In the past, if you wanted to hit up a garage sale, you would have to wait until the weekend to do so.
You would have to scan the newspaper, check out Craigslist and figure out when you needed to leave the house. Let’s not forget the getting up early to get the best stuff and wasting gas getting there. Remember, not every garage sale is a hit.
In the past, I wrote about the many ways you can visit garage sales online, but I wanted to focus more on Facebook, letting you know exactly how it works as well as how you can browse garage sales 24/7
In this guide, I will talk about what you can do to find an online Facebook garage sale, how you can sell on them as well as how you can even start your own garage sale group.
Facebook Online Garage Sales
How to Find a Facebook Online Garage Sale
To find an online garage sale on Facebook, you will have to find what’s known as a “Facebook Group.” These groups can be created by any Facebook user and can be on anything, as long as it’s legal, of course.
And, finding one is very simple.
What you will want to do is type in your city, followed by the words “garage sale” or “yard sale” in the search bar as seen below. You will then want to click on the “Groups” tab to ensure that you’re only looking at groups.
No matter where you live, you will find that there should be at least one or two groups nearby. Remember, you will have to travel to the seller most of the time, so it’s important that you pick out a city nearby.
In my screenshot above, the first two listings seem promising as it’s in my hometown and it seems to be quite active. In choosing a group, I highly recommend you pick out a group with more than 1,000+ members at least 10+ posts a day. The more people in the group, the more listings you will see. Plus, if you want to sell something, it can mean more potential buyers.
Joining the Group
In order to join a Facebook Group, you will first have to be accepted to the group.
Generally, as long as you follow the rules and answer the questions honestly, you shouldn’t have a problem. You can find the rules by clicking on the group link and just reading the description. Some are lengthy, while others are straight to the point. It’s important that you read them, however, to ensure that you don’t get booted from the group.
For instance, these were the rules in that very first group, East Valley Online Yard / Garage Sales:
The Rules — Be Sure to Follow Them!
For most groups, it’s pretty straight forward. No promotions, no spam and nothing non-garage sale related. You may also encounter the following as well:
- you must live within a certain number of miles from a city or you must live in the city specified
- only approved items as some groups are very specific (i.e, baby stuff)
- follow the instructions as some make you post unique pictures whereas others require you to respond within 12 hours
- never promote anything outside of a garage sale; if you wouldn’t sell it at a garage sale, you wouldn’t do it here!
As long as you’re listing and buying, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Once you agree to the rules, it’s now time to officially join the group. Click on that “Join” button and agree to the terms. Every group is different, but you will usually be presented with a variety of questions, such as this…
Again, answer these questions honestly and wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 24+ hours to get accepted. As these groups are run by people like you, it just depends on when the administrator has time to check incoming members. Your results will vary.
Browsing the Group
Once you’re accepted into the group, you can then immediately start browsing local items for sale.
In order to do so, you will want to log in and click on your “Groups” tab, which can be found in the left-hand sidebar on the desktop or the three lines in the upper-right hand corner in the case you’re using your phone.
Find the group, click on it and you can then browse items just as you would at a garage sale. It will look something like this…
Depending on how your group is set up, you will either have to message the seller and work out payment arrangements or you may have to reply to the post, either saying you’re interested or you want it. Be sure to read the rules as each group is different.
After you agree to a deal, you will then have to arrange a meetup time to complete the deal. Much like Craigslist, it’s highly recommended you meet in a public area, such as your local police station or a very busy parking lot to ensure no fishy business is going on.
How to Sell on Facebook Garage Sales
If you want to sell via these groups, you can do so as well, again, as long as you’re playing by the rules.
In most of these groups, you will be asked to take unique photos, describe the item you’re selling and list a price. If someone is interested, you will have to contact them in a reasonable amount of time so that you can close out the deal. Again, check out the group rules to make sure you know what you can and can’t do as they are all different. I can’t stress it enough.
To sell, you will want to click on the “… More” tab and click on “sell something” to start your ad. You will find this near the top of the group’s page where you can write your status.
In selling, just be as descriptive as possible, take lots of pictures and be responsive when someone messages you. As long as your selling price is aggressive, you shouldn’t have a problem finding someone who wants to buy what you have.
To succeed in selling, I just wanted to share a few tips that have worked great for me personally.
- Be clear about any meetups and payments. Again, it’s best to meet in a public area, such as a police station or a popular parking lot.
- Save the drama for home. You’re going to get some lowball offers and odd requests. Just ignore it and move onto the next.
- Response quickly. No, you don’t have to respond in two minutes, but at least make an effort to do so within the next few hours. People appreciate this.
- Always make sure your item is wanted and priced right. No one wants to pay $100 for a $25 phone.
- Be as descriptive as possible to prevent people from questioning you or even trying to return the item. If there’s a blemish, let it be known. Being honest is always the best policy.
- Take as many photos as possible. Get a photo using natural light and ensure the quality is good. No one wants to look at blurry pictures, or better yet, nothing at all.
Facebook Marketplace, Another Option to Consider
Joining a group can be a lot of work to some, and I agree. Thankfully, more buyers and sellers use what’s known as the “Facebook Marketplace” than they do the groups.
In short, the Facebook Marketplace is open to all and you don’t need to be accepted. You can browse and buy right away.
To use the Facebook Marketplace, it’s extremely simple to use. Just click on the “Marketplace” tab, either on the left-side menu via your desktop or through the three lines on your phone. It will look something like this…
Then, after you click on it, you can immediately browse the top picks in your area, all of which are based on your location. There’s no need to join and wait, which is awesome.
Here’s what my Marketplace looked like…
In the marketplace, you can browse by category or even search for something if you had a particular item in mind. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
If you do find a listing that is of interest, you can click on the listing for more information as well as message the buyer if need be.
The great thing about the Facebook Marketplace is that you can check out the seller’s Facebook profile ahead of time to at least know who you’re dealing with. While it isn’t a foolproof way to ensure you’re not dealing with someone dangerous, it can at least give you an idea of who you’re working with.
Both Facebook Groups and the Marketplace can keep you busy for an eternity.
And, while it’s still fun to visit a garage sale in person, you’re often limited to the days and you never know what you’re going to find. Let’s not forget you have to waste gas. At least with Facebook, you can browse in the comforts of your own home and know what you’re getting yourself into.
As I already mentioned, many other options that work just like a garage sale online. So, if you’re the type that loves to bargain hunt, you could be on your computer all day. Be careful!
In the meantime, if you want to go garage sale hunting on Facebook, it can be done and a lot of fun.
As always, if you have any tips or want to share your experiences, you’re always welcome to do so in the comments below.
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