Letter Re: Successfully Trolling Craig’s List

Mr. Rawles,
At the risk of turning on my local competition to the positive aspects of the free section of Craig’s List, I thought I would mention a few of the things I’ve picked up in the past couple of weeks. These include:

A new round oak dining table and four oak chairs
Three boxes of canning jars with lids
A commercial fishing net (40′ x 60′), to be used for keeping birds and other critters out of the garden
36 Concrete cinder blocks (approximate value $130)
Remington electric chain saw (yes, it works!)
30+ wooden pallets (can be used for the usual “pallet” stuff, or for use as firewood/kindling)
Commercial nursery went out of business; so I got more than 1,000 plastic seed starting pots in 3 or 4 sizes (filled my pick-up to the brim).
5 Commercial toilets (out of a church – they were remodeling; two for my current residence, and two for our retreat, plus one spare, for parts)
4 Large two-drawer cabinets
A 25 foot fifth-wheel insulated trailer for moving gear and supplies up to “der bunker”, and subsequent use for weather tight storage. (Try to get insulated containers versus single wall, as there is almost no “sweating” inside)
The list goes on. . . .

As this current economic crisis gets worse, more and more folks are going to be displaced, and not having the money to move their possessions they either just abandon them, or place free ads on Craig’s list or elsewhere.
In addition, Craig’s List is a good source for many other items at very reasonable prices.

Keep your eyes open. On the more valuable items you have to be quick, sometimes responding within minutes. On many items we realize as survival oriented, most folks don’t have a clue, so you might have more time.

One thought I had on the pallets for firewood/kindling is that while they are readily available now, in the future they may be less easily found. Now they can be cut into smaller pieces with a skill saw and/or electric chain saw, stored in fifty-gallon plastic trash cans for next winter, or whenever you might need them. Once TEOTWAWKI happens, going outside to hunt firewood may not be such a good idea.
So, if you have Craig’s List in your area, keep checking the free section every now and then. There is no telling what you might find. – Chet

JWR Replies: I’m also a big believer in Craig’s List. One important note: In the long run, Craig’s List only works if folks “return the favor.” Be charitable whenever you have things in profusion–even when it is just zucchini squash.