I’ve blogged many times about my love of Craigslist, and how I’ve used it to save money over the years. Over the last six weeks or so, I’ve been flipping furniture on CL and am shocked at just how profitable that can be. Spefically, when you are wheeling and dealing mid century modern furniture. Let’s look at a few case studies shall we…

Case Study 1: 

Girl Ninja and I had been using a black ikea cube bookshelf thingy as a storage space behind our couch. I hated how cluttered it always looked and decided it was time to look in to getting an actual credenza for our space. I came across this guy for $120 on CL. I offered $90 and the seller accepted.


After realizing it was waaaaaay too small for our space, I decided to put it up on CL for $350 and see what happened. I’ll tell you what happened. Someone paid me $350 and bought it.

Profit: $260

Case Study 2: 

I made $260 in profit from my first credenza so figured it was only logical to roll that money in to another credenza. One that better fit our space. I paid $250 for this Lane Rhythm credenza…


I did a little refinishing. About 30 minutes worth of work, sanding down the top and staining it to make it shine. I sold it for $650 less than 24 hours after buying it.

Profit: $400

Case Study 3: 

I wanted to dabble with two tone furniture, so I was on the hunt for a mid century dresser. Found this guy for $200 on CL (paid $150 for it after negotiating)…


I put about two hours worth of work in to this guy. Doing some light sanding, priming, and then painting, with leftover white paint I had on hand. This is what it looked like when I was done…

I was super happy with the end result and felt like I just Pinterested the crap out of the dresser. I posted it up for $400, and it sold quickly.

Profit: $250.

Case Study 4: 

I had a tree taken down in our backyard a couple years ago and saved one of the rounds that was leftover, figuring I could make something cool out of it. Originally my plan was to make it a centerpiece for our dining room table, but then I decided to turn it in to a live edge, side table. I paid about $45 for some hairpin legs and simply screwed them in to the bottom of my tree round. This was the final product…



I posted it up on CL for $180 and it sold shortly after listing it.

Profit: $135.

Case Study 5:

I paid $65 for this credenza.

IMG_4925Can you believe it! $65 for this diamond in the rough. The seller was using it as storage for his kids toys in their playroom. He decided he wanted it gone. Within 20 minutes of him posting it, I was on my way to meet him and take it off his hands. It had an ugly wood base that had pretty nasty water damage to it, so I hammered off the ugly bottom and was left with the picture you see above.

I got the bright idea to buy some mid century modern angled legs online and dress things up a bit. The legs and angled brackets set me back $90. That’s right, I paid more for the legs than I did for the actual credenza.

I rubbed the piece down with some teak oil to bring out the woods natural tones and this is what it looked like after…



My total investment was about $165. I probably could have sold this for about $800 on Craigslist, but a friend of mine loved it and needed a new TV stand. I gave him a friend deal and sold it to him for $400.

Profit: $240 (could have been $600+ if I posted on CL).

Case Study 6: 

Found this mid century dresser on Craigslist Sunday morning for $200…


I didn’t do a single thing to the dresser. I reposted it on Craigslist as soon as I got home for $450, and it sold six hours later for $450.

Profit: $250.

Case Study 7: 

If you haven’t noticed the theme, I like to stick to credenzas and dressers that could be used as credenzas. It was time to mix things up a bit so I decided to flirt with a new piece.

I saw this coffee table listed on CL for $60 (I paid $50 for it)…


I brought it home, staged it, took some photos and back on to Craigslist it went. It sold 24 hours later for $200.

Profit: $150.

Case Study 8:

Picked up this Broyhill Brasilia Tallboy dresser on Sunday for $200…


Haven’t done a single thing to it (except stage it and take some photos). It’s on craigslist right now for $750, and should sell somewhere between $500-$750. I may end up keeping it though because it’s so freaking pretty. I mean look at it…



So beautiful, and a pretty rare piece at that.

