Take Caution Using Craigslist
It almost goes without saying, but I’ll say it: Scammers abound on CL. While I’ve had great experiences every purchase I’ve made, I suggest approaching it with patience and an abundance of caution:
Give Craigy a Fake Email
Use a fake email address and even a fake name when signing up for Craigslist. I have a special email address that I use for things like this. While it’s true that your email is never revealed as long as you’re emailing through the CL site, in all the back and forth correspondence regarding questions and answers and logistics, it’s very easy to lose track and accidentally reply using your personal email. You never want to do this, so go fake with your CL account from the get-go and there’s no way it will ever happen.
Don’t text the seller, even if they instruct you to. Some scammers just want your mobile number so they can send you phishing links and get you to click. If the CL seller is legit, they’ll be perfectly willing to email you through the CL site to make the deal if they know you are for real. After a few rounds of emails negotiating price, making a pick up date, learning the location and logistics, you’ll get a better sense for the person on the other end, and then you can text.
Don’t Go Alone
Every seller is going to want cash. If you’ve ever sold anything on CL, you’ll have done your research and you’d know better than to accept a cashier’s check, Paypal, or any other form of payment other than cash. So has your seller. They will want cash, and it can feel uncomfortable to carry large amounts of cash. Therefore… do not go to the pick up alone. In this case, I took 3 moving men plus both my parents, who happened to be visiting me at the time.
Get Measurements for Everything
Measure the room where the furniture will go, the doorways to your home, the doorways to your building, your elevator, the moving van—in your mind, walk the trail of how the furniture will get out of the person’s home, into a truck, and into your building. I had two near misses with this furniture. 1. The bed cabinet is just 2 inches shy of hitting the ceiling fan when we bring down the bed. I knew this before I purchased it, because I measured—twice. 2. The bed cabinet did not fit in my elevator and had to be disassembled and reassembled by nonprofessionals (movers), who charged more per hour than the furniture technician that I eventually had to hire.
Be Sure You Get ALL the Parts and Hardware
Inspect the furniture and make sure you have all the hardware. I either left behind or lost some important brackets. When we assembled it without them, it got stuck in the down position and wouldn’t go back up.
Have a Helper
Consider Contacting the Manufacturer in Advance
Resource furniture was so nice to deal with when I finally reached out to them about the problem with the bed. They sent a technician over who quickly sussed out the problem and ordered the missing pieces. And he was less expensive per hour than the movers had been, and very familiar with the furniture. I could have hired him from the beginning to disassemble the furniture at the seller’s place and reassemble it at my home and it would have saved us money (and sweat) in the end. In addition, I learned a lot from him about how the furniture works. Plus I was able to order a new slipcover for the sofa and learned it comes in dozens of colors and fabrics.
Finally, if you’re troubleshooting a Clei bed yourself, know that you will not find any schematics online—believe me, I checked—and this is probably to protect the patent. There are a lot of copycat murphy beds out there, and many are not very well made. I’m sure the knockoff artists would love to get their hands on actual drawings. The mechanism for transforming the furniture isn’t transparent, because all the works are all cleverly hidden, which is what makes the design esthetic so appealing. Within 10 minutes of examining the bed, the technician had the problem solved. There were two missing brackets, which keep the sofa frame from dipping down too low when the bed is lowered. If the sofa frame tilts low enough to touch the ground, it locks the bed in the down position. Push the latches all you want, they won’t bring the bed back up. To unlock this requires two people, one under the bed lifting the sofa frame off the floor while the second person unlatches the bed and pushes it up. The brackets are on order, and I know how to install them when they get here.
Even after all the time and sweat, I don’t regret at all purchasing this beauty secondhand. I got it for less than one-third the retail cost, and already it’s adding extra utility to our spare room/home office.