Hot Diggity

August 23, 2010

Anyone who visits around here knows I’m a pretty big enthusiast for anything related to home improvement.   Recently, I was introduced to a website called DiggersList.  As much as I pride myself in scoring good deals, I confess I was unaware of this new online resource.  That’s the thing I love about the internet ~  there is always an innovative new site popping up that’s oh-so-helpful to folks like you and me. 

DiggersList is the new online construction classifieds ~ in essence, the ‘Craigslist’ for DIYers searching for discount home improvement supplies.  At DiggersList you can browse for tools, materials, heavy equipment, and list what you’re looking for too, all at less than retail prices. 

For those of us needing to save a buck or two, DiggersList is worthy of your visit. 

diggers house is treasure chest

   

I did a little *digging* myself and sent over a few questions to founder Matthew Knox. 

  

Matt headshot Q:  Tell us how you came up with the idea for DiggersList.  What’s your company’s philosophy?

I used to be an insurance broker for contractors and would hear them say all the time that they would have excess building materials left over after every project, and not just bricks & lumber …but also tile, fixtures, cabinetry, etc., and they did not have a good place to sell it.  

So, they would either store it or throw it away contributing to the 160 million tons of construction related waste each year.

The same goes for most DIY projects, we all usually end up with more than we need. So, I teamed up with my brother Johnnie and we created DiggersList.com, a home improvement classifieds.   We are DIYers ourselves, so if we can save money on some great improvement items and have a have a positive environmental impact, we are in.

 

Q:  How is DiggersList better for DIYers and builders than Craigslist?

The biggest reason DiggersList is better for DIYers and builders is that we are 100% specific to home improvement.   Craigslist is a great general classifieds (I use them for selling computers and bicycles), but when it has to do with home improvement or DIY, with DiggersList you don’t have to wade through unrelated categories.     for sale diggers 

Q:  Who can list their leftover construction materials on your site?  Are retailers allowed to promote their products ?    

Everyone is welcome to post and it’s free. Most or our posters are DIYers, homeowners, contractors, architectural salvagers, and suppliers.   I should mention that we have a great relationship with the Habitat for Humanity ReStores and about 50 of them post on our site around the country.  They sell their donated building materials and home improvement items on DiggersList for about 50% less than you would find at a Home Depot.

restore

 

Yes, we do get some retailers that post items that they are discounting or blowing out, but DiggersList is not the place to post standard retail priced items. 

Currently, DiggersList has listings in the following cities:

current cities  
 

Q:   What are the projections for growth to suburban cities and towns?

Right now we are in 31 cities in 20 states, in the next 12 months we will expand to 224 cities across the country.   In addition, we are working on opening up some cities in Canada very soon.  One of the "decision tools" we use for deciding which city to open next is the "suggest a city" button on our front page.  Last month we received more than 600 new city requests.  

  

Q:  Are there any built in review measures for vendors to protect buyers, or is it a ‘caveat emptor’ model like Craigslist?

We currently don’t have a built in review system, however you can make a comment on any listing that is posted. Johnnie and I are talking about ways that we can utilize a traditional site wide review system that takes advantage of social network as well, but it’s still in the development stage. As with any purchase, the buyer should be aware, and if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about what your purchasing, take someone with you that does.

 

Q:  What other services or resources does your site provide ? 

The Good Samaritan Option: when you post something for sale on DiggersList, you can check the "Good Samaritan Option", which will send you an email in a pre-selected period of time.  If your item has not sold, you can convert it into a "Donation Offer" to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.   You can also just go to the "Donation Center" in any city and just donate it as opposed to posting it for sale.  

CG Note:  I just paid a visit to my local Habitat for Humanity Restore thanks to listings on DiggersList where I spied all sorts of goodies for remodelers.

doors at habitat habitat windows and tile

There is also a widget tool that any user can copy and paste onto their website, and syndicate anything they post on DiggersList to their own website as well, so essentially, anyone can have a free storefront in a matter of minutes. 

   

Q:   What makes you most proud about your startup idea ?

I am most proud of the fact that Johnnie (my business partner) and I have created a website that helps people save or even make a little money on DIY and home improvement projects, while have a real environmental impact by providing a place for some building materials to get a second life.

Also, knowing that we have been able to benefit and help facilitate donations to the Habitat for Humanity ReStores feels so great. That fact that my brother and I built it together and get to spend time on it every day is icing on the cake!

_______________

And hey, guess what?  DiggersList even has a new blog combining their listings with design ideas.  Cool!

