Friday, April 25, 2014

Facebook Virtual Garage Sales

Whoever came up with this is brilliant.  Instead of setting aside a weekend to have to stay at your house to sell your unwanted stuff (not to mention the work that goes in preparing for the sale), you can now just post a picture, price and some basic info on your item and see if you get any bites.  And by the same token if you are need of something but don't want to pay full price you don't have to spend your precious weekends going from house to house hit or miss.  

I joined my town's Facebook virtual garage sale last fall when I was looking for a bike for Little Man at a friend's recommendation.  I posted an ISO (in search of) listing and quickly received an answer from a Mom who had a like new boys bike.  Picked it up next day for $20.

I forgot about the site for a while but started checking it out again after the holidays.  Since then I've gotten a black Coach purse, a bunch of Legos and lots of books for my kids for 20-30% the usual cost.  I admit I check it a bit obsessively now.  

If you're wondering why not just use Craig'slist or ebay - this is easier.  Instead of having to search using keywords for your item of interest, within your geographical location, you just scroll through the newsfeed and check out/respond to the things you are interested in.  

The admins set the tone and in some cases let anything go.  The ones on the site I follow have a long list of rules but that protects everyone.  Craigslist doesn't do that.  Also I hear all sorts of horror stories about Craigslist.  At this point most of the sellers I have bought from have left the items on their doorstep for me and I just put the money in the mailbox.  Easy and safe.  Only once did I enter a house to get three big shopping bags of Legos but it was someone I had bought from previously. 

I'm starting to sell a few of my own items, and have even just given away a few that I couldn't figure out how to price (like a bunch of outlet covers for child proofing - I didn't need them anymore but I figured someone would).  

Some people will haggle but most will only respond if the price is right.  

Tomorrow I have 3 people coming to pick up things.  I plan to keep the money in a separate envelope and use it towards maybe starting my Lia Sophia business in the fall.  Yes it all comes back to Lia Sophia ;)

But seriously, if you're looking to offload some stuff or are a garage sale fan but hate spending time driving around and finding nothing, give a virtual site a try. 

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