I’ve been in NYC for over 6 years now and I am always SHOCKED when someone tells me they’ve never used Craigslist. Craigslist is THE BEST, especially if you are #brokeAF and trying to live in the most expensive city in the country. That's why I've compiled a list of my favorite Craigslist Hacks, along with some very important Do's and Don't to turn you into a CL Pro in no time.
Craigslist Hack #1: Find an apartment.
Nobody told me this before I moved to New York, so I will tell you: To get an apartment in NYC you need to make about 40xs the rent OR have a guarantor that makes 80xs your rent. That means unless you make 60+K after college or come from money – you are shit out of luck. That’s where our friend Craigslist comes into play. People are always moving in and out of NYC so if you can’t afford your own lease, hop on someone else's.
DO: There are so many 3-bedroom leases where three friends go in on an apartment together and one friend needs to leave. That leaves 2 friends with one bedroom open for a random person to come in. You can be that random person. *personal note* I did this for my first THREE apartments in NYC.
DON’T: Look at any places with a weird rent “arrangement”. I once saw an ad for a beautiful apartment where you could either pay rent OR just let the owner watch you shower/change a few times a week. Tempting but hard pass…
Craigslist Hack #2: Furniture.
Again, people are moving in and out of the city EVERY day and their beautiful West Elm coffee table is about to hit the curb unless someone can take it off their hands. You can literally shop for furniture you want (ie. "Ikea Dresser" or "west elm bookshelf") by typing in the product name into the Craigslist search bar. You. will. be. shocked.
DO: Use the buddy system. Bring a friend with you to pick up a purchase or at the very least, let someone know when and where you are picking up your piece. I go by the 15-minute rule (Call me in 15 minutes and if I don't answer, call the police) foolproof right?
DONT: Venmo or send money before you pick up. Because, duh.
Craigslist Hack #3: Craigslist Gigs.
Ok. So this may be the sketchiest Craigslist hack, but when times are tough you gotta do what you gotta do. If you are in between jobs or short on rent, Craigslist gigs are a great way to make money fast.
DO: Make contact with the “employer” before you show up and ask a few vetting questions.
DONT: Go to any casting call that kiiiind of sounds like it might be for an upscale escort service or underground sex party. It is.
There you have it. Craigslist can be an amazing resource if you use it wisely. Have any good/bad Craigslist experiences? Share in comments!
Love you mean it,