 

 

diggers hot pick

 

I know there’s a lot of you DIYers out there looking to buy or sell tools or materials, so bookmark DiggersList as a resource that caters to us remodelers and obsessive home improvers.  

In fact, thanks to DiggersList, I’m now connected to all the latest listings at my local Habitat for Humanity Restore where just last week I scored some inexpensive (and even free!) light fixtures!  

Nothin’ like having that extra tool in your belt, right? 

    

.

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28 Responses to “Hot Diggity”

  1. Kate says:

    great idea! what I’d like to know is when are you rolling it out to the UK?! We are desperate for this over here as we had excess building materials to sell/donate and didn’t know how to get rid of it!

  2. laura trevey says:

    Love this website… thanks for sharing and have a great start to the week!

  3. Karena says:

    Kate what a great interview and business!! Hope to have them list in Kansas and Missouri (Kansas City area specifically) Thanks for sharing a great resource.

    Karena
    Art by Karena

  4. Neat concept! It’s not in my area of Virginia, but I bet it will be soon. :) We have a H4H store not too far from my house–I need to check it out! Thanks for introducing us to this cool site.

    PS. The Key Lime Cake turned out very well…posted the recipe today on the blog. :)

  5. Can’t wait till they come to Nashville! This is such a great concept – thanks kate!

    k

  6. Christine Aldinger says:

    great interview i checked right away for the state of Pa i see Phia is listed will have to keep a look out for this to happen in York….

  7. Sherry Hart says:

    WOW! I live in Atlanta, and I just checked it out and sent it to all my friends!!! Thanks for the tip

  8. Janell Beals says:

    Hadn’t heard of this site before, hope it comes to Portland in the near future! Janell

  9. Ashly says:

    what an awesome concept! I love it!

  10. Kate, this is a brilliant idea and I’m so glad you shared it! Can’t wait to check it out. Thank you! Your site has been invaluable for finding new resources. I now can’t get enough of Tonic Living fabrics. Thanks again!!!

  11. Roeshel says:

    That’s so cool! Can’t wait until I see a local area posted for me – definitely be keeping my eye on them! :) Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

  12. Jen says:

    Thanks for the link..I’m definitelly gonna check this out!

  13. Tricia Rose says:

    Thanks for the post, this is a great idea! will bookmark.

    ps link didn’t work, Error 404, will try later..

  14. Michon Barnes says:

    Definitely great to know about! Can you negotiate prices at the H4H store?

  15. Sue says:

    I like this concept. Sadly, I’m too far from Chicago to use it.

  16. Alyssa says:

    Love the resource; wish there were listings near me! We do have several H for H stores about, though there really ought to be more of such places. There’s a ton of building that goes on here and I shudder to think what happens to all those ‘extras’!

  17. Thanks for sharing. I love finding a great salvaged piece.

    P.S. We’re giving away 2 free design consultations over on our blog. Not that you need the help. Everything you do looks great. I just wanted to spread the word.

  18. o.m.g. Like a kid in a candy store- i will probably be on their site all day! Thanks for the link! We are about to delve into renovating our den and i bet there are a lot of resources here….yummy.

  19. Cass says:

    This is a terrific idea! I love the concept of Craigslist but as mentioned above you have to weed through a bunch to get what you are looking for. Thanks for sharing this valuable tool! You rock!

  20. Lori H says:

    Kate, I had never seen this website before! What a super idea. I am going to see if we have one in my city right now!

  21. Yuliya says:

    This looks like a great resource, thank you!

  22. Struggler says:

    Yes, great idea. I’ve been left with some curious bits and pieces at the end of projects. Even if I’m giving them away, it would be great to know they’re going to be used in another transformation!

  23. I am so excited that you posted about this! I never knew it existed and now it will be a regular stop on my round around the internet!

  24. Ace says:

    Great site! Use it all the time! Worth a visit for sure!

  25. What a great resource! I sent in my Canadian city as a suggestion, hopefully it’ll be available for us sooner or later. :)

  26. Kate, thanks for sharing this. I had no idea. This should be a great resource when we get ready to demo and reno our master bathroom (hopefully sooner rather than later.)

    Brittany
    http://www.prettyhandygirl.com

  27. Mila says:

    Thanks for sharing this great interview! Someone else already pointed it out, but the last link to digger’s list is broken, it’s the one that people will click most after they read the explanation of this awesome concept! :)

  28. [...] ways to put some of it to good use.  I was there because I had spotted a few cool cabinets on Diggers List and wanted to investigate [...]

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