Post an Item Wanted Ad
If you can't find what you're looking for, try posting your own ad. Though the 'Items Wanted' section of Craigslist gets far less love than the 'For Sale' category does (or 'Missed Connections', for that matter), it can't hurt to post a list of the items you're looking for so that your furniture search is visible to would-be sellers, especially if you're thinking of continuing the search process for a week or so. You needn't be too specific here--just list the items that you're looking for. If possible, post a phone number in your listing, too; sellers generally prefer the immediacy of a phone call. Also, check out our other Craigslist tips stories ("Craigslist Expert Tips: Better Ways to Buy and Sell" and "10 Craigslist Tips for Power Users") for more help in finding what you need.
Closing the Deal
Once you discover it, you need to buy it--and doing so isn't a simple matter of clicking 'Buy It Now'. Fortunately, we've assembled a few tips that will help you seal the deal and get to work in your new office.
1. Speed it up. Most people on Craigslist want to move their stuff as quickly as possible--within minutes or hours, not days. If they provide a phone number in the posting, it's because they want you to call it rather than send them an e-mail note. If you have to use e-mail, include your phone number in your contact information so the seller can contact you immediately. To minimize the odds of having the ideal office chair pulled out from under you, you need to buy that chair as quickly as possible. Also, dithering over transportation arrangements can cost you time and money: If you need a truck, line it up before you start the Craigslist search process, so it'll be ready to go when you need to pounce.
2. Indicate interest. People are busy and don't want to wade through a dozen diffident potential buyers to find one who will follow through. Asking plenty of questions during your initial phone call is a good way to get detailed information about the goods in question and show the seller that you're more interested in buying them than whoever else has called. In certain circumstances, establishing a clear interest in the item can be more important than speed; after all, if I'm using my valuable after-work free time to sell this thing, I want to deal with someone who won't waste my time.
3. Look for people with multiple listings. People who are getting rid of office furniture are probably, well, clearing out an office--which means that they usually have several items to sell (listed together or separately) and are more inclined to deal with (and perhaps cut a deal with) people who offer to buy more than one item. One-stop shopping saves you multiple trips around town, too.
Hopefully these tips will help you get your office up and running on time and under budget. For more budget-friendly business tips, check out "How to Start an Online Business for $100."