When we started planning our kitchen I wanted to get high end appliances but my wife was hesitant due to the prices. In the end she is right. Those high-end appliances were definitely out of our budget. I didn’t want to give up so easy and I got to thinking… Maybe we could score some slightly used ones on Craigslist. It turns out you definitely can as long as you’re not in a rush. Here’s how I did it.
The most time consuming part of looking for things on Craigslist is that you have to search on there every day and move quick on the good deals. At first I would run searches every night but then I noticed the RSS link at the bottom right corner of the search page. If you run a search, click the link and then copy the URL into you RSS reader (I use feedly.com now that google reader is gone) the new Craigslist listings matching your search show up in your feed just like new news articles. Given that I read my RSS feed every morning on the subway, scanning for appliances just became part of my morning ritual.
At first I didn’t find much but every two weeks or so I would hit on a lead. Some good some bad. The worst was a SubZero refrigerator from the early 90s with mildew all over it. The
best was the brand new Sub Zero refrigerator we have now, which came from a couple in Boerum Hill Brooklyn who purchased two penthouses and while combining them only needed one kitchen. This fridge still smelled new and had the all the new hold-everything-in- place tape on it.
The wine fridge took the longest time to find. Most under counter built-in wine fridges are 20-25″ wide and super expensive. There seemed to be only one or two 15” built-in models on
the market. Amazingly, a nice couple on 33rd and Madison were looking to unload theirs and it was in nearly perfect condition.
Our Bosch dishwasher is only a few years old and required me to drive all the way out on Long Island on a Saturday but it works perfect and is super quiet (once you figure out how to turn the cycle completion beeper off).
The range was much older. I’m not sure of the year yet but let’s just say the Viking people no longer had the model in their system. It had been sitting in this nice big home on 19th and 3rd Ave for years collecting dust. The seller was renovating their house house was unloading the kitchen for an amazing discount.
When I got a the 36” range I figured I’d be stuck getting a new full priced 36” hood because what’s the chance of someone selling one in acceptable condition. It took months of scanning Craigslist but eventually the persistence paid off. One night I drove out to Long Island again to meet with some contractor who ended up with an extra one – new in the box!
In the end we saved about 65% off retail for the entire kitchen and got high end appliances for about the same price as nice mid-range appliances. It took about six months to pull together and a number of car trips to look at busted up old stuff. Everything but the fridge is out of warranty. They all have some small scratches as well but now we don’t need to stress about that first scratch.
That said, I think it was completely worth the effort.