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