Is It a Good Idea to Buy Warehouse Shelving on Craigslist?

No. Let’s start there.

Obviously, there’s more than that to discuss about the problems with warehouse shelving on Craigslist. But if you’re here, you probably already suspect that there might be issues with the shelves and racking for sale on Craigslist. In this post, I’m going to confirm your suspicions.

I’ve been doing this a long time. During my career, I’ve helped a lot of customers find the shelving and racking they need, and the one thing they all have in common is that they want high-quality shelves and racks. While you can find decent shelving and racking on Craigslist, it’s not the norm. You have to know a lot about material handling systems to find the halfway decent items, and sadly, most warehouse owners don’t have that kind of expertise.

Keep reading to learn more about the potential problems with Craigslist warehouse shelving. And if you’re looking for high-quality used shelving and racking, give me and the team at East Coast Storage Equipment a call. We’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for.

5 Reasons Why Buying Warehouse Shelving on Craigslist is Risky

Whether you’re looking for steel shelving or selective racking for sale on Craigslist, I can tell you right off the bat that you’re going to risk wasting some money. There are plenty of reasons why buying warehouse shelving on Craigslist is risky, but I can boil them down to five key takeaways.

1. Craigslist Warehouse Shelving May Be in Bad Shape

Warehouses and distribution centers have a lot of activity going on inside them. I’ve seen it plenty of times — crews working nonstop, moving fast to keep efficiency where it should be. In all that activity, shelving and racking get dirty, bent and damaged.

If you buy that equipment on Craigslist, it’s extremely unlikely that the seller is going to clean it up, repair it or even look at it very closely to make sure it’s in good shape. They just want to get rid of it and make a buck.

Compare that to how a professional racking company does it. At East Coast Storage Equipment, if the used shelving we get is bent, we straighten it up. And we always make sure it’s stable and sturdy.

Warehouse shelving (pictured) can become bent and unstable over time. Professional warehouse racking companies will fix the item and make sure it’s stable, but if you get it on Craigslist, there are no guarantees.

2. Quantity is Limited on Craigslist

Every warehouse is different. Some have high ceilings; some have a really big footprint. Your warehouse needs a very specific shelving system to make it as efficient as possible. That means you need a large used racking and shelving inventory to choose from as you piece your system together.

You’ll find that kind of large inventory at professional racking companies. But on Craigslist, you’re more than likely looking at everything the seller has. It might just be one section or unit. I’ve seen enough warehouses to know that you’d have to get really lucky to find, for example, used cantilever racks for sale on Craigslist that meet your exact requirements.

If you don’t have the proper equipment to transport what you’re thinking about buying on Craigslist, you’re going to have a lot of things to figure out pretty quickly.

3. No Transportation

If you go ahead and buy used pallet racking on Craigslist, the next thing you’ve got to do is get it from the seller’s location to your warehouse. Do you have a truck that can handle that kind of job? Do you have a crew that can bundle the beams, uprights and decking and load it onto a truck safely? You’re probably going to need those things if you go the Craigslist route.

Meanwhile, material handling companies will often connect you with transportation assistance or help you out themselves. If you don’t have the proper equipment to transport what you’re thinking about buying on Craigslist, you’re going to have a lot of things to figure out pretty quickly.

4. No Installation Assistance

Once you get Craigslist warehouse shelving or racking to your warehouse, you still have to install it. Putting together racking and shelving can be complicated. It requires specific tools and expertise, and it’s all on you unless you’re working with professionals. 

I routinely go to warehouses across the country to make sure the installation of newly purchased warehouse equipment is going smoothly. And if something goes wrong, I’m there to fix it. That’s a level of service you just won’t get with Craigslist.


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5. After You Buy Craigslist Warehouse Shelving, You’re on Your Own

Getting the layout of your warehouse or distribution center right is absolutely essential if you want to be as efficient as possible. Right after you’ve purchased new warehouse shelving or racking, you have to figure out where it’s going to go and how it’s going to fit into your existing systems. 

If you got the equipment off of Craigslist, you have to figure all of that out on your own. To be as profitable as possible, you really don’t need to be flying blind on your warehouse layout. Craigslist sellers are almost never going to come to your warehouse and help you figure out how to set up your new shelving in a way that will boost your efficiency.

On the other hand, if you’re working with a material handling company like East Coast Storage Equipment, you can rely on the expertise of experienced professionals as you plan your facility setup. Facility design and layout consulting is a big part of my job — it’s something I really enjoy doing for warehouse owners, and it’s something I’ve learned how to do really well.

Getting the layout of your warehouse right is essential to peak productivity and profitability. When you buy racking like the system pictured above on Craigslist, you don’t get the benefit of facility layout expertise that you get from a professional racking company.

The Smart Alternative to Craigslist Warehouse Shelving: A Pro Racking Company

If you buy shelving or used pallet racking on Craigslist, you really don’t know what you’re getting. And here’s the other thing: the people selling this stuff on Craigslist often don’t know what they have. The pricing isn’t accurate, the quality isn’t guaranteed and you’re on your own after you buy it. 

I don’t know about you, but that’s not a risk I’d want to take if it were my warehouse. I’m obviously a little biased here, but the smarter move is to buy used warehouse shelving and racking from a professional company. 

Let’s take East Coast Storage Equipment as an example. Our team is full of experts who take a close look at every piece of shelving and racking we get to make sure it’s good enough to sell. Unlike a random Craigslist seller, we have a brand and a company to protect. In other words, we care about quality as much as you do. That’s what you want when you’re buying high-value items for your warehouse.

You Can Do Better Than Craigslist Warehouse Shelving. Call Us

You don’t just need to do better than warehouse shelving on Craigslist. You need the best. The team at East Coast Storage Equipment — myself included — works hard to be the best. And we have hundreds of happy clients to show for our hard work.

Want to join the long list of happy clients who have bought warehouse shelving from us? Give us a call at (732) 451-1808, contact us online or browse our online shelving and racking inventory.


April 10, 2024

Looking for 82 4’x1’x7’ high 4 post metal, 6 4’x1’x5’ high single leg adjustable on both, for auto parts store front upper Michigan

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Paul Parisi
April 11, 2024

Hey Barry!

Corbin will contact you soon about your shelving needs.


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