaise lounge on it.
I think we can all agree that this makes me an expert and, as such, I can give advice.
For the buyer.......
Tip #1: It would be best to leave your husband out of these dealings, but unfortunately he has upper body strength that you lack and so he must be a part of this.
He will bitch about it every step of the way. He will say, "Why can't we just go buy a new couch? Why can't we go in a store, pick one out and HAVE THEM DELIVER IT? This makes sense for a few minutes but then you will snap back to reality and say, "No no no. I have spent months hunting couches from Craig and I cannot let you stop me from flushing this one out." You will make him come along to look at it which adds to the excitement. Will these people be open carry kind of sellers or pocket knife stabby sellers? You say to tag-along spouse, "You have to admit you can't buy this kind of adrenaline rush at Ikea." He will not answer for fear of exploding.
Tip #2: When he says you probably should pass because the legs don't screw off IGNORE HIM. This is one of those man fixations. He will keep talking about THE LEGS SCREWING OFF until you're pretty sure the needle is stuck in his head and needs a good whap. '"Enough with the legs," you will say to him. "Why do the ding dang legs need to come off anyways?" Sheesh.
Tip #3: Go to Home Depot to rent a truck by the hour because THE LEGS DON'T SCREW OFF and so the couch won't fit in the back of your baby SUV like you had planned.
Tip #4: Carry your insurance card like you're told to do all the times or Home Depot won't rent you the truck you need because THE LEGS DON'T SCREW OFF. Go home to get it and say to peeved husband who needs to go to work even though it's a Saturday and you think that's just wrong, "But isn't this great that we get to spend even more time together?" Ignore the veins popping out of his peeved head and offer him a granola bar.
Tip #5: Use the full force of your ass to shove your new/used couch through the front door because THE LEGS DON'T SCREW OFF.
Tip #6: If the color is slightly more purpley than gray once you get it in the house be sure to say to the husband, "I don't know. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea." And after he gives you a seething look thank your lucky stars that THE LEGS DON'T SCREW OFF or you'd be sporting one up the full force of your ass.
Now for the fun part. The selling.....
Tip #1: Write a gushing post about the MANY qualities of this piece of furniture even though it's like an albatross around your neck and if you don't get rid of it soon you will haul it down to your neighbor's grill and set it there after he's gone in the house with the burgers and run away.
Tip #2: Always say it's in perfect condition even if it isn't. This is called bait and bait.
Tip #3: Check your email every five minutes for days. When there are no takers completely give up on your life.
Tip #4: When someone finally does show some interest tell them a good story about listed piece. Respond that it is BREAKING YOUR HEART to sell this but one of the kids moved back home and there's no room for it. None of this needs to be factually correct. You are selling them something not marrying them.
Tip #5: Agree on a time and date for the buyer to look at the furniture. Decide then that maybe you should take a looky loo at this thing that you're selling. Find out that "perfect condition" may have been overstated. Too late. It's already in cyberspace with all the naked pictures.
Tip #6: Haul piece up the basement stairs - you pulling and husband pushing. Bitch endlessly about your shoulder to elicit sympathy from husband. Find out husband is so over you.
Tip #7: Notice tiny white spots on piece. Is that paint splatters? WTF? Pick every one off. Use black sharpie to fill in scratches on brown wood because it's close enough where you come from. Threaten to beat the cat who keeps jumping his hairy self onto your anally vacuumed winning lotto ticket.
Tip #8: Decide to take it out on the driveway for buyer to see since it's such a nice afternoon. Husband says, "Hey, let's use that 2' cart thingamajig in the basement." Fall back in love with husband because he's finally on board with your life's destiny. Balance 7' piece of teetering furniture on 2' of cart and roll out the front door and down three steps. What could go wrong?
Tip #9: Examine everything that went wrong. Entire bottom scratched from cramming out the front door and a small tear in the upholstery. Curse like a sailor in the driveway. Chuckle when neighbor says, "Having trouble over there?" Ask husband why neighbors can't mind their own beeswax. Husband says, "You never do. Why should they?" Go in the house and get a bigger sharpie, needle and thread.
Tip #10: Greet would-be buyers like long lost favorite cousin. Get weepy talking about THE ALBATROSS and tell them how you sure liked to curl up on it and read a book with a hot cup of tea and some chocolate chip cookies. This is called romanticizing the object which is better than saying that it's been in the basement for two years with an endless pile of crap and a cat on it.
Tip #11: Give buyer husband the stinkeye when he goes right to the tear that you just mended. Say nothing. Keep your trap shut for once in your life.
Tip #12: Close the deal Pocket the money, shove ALBATROSS in their pickup truck, tell 'em you hope they love it as much as you did, wave a friendly goodbye, go in the house.
Tip #13: Lock the damn door.
After all, it is Craigslist.