We all have junk — clutter amassed over the years, toys your kids no longer play with, or clothes you no longer wear, for example.
Whether you’re trying to finance something or just looking for a more minimal way to live, Facebook yard sales can help you declutter and save money at the same time.
Below, we explain how Facebook yard sales work and how to get started.
There are various places to sell things online, including Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. However, there are some advantages to using Facebook instead of these platforms, which we explain below.
Free to Use
Selling stuff online can be costly. For example, eBay takes a cut of your final sale price, and if your buyer uses PayPal, you’ll pay another transaction fee. You might sell an old power drill for $15 and earn around $11.
Likewise, Amazon allows individuals to sell items for free but charges listing fees, referral fees, and closing fees.
If you’re selling high-value or rare items that would be of interest to collectors nationwide, Amazon or eBay could be the best option for you. Etsy is a good option for regular sellers of handmade goods (and you can even earn a full-time income).
However, Facebook yard sales are free, making them the best option for the casual seller who wants to avoid additional fees.
Large User Base
Facebook is one of the most popular social media apps. Estimates place its daily user base at around 2.9 billion. That’s a lot of potential buyers!
Many users tend to add a wide variety of friends and keep them, so you might even find an interested buyer on your own friends list, such as an old classmate you haven’t talked to in years or a friend of a friend.
On classified platforms like Craigslist, there’s no real way to tell how much interest there is in a post, giving buyers no indication of whether they should move quickly.
On Facebook, you may fine-tune the deal through private messages, but likes and comments on the existing post and similar older posts are a good indicator of whether the item is in demand and whether it’s a good value. Visual traffic is a very handy deal-maker.
Lack of Anonymity
Selling on platforms like Craigslist can be largely anonymous. As a seller, you’ll have no idea who you’re talking to, which can be kind of daunting. You’ll see a buyer’s email address if they contact you about an item, but you never truly know who you’re meeting.
Facebook eliminates this, as each user has a profile. Selling on Facebook is more transparent.
Although many aspects of the person’s life will probably remain private, you should at least be able to see their profile photo, basic details, and activity. Fake profiles are generally easy to spot.
If you sell in a group, the group administrator will also be responsible for responding to complaints regarding fake profiles and removing them from the community.
How to Start
Our step-by-step guide below will help you successfully navigate your first Facebook yard sale.
Step 1: Find Groups
The best way to find groups is to start by searching your zip code and town/city along with words like “yard sale,” “garage sale,” “buy,” or “sell.” There will probably be more than one group in your area that meets your criteria.
Remember, volume is key. Join as many groups as possible to enhance your chances of reaching the next owner of your unwanted stuff. You may have to be approved by a group administrator, but this should take less than 24 hours for an active group.
Step 2: Advertise
Your ad will be a post, just like everything else on Facebook. Keep it simple, relatively short, and well-written.
Have a scroll through other sellers’ posts to see what kind of information they’ve included. A brief description, the price, and a general location are often enough.
Don’t hand out your exact address! People can contact you for further information or negotiations.
Don’t forget pictures — they should be appealing and show your item from all angles. Take photos in natural light and make sure they’re representative of the item.
Sell as you’d like to be sold to. Be polite, friendly, and helpful — but most of all, be honest. If it has a stain, say so. If there’s a dent, point it out.
Bad experiences drive potential buyers and sellers away, so be a good member of the community, abide by the rules, and watch it flourish.
Step 3: Wait for the Messages to Roll In
Buyers can contact you by commenting on the post itself or through a private message.
You may need to check your settings to make sure you allow private messages from people who aren’t on your friends list. Don’t forget to check the “Filtered” folder (on the dropdown box in your messages), where messages from non-friends are sometimes directed.
Don’t forget people are more active online at certain times of the day (i.e., lunchtime, early evening).
Step 4 – No Luck Yet? BUMP It
BUMP stands for “bring up my post.” By commenting on the post, you can bring it to the top of the group’s wall and to the immediate attention of buyers.
You may also want to add a note to your post which requires confirmation of sale within 24 hours (or your preferred time frame) and state that the item will become available again if no further contact is made by that time.
Step 5: Make the Exchange
Meet your buyer in a busy, public place and deal in cash. It’s worth bringing change in case your buyer shows up with a twenty for $7 worth of stuff.
If the buyer has to come to your house, such as to haul away a large item, make the deal on the doorstep. Have the item prepped and ready to go, and, if you can, have company.
It’s nice to think that everyone is honest in the world, but it’s much better to take precautions. Safety is paramount.
Facebook yard sales are a fun, free, and easy way to declutter your life and make some cash. You’ll be surprised at what people are eager to buy that you might have sitting unused in your garage.
As with everything, some people will have more success than others. If you’re struggling to make headway — perhaps there’s a lack of groups in your area, or you disagree with the rules of the group you’ve joined — why not start your own group?
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