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The $35 Lamps I Buy on Amazon and Sell for $100 on Craigslist

People will pay at least $100 for these under-$75 things on Craigslist. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

I started selling furniture on Craigslist 18 months ago. While searching for pieces I actually needed, I began to notice, “Hey, the desk this guy is asking $50 for would totally sell for $150.” Being freshly unemployed, I slid into the furniture flip game, and now I buy lamps off of Amazon and resell them on Craigslist for twice (sometimes five times) as much. Last month, lamps paid my rent. 2018 has become the year of my Lamp Baronry.

What my bedroom looks like right now. Photo: Billy Domineau

In writing this article, I am blowing up my spot. These lamps literally feed me, but I’m taking a new, reformed path of sharing my wisdom in the hopes that my knowledge can do the world some good (like Frank Abagnale at the end of Catch Me If You Can). In the end, all tea must be spilled, and now, my secrets are yours. Here are some of the lamps under $75 that go for much, much more on Craigslist.

In my kingdom of home accent lighting, Brightech rules supreme. I’m listing four more Brightech lamps after this one because, for some reason, much of what the company sells is an absolute steal. Queen among them is the Charlotte. This is the flip of all flips — I am literally waiting for a buyer to ring my doorbell and pick one up as I write this. A mid-century modern reproduction, Charlotte is a perfect dupe for the Rivet Zoey at a price that’s ten times lower. This lamp is invited to my wedding and my funeral.

If you prefer natural wood, this one’s even cheaper.

If Charlotte is queen, the Sphere is her consort (or something like that). Instead of regular bulbs, each of the three luminaries has a built-in LED. It’s beautiful, soft lighting that can fill a room or sit on low next to a vanity. People literally say “wow” when I deliver it.

The Gabriel pharmacy lamp has a quiet, understated majesty and a three-step dimmer that younger people tend to go for. Does that mean millennials are … pharmacists?

For my money, the Aria has the biggest “what it costs versus what it looks like it costs” ratio. The frosted-glass shade and dual sockets give it such an upmarket look that my girlfriend actually saw it and bought one from me (sans markup).

I sold one of these to a professional interior designer with a substantial Instagram following. He thanked me for the great deal.

Nothing says “we want to call it copper, but it’s not literal copper” like “rose gold”–colored. The packaging is a crumbly polystyrene nightmare, but the lamp itself is legit.

This is a great time to remind you of the easiest way to increase the appeal (visual and resale) of almost any lamp — swap out a basic bulb for a vintage-looking filament bulb (you can find multipacks for $2.50 a bulb). AllModern sells this lamp for three times as much.

I’ve been trying to get into table lamps. The margin is lower, but the appeal of less assembly and cardboard disposal is most appealing. Funnily, these particular lamps move a lot faster when I buy two and offer them as a set.