Case Study 9, 10, 11, and 12: 

Picked up this Lane Acclaim credenza for $450 on CL…


I sanded down the top and stained it to make it shine. I posted it for $800 on CL and had a slew of people wanting to come see it. Girl Ninja freaked out and pulled a trump card saying I wasn’t allowed to sell it. So for now, this is the credenza that we are keeping behind our couch :) Unless I can find someone that is willing to pay me $950 for it, then I’m gonna trump her trump and sell it :)

Here are a few other pieces I could sell for a couple hundred more than I paid for them, but Girl Ninja has trumped…

Paid $220 for this white leather chair, could probably sell for around $400…



Paid $150 for this mid century leather chair. Should sell for $300-$400. 00X0X_jUxBqGVeL1u_600x450

Paid $250 for this desk and chair. Posted it for $500 and had multiple people asking to come see it. That was before Girl Ninja told me I wasn’t allowed to sell it…



In the last month, I made about $1,700 by simply buying furniture on Craigslist and selling it a few days later (or sometimes the same day) for double or triple what I paid. And that’s without even trying. It just kind of organically happened. I bet I could triple that income if I really got serious about it.

If you’re interested in flipping on Craigslist here are a few pointers I have for you:

1. Look for crappy ads. Most of these items only had a single cell phone picture of the furniture piece and there was barely any description of the item. Craigslist posts like these tell me the person just wants the piece gone and doesn’t care about getting top dollar. If the furniture is staged and has a detailed description, the seller probably knows exactly what their piece is worth, so there isn’t much room for profit.

2. Always offer less than what they listed the piece for. ALWAYS! Most of the time I can save $25 to $100 by simply asking the seller if they’ll consider taking less. About half the time they agree, the other half they stay firm. Any money you save on the purchase, increases your profit come time to sell.

3. Stage your photos and use a nice camera to take pictures (your 12mp cell phone camera isn’t going to cut it). You’ll notice each of my listing photos are edited to really make the piece stand out. I increase the contrast and sharpness, bring out the natural colors of the wood, and blur the background to make sure the furniture stands out as the focal point. Great photography translates to great profits.

4. Don’t budge on price. You’ll notice in just about every instance I negotiated a lower purchase price from the seller. But I’ve never once budged on my asking price when I’m the one doing the selling.

By the time people have taken the time out of their day to drive to my house and see the piece, I’m almost positive they are emotionally attached to the piece. They ask if I would consider accepting less, and I respond with something like “Sorry, I’ve gotten a handful of other emails on it and am confident it will sell for asking. But I understand if you want to pass. No pressure either way.”

They fear missing out on it, and they end up paying me full asking. Worst case, they walk away, and the next day someone else is knocking on my door to pay full price.

5. Look often. Craigslist gets thousands of new listings every day. I’ve gotten very good at sifting through CL to discover the diamonds in the rough. Search terms, sorting by newest items, and putting the layout in “grid mode” will be your biggest helpers. There is an art to Craigslisting and if you spend enough time on there, you’ll figure it out.

Now get off my blog and go make yourself a little extra money!




So let’s just talk about the big elephant in the room. 


I dropped off the face of the earth for the last two and a half months. And ya know what, it felt soooooooooo good.

I wish I had some cool story about how I was doing awesome things that kept me so busy I had no time to blog. But the reality is, I just didn’t want to write.

It’s that simple.

I like to consider it a blogging sabbatical. I mean I’ve been writing now for six years, a break was very much needed.

Special thanks to the dozen or so of you that sent me emails checking to make sure I hadn’t been kidnapped and had all my skin cut off by a creepy blog reader.

Much appreciated :)

On another note…

Girl Ninja and I might be moving. To where you ask?


I applied for a job with a well known government agency back in April, and over the last three months I’ve been jumping through a bunch of pre hiring hoops.

I’ve been interviewed, lie detected, stabbed, pricked, poked, x-rayed, and investigated.


I’ve successfully passed each of the stages and am awaiting a final hiring decision. Word on the street has it, that decision should be coming very soon.And if I am extended a final offer, Girl Ninja and I could be moving. 

Most secret squirrel jobs with Uncle Sam require the employee to sign a mobility agreement. Meaning, the employee agrees to move where the agency requests they go. In my case, that could end up being anywhere in the world. 


I requested to be placed in either Seattle or San Diego (since these two locations are where we consider “home”), but there is nothing stopping them from putting me in the midwest, the south, the east, or even the Middle East, Korea, Africa, Spain, etc.

What’s more, it’s possible I don’t even get a job offer. Which means we’d be staying put in Seattle and I’d have to figure out a new game plan in regards to my career path.

Needless to say, life is a little crazy right now and we’re doing our best to temper our anxiety. I feel like a college student all over again, waiting for the acceptance (or rejection) letter to show up in the mail. Fingers crossed the news comes this week! 

