Facebook Garage Sales

13 Oct

I’m hooked on a new way of selling the unwanted items I can’t bear to throw away, items I know I can recoup money on. I’ve sold at markets and I’ve found I just don’t have the patience for it. It’s a long day and the stalls are increasingly expensive. I’ve had flings with ebay but I always struggle with the admin side and who wants to lose money on those pesky fees? I recently discovered mass garage sales operating via Facebook.

These are a cross between your weekend garage sale and ebay. Facebook Garage Sales are Group pages set up by ordinary Joe Bloggs type people, they are not a business nor operated by Facebook. Do a Facebook search for Garage Sale in your local area and see what pops up. The one I use covers the whole of western Sydney, which is a MASSIVE area. Too broad if you ask me. There are simply too many people uploading too many items at such a rapid rate that they seem to get lost in a black hole of sorts. Still its great to see that there are tons of people happy to buy second-hand goods. It kinda helps balance out our obsession with mass consumerism.

Here’s how it works:

Members upload a photo of their item for sale into a specified album, for example women’s shoes.  Writing their ad in the description box including price, condition and suburb it is located. Buyers write SOLD as a comment if they want to buy the item and then negotiations can begin about collecting the item. Once the item has been collected the seller must delete the photo from the album. Pretty simple huh?

Like a garage sale, haggling over prices is common place and so too is competing with fellow buyers but the admin put rules in place to keep a sense of order. If you also want to buy the item that someone else has already commented Sold on, you can type Sold Next in Line (NIL). If the first buyer falls through (which often happens for various reasons) then the sale falls to you, the next in line.

What I like about this type of garage sale is that it is relatively easy to manage if you are fairly adept at Facebook. I love not having to post items like ebay. Calculating postage is not my forte no matter how many things I post and I always seem to have irregularly shaped or large items making local pick up the only option. On Facebook buyers pick up their purchases from the seller or they arrange to meet at a public place. My kids love being able to sell their toys they have outgrown. It’s a great incentive for them to let go. They have outgrown the Toy Story philosophy that toys given to the op shop go onto live second lives with other children. Now they just want the cold hard cash.

What I don’t like is that it can be very time-consuming. It can take a long time to sell an item after constantly bumping it to the top of the wall on a daily basis. Like real life some people are really lovely to deal with whilst others have no manners at all. In my mind, if you write sold on an item then you have committed to the conditions of the sale. You don’t muck me around for a week about when you can pick it up and then Pass on the sale at the last-minute or leave me waiting for you while you don’t show to pick it up at all. I just don’t understand these people?

So far we’ve had success selling off some large items and kids toys but I have to reserve my designer/collectable items for ebay. It’s just not the target market for those goods.

Have you had experience with these types of sales via Facebook? Please share your thoughts.

2 Responses to “Facebook Garage Sales”

  1. empressnasigoreng October 14, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    I haven’t but got fed up with Freecycle for similar reasons.

    • The Hunter Gatherers October 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Yeah I subscribed to Freecycle for a while but I hated the format. I need pictures! Surely someone could make that system more user friendly?

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