I have to admit, Craigslist E-mail Alerts feature is really useful. You can do a search on Craigslist and up near the search bar there is a link that says “email alert”.
You can then sign in and add an e-mail alert. For some searches, the number of alerts may excessive and annoying. However, it’s a good way to snag a good deal early. One item I’ve been looking for is an LG front-load washer. We had one back in Raleigh, and loved it, and then there’s one where we’re living now, and we love it. If you get the right model, it’s a big machine, and it cleans well, and it spins fast to give you fairly dry clothes for quick drying. However, I was afraid I’d never find a good deal on a used one. But, as it so happened, there was someone who wanted to switch from a front-load washer to a top-load washer, so he was getting rid of his LG front load washer (the identical model to what we had in Raleigh), and he put it up on Craigslist for $135. (The washer was around $800 new 5 years ago.) I called him within about 15 minutes of him posting the ad, and I scored the washer. It was in much better shape than I expected. It was shining clean and had no signs of wear or tear. They played nice with their machines.
After buying the washing machine, conveniently located in Lynnwood – just a bit away from Mukilteo, which is where the Whidbey-to-Mainland ferry lands – I headed over to Lowes to pickup some non-project related items, and then to the Habitat Store in Lynnwood. Of the Habitat for Humanity stores in the region that I’ve visited so far, this one most consistently has the best deals. I chatted briefly with the manager, and she said her policy is to price things well from the start so they move quickly. But additionally, they color code their items so that they get discounted further automatically if they don’t sell. During this visit, red tag items were 60% off and blue tag items were 30% off (and green and yellow tag items – the most recent items on the floor – were priced as marked). So, if you get a well-priced item that’s 60% off, you’ve got yourself a bargain. Despite their aggressive pricing, they manage to get enough donations to keep their store well-stocked.
So, during this visit, I found 2 more brand-new windows, both identical 6-foot-wide by 4-foot-tall windows (where half the window slides to open) that meet the energy code (u-factor of 0.30 is required, these still had the stick saying they had a u-factor of 0.29, where lower is better). They were priced at $75 each, but because they had a blue tag, they were $52.50 each after the discount. I also found a decent normal-size bathtub that was priced at $40, but it had a red tag that brought it down to $16. Finally, they had a bunch of brand-new Square D load centers (main breaker panel for the house). I got a 200 amp value pack, that included the box, ground bars, 200 amp main breaker, 5 20-amp breakers and one 2-pole 30 amp breaker. The item was not discounted, but at $50 it was still a good buy. I also picked up 3 more boxes of LED lights with 4 bulbs each for $10 per box, which is a price subsidized by the utility.