A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Craigslist Love, Final Chapter for Now

2014122808Shortly after all our other listings and once we moved my grandfather’s workbench into the dining room, I decided it was time to say good-bye to the crystal chandelier that came with the house.

I knew it wasn’t original to the house, for one. I’m pretty sure I was told it was there when the PO’s family bought the house, so I estimated it was probably from the early 1960s or a little older. It was pretty and sparkly but was never my style, and it’s definitely not a bungalow style.

One of the issues I had with it was it hung too low in the room, blocking the view of our grandfather clock from the living room. And even when we had the bookcases, we never had the dining room table perfectly centered under it, so it always threw the room off. Now with the workbench/sideboard it was even more apparent and awkward.


Before I put it on Craigslist I did some research. I looked for similar chandeliers selling on Ebay, I looked into selling it to antique dealers who specialized in light fixtures, and I looked into selling it on consignment.

I’d have to give a consignment shop 50% of the selling price, so that wasn’t really desirable for me. I discovered that the style of this chandelier, Empire, was less desirable than chandeliers with arms, so dealers weren’t really interested. The metal was polished brass, which was probably another mark against it, but at least it was lead crystal and not glass.

Knowing that it probably had a small buyer pool, I decided what I was willing to accept for it (my price was firm) and posted it on Craigslist. I got one response pretty quickly. I wrote back right away and then never heard from him again. Weird. He seemed really interested and sure about it. I figured maybe he came across something he liked better in the meantime.

I think I had to re-list it after that, but I kept my firm selling price and I got a response from someone else. The husband stopped by and gave us a deposit. He wanted to come back with his wife a couple days later as they were juggling schedules with their kids.

In the meantime, the first guy contacts me again and I had to tell him that someone had given us a deposit for it. He mentioned that he had contacted me earlier about it, and I forwarded the response I originally sent to him. Apparently my first response ended up in HIS spam, like what happened when I first listed my bookcases. I felt bad about it but I had money in hand from someone else.

I told the buyer they were welcome to bring their kids with if it made it easier for them, and they showed up with 3 kids in tow, ages 11 and younger. They were from France and had just moved to the Chicago area for the husband’s job. They had lived in the States before but only the older boy had been born at the time, so the kids didn’t know much English yet.

Romy, one of our new cats, kept the kids entertained (she’s extremely friendly but even she was getting a little overwhelmed by the barrage of cat toys in her face) while Pete and the husband took down the chandelier.

The wife seemed a little hesitant about it at first and I offered to give them their deposit back since I knew the other guy really wanted it but she decided she wanted it. It sounded like it will fit much better with the house they bought.

As we started to take it down, the husband wanted to go out to his car to get something but the front door appeared to be locked. We thought we had automatically/subconsciously turned the deadbolt when they arrived, but when we tried to unlock it IT WOULDN’T BUDGE. I tried it, Pete tried it…it was really freaky and we were all looking at each other like “what is going on???” I finally went out the back door with the key to try to open it from the outside but by the time I got to the front door they had opened it. For a minute there it seemed like someone did not want the chandelier to leave the house! Very strange.

It was smooth sailing after that and wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be to remove. I was absolutely amazed at how much the room opened up! Now I had to find a suitable replacement.

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