In conclusion, look at how cute Baby Ninja is now that he doesn’t look all alien like…

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.36.26 PM

I came across a person the other day, who suggested that anyone who lists charitable gifts on their taxes is not donating out of the goodness of their heart, but for the selfish benefit of receiving a tax deduction. Upon hearing those words I had a facepalm moment…


I guess they have a point, the deduction benefits probably do encourage charitable giving. I mean when was the last time you gave more than $500 to a business or organization that didn’t qualify for a deduction?

If you’re like me the answer is almost never.

Sure I give $20 here and there to a homeless person, or I might give $100 to a friend for a missions trip, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever just walked down to my local coffee shop and been like; “Hey you guys do awesome work and I want to support the business, here’s $500.”

So yes, I guess most of us probably do only give substantial financial gifts to charities that allow us to deduct that gift from our tax obligation, but ultimately I have to disagree with the sentiment.

I might be wrong, but I’d bet most people who make charitable contributions do so because they want to help someone or something out, not because they’ll get a deduction.

It just doesn’t make financial sense.

If I’m in the 25% tax bracket and I give $10,000 to charity over the course of the year, my maximum benefit for making that contribution would be $2,500. Why the heck would I give someone $10,000, so I can save $2,500? It clearly would be to my benefit to never make the contribution, write Uncle Sam a check for an extra $2,500, and keep the remaining $7,500.

And that is exactly the point I want to make today.

Why do people get so pumped on tax deductions like they are best thing ever? I mean people were telling me to keep my student loans because I could deduct some of the interest on the loan.

They literally were trying to convince me to keep paying $2,000 a year in interest to Sallie Mae, so I didn’t have to send the government $500.

I bet some of you with mortgages have probably had similar garbage preached to you, “Don’t pay off the mortgage, you’ll lose the deduction.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love me some deductions. If you are eligible, take ’em. Just don’t do something stupid and give Person A $5,000 so you can avoid giving Person B $1,000… Unless of course you have so much freakin’ money you like wasting it, then by all means waste to your heart’s content.

Have you been told to keep a debt around longer than you wanted because of the tax deduction? Do you regularly give significant financial gifts to non-qualified businesses or organizations? Have you ever given a gift, purely for the tax benefit?

From the Seattle Times:

From July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, Seattle grew by 2.8 percent — the highest rate among the 50 most-populous U.S. cities.

From the Seattle PI:

The wealthy in Seattle are getting wealthier at a faster pace than any other U.S. city, while those in the lowest income bracket are not keeping pace, according to a new analysis of America’s largest cities by the Brookings Institution.

From Me:



Girl Ninja and I weren’t fortunate enough to buy at the bottom (circa 2011-2012), but in the two years since we’ve bought our house, the local real estate market has been nothing but bonkers.

If you live in a major metropolitan area it’s probably the same story for you.

Our buddy just tried to buy a house a few miles from us. He lost out to one of the 17 other offers the sellers received.

With the housing supply at its lowest levels in history, prospective buyers just don’t have a lot of options.

Which means they are all competing on few properties available.

Which means bidding wars, cash buyers, and waived contingencies are the norm.


Girl Ninja and I love our house. It’s hella old (85 years and counting), hella charming, hella affordable, and has a hella big backyard for the area.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.14.55 PM

That said, I also kinda like making money. Especially when it requires very little effort on my part. If we could sell our house for $50k or $100k above what we paid for it, it would be hard to pass that up.

What’s more, Girl Ninja and I didn’t mind renting. We loved the flexibility of the renting lifestyle. No hidden expenses. No maintenance. No changing light fixtures just for the sake of changing light fixtures. We are some of the few people that own a home, that won’t make you feel like you’re dumb for choosing to rent.

We wouldn’t sell if we couldn’t net at least $50,000 in appreciation off the sale. Couple that with our $70,000 down payment that we would get back, and we’re looking at a $120,000 pay day.


But Girl Ninja hates change. She cried the day we put an offer on our house (because she feared it might be a mistake). And I bet ya $50 she’ll cry the day we put this house on the market (fearing it might be a mistake).

And to be honest, I don’t really know what I would do with $120,000 cash. Well besides this…




business man anger shouting with money falling rain isolated on white background, asian model


and this…ORg2Hxa

Ah fudge. 

It’s hard to know Seattle is experiencing one of the best seller’s markets in history, but have no desire to capitalize on that momentum.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just watch other people get rich when they sell their homes.



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