London Craigslist equavalent?
January 11, 2005 2:53 AM   Subscribe

London Mefi folks, a question: I've recently moved to London, and am searching for the equivalent of craigslist to buy some simple household items (like a Hoover). The London site of Craigslist seems a little weak. Any recommendations?
posted by mtstover to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
Loot! I only ever used it to find apartments, but apparently people buy/sell things there too.
posted by web-goddess at 3:07 AM on January 11, 2005

Neat use of the word Hoover! Yes, Loot is the best equivalent of Craigslist for buying second-hand products, as Craigslist London doesn't seem to have enough users yet. And obviously there's always eBay.

Which part of London have you moved to? You might find a community website local to you which may have a classifieds section.
posted by skylar at 3:24 AM on January 11, 2005

UpMyStreet has postcode-based classifieds. But really, Loot is your best bet.
posted by influx at 3:46 AM on January 11, 2005

Loot is definately very good. You could also try Gumtree which has a wealth of items for sale and wanted.
posted by ralawrence at 3:54 AM on January 11, 2005

Response by poster: You guys rock! Thank you. To answer your question, skylar, I live near Marylebone High Street.

It's quite a shock to move here from NYC. I never thought I would hear myself say "I've got to get back to New York, where things are cheap!"
posted by mtstover at 4:48 AM on January 11, 2005

Welcome to London.

Admittedly, Marylebone High Street is one of London's poshest and most desirable neighbourhoods. (Unfortunately I don't know of a community messageboard related to that area, but there may still be one.)

But I was always under the impression that London and New York are basically equal in terms of prices - rent etc. Still, as a rule I think British people are paid less by employers than US people, plus right now the exchange rate is really working against you, making everything seem double, right?
posted by skylar at 5:03 AM on January 11, 2005

Response by poster: Rent is about equivalent, it's everything else that's killer. Going out to eat is heart attack inducing. Fish and chips for the wife and I is at least a $50 US proposition. Cheapest ironing board I could find was ~20 pounds = ~$40 US for an ironing board!

Yeah, it's about double what I would expect, but exchange rate can't do it all...
posted by mtstover at 5:17 AM on January 11, 2005

I'd second GumTree.

It's also A++ if you happen to be a swinger. Which I'm not. Although I did put the grrr in something.
posted by veedubya at 5:19 AM on January 11, 2005

Fish and chips for the wife and I is at least a $50 US proposition.

Ummm... £25 for fish and chips for two? Where on earth are you eating? The thing with fish and chips is that you don't sit down to eat them. Find your local chippie, pay at *most* £5 for haddock or cod and chips, and take them home...
posted by humuhumu at 5:41 AM on January 11, 2005

Sorry to hijack this thread, but mtstover... perhaps your beautiful locale is giving you a slightly misplaced idea of London prices.

For example, at Argos - a good place to buy reasonably priced goods of all sorts - you can get an ironing board for under £10. Your nearest branches are probably in Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Camden.

Fish and chips... did you go to an upscale restaurant to get your $50 US fish supper? I'd always recommend you go to a traditional fish and chip shop rather than a restaurant. My local chippie does cod and chips for £5 each - ie $9.40 US compared to your $50 US.

Of course, you're near two of the more famous fish and chip restaurants in London - the Sea Shell in Lisson Grove and the Golden Hind in Marylebone Lane- but to be honest I think both are more expensive than they deserve to be. I highly recommend Fryer's Delight in Holborn and the Golden Fish Bar in Clerkenwell for authentic vibes.

It's true that eating out in the UK costs more than in the US. And there are many fewer bars/ restaurants here that stay open late. But we've got the BBC!!

Good luck!
posted by skylar at 5:49 AM on January 11, 2005

Response by poster: Well, I was eating at the Hind, had a salad, a couple of waters and a coffee. But still...

I'd compare the fish and chips (the national food of the UK) to the slice (the local food in NYC). A good slice costs $2.50 US - a $10 takeaway fish doesn't come close.

Skylar - thanks for the Argos link, that's exactly what we needed! Didn't know such things existed...
posted by mtstover at 6:03 AM on January 11, 2005

Fish and chips is increasingly lousy in the UK, with soggy battered fish that has been sitting under heat lamps for 20 minutes, and frozen, pre-prepared chips as the mark of an almost universally low standard. It is Terry Durack's own personal bugbear.

You're nice and close to Edgware Road anyway, which features some of the cheapest and best (middle eastern) eats in London. Beirut Express is the big and glossy one that everyone knows of - and it is fine - but some of the smaller ones are worth scoping out for a table-load of great mezze and a cheeky kebab for next to no money.

On to general household goods. Argos is a good call, but Woolworth's is also worth a try, or if you have a car try travelling out to the town centre of one of the outlying commuter burgs. Ealing should be quite close for you for example. These places tend to have shops that sell household staples a lot more consistently and cheaply than the West End, which is pretty much luxury goods everywhere.

PS Marylebone High Street is nice - I'm jealous. :-(
posted by bifter at 6:30 AM on January 11, 2005

Exchange and Mart magazine.

BTW, there's an IKEA at Brent Cross.
posted by wackybrit at 6:45 AM on January 11, 2005

Response by poster: Ohhh...this is getting good. Thanks bifter. Anybody else have recs on good cheap eats?

Yeah, we feel pretty lucky to live is paying, so it makes it easier!
posted by mtstover at 6:45 AM on January 11, 2005

Pick up a copy of the current Time Out Eating and Drinking Guide, which you should be able to get from most large-ish newsagents (definitely from WH Smith). It's pretty comprehensive, and covers the very cheap end probably better than it covers the very expensive.

I don't eat in nice restaurants much any more, so tend to go for the cheap but good bracket, in which case I'd recommend trying Haringey / Green Lanes for great Turkish food and Southall or Ealing Road, Wembley for Bangladeshi / Indian / Pakistani. Neither area is particularly upmarket though, so be warned. (Southall is great fun for a day out window-shopping mind you).
posted by bifter at 7:17 AM on January 11, 2005

You can also subscribe to Time Out Eating and Drinking guide online.

You mentioned that fish and chips is Britain's national food but some people would argue that in fact chicken tikka massala is Britain's national food, albeit a pastiche of Indian cuisine. So you might want to take a trip down Brick Lane to find a number of Indian restaurants.

I would also strongly recommend you experience the delight of a traditional English "caff" (or café) - particularly the New Piccadilly in Denman Street, before it closes down, like so many before it. E Pellicci in Bethnal Green is worthwhile and has lovely decor.

There's a mailing list called London by London which features advice on London living... but does anyone else have suggestions for similar sites/ lists?
posted by skylar at 7:28 AM on January 11, 2005

Fish and chips is increasingly lousy in the UK, with soggy battered fish that has been sitting under heat lamps for 20 minutes, and frozen, pre-prepared chips as the mark of an almost universally low standard.

I've just moved to Cornwall and the shop at the top of my road does fantastic fish and chips for £3 (£3.10 if you want a large chips). Truly delicious tender fish in a good batter. I'm not generally even a fan of chip shop food.
posted by biffa at 8:42 AM on January 11, 2005

Lucky! Wish I was an academic. :-(
posted by bifter at 8:44 AM on January 11, 2005

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