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VarageSale Review: A Good Online Garage Sale Option?

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A few weeks ago, I reviewed the very popular app, Letgo.  In short, it’s one of the largest Craigslist-like apps on the market today.  All you need to do is post what you have for sale, confirm payment details with the buyer and meet up to complete the transaction.  Best of all, it’s free to use.

Well, in my 30+ best Craigslist alternatives, there was another popular option that I felt needed to be reviewed — VarageSale.

VarageSale is an “online garage sale app,” where you can buy and sell locally.  It works just like Letgo, but it’s a pinch different.  Don’t worry, I will explain all about it below.

If you have something to sell or maybe you want to see what’s for sale in your area, it’s another app to add to your phone if you want to bring the garage sales to your phone.

VarageSale Review

In today’s review,  I want to talk about how the app works, how you can sell/buy as well as what other people are saying about it.

Is it one of the best online garage sale apps?

Can you make money with it?

What’s great about it?  What’s bad about it?

These are all questions I’m about to answer.  If you’re a fan of online garage sales and love buying and selling online, then it may be one to consider.

Let’s begin!

What is VarageSale?

VarageSale is technically a virtual garage sale, designed to help you buy and sell items locally.  According to the company, it’s the only app that confirms your identity, which simply means everyone goes through a manual review process before you’re even able to use the app.  In my research, confirming means verifying your phone number and profile picture, that’s about.

Whether you’re buying or selling, the app allows you to search current listings, see seller ratings as well as filter your results so that you can find exactly what you need.  If it’s something you want to sell, then it’s as easy as taking a picture, adding a description and then confirming the details with a buyer to meet up in person.

The company was founded in 2012 by Tami Zuckerman, a school teacher from Montreal, Quebec.  In 2017, it was acquired by VerticalScope, another Canadian-based company that focuses on building online communities.

As I write this, the app has more than one million downloads with a 4.4/5 Google Play Store rating.



How to Download

You can use the website version if you so choose, which can be found at VarageSale.com, but they also have an app available, too.  Seeing most buyers and sellers use the app, I will cover that version in my review.  While the desktop version is similar, the layout is a pinch different, but you can do everything you can do on your phone.

Listed below are the links for the app:

The app/website is 100% free to download and sign up for.  You never have to pay a fee, even if you sell an item.

How to Sign Up

To sign up with VarageSale, you can do so in one of two ways.  You can connect your Facebook account or you can sign up with your email.

If you choose to sign up with your email, the app will ask for your email, a password as well as ask you to upload a photo, input your name and confirm your phone number.

Once you do so, the app will ask to confirm your location to show you “communities” nearby.  Unlike a lot of apps that allow you to search listings just based on your location and/or a zip code, VarageSale will make you join a local community so that everything you buy and sell is part of your area only.  This can be a huge perk to some as you know the buyer/seller will always be nearby.

For example, when I signed up, I was presented with this community that included a few cities near me, most of which were about 10 to 15 miles at most.

If this community looks of interest, you can join it, but if you don’t like it, you can view others.  Be forewarned, however, that the app automatically chooses the closest community to you, so if you choose a different, there’s a good chance it will be further away.  Once you join, you can always edit your profile so that you can join more than one community if you want to.

Every community is operated by a different admin, so it’s up to them to let you in.  Usually, they will look at where you live as well as your profile picture.

After you choose a community, the app will then ask you to select from a variety of categories so that they can “boost” these items in your feed.

This is entirely optional, but I would recommend at least checking a few items on the list if you plan on using the app for buying purposes.

After you save and finish, you can start browsing and selling, but your profile will be reviewed by a community profile to ensure you say who you say you are.

The entire process takes about five minutes top.  VarageSale is open to customers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan.

Your Dashboard

After you sign up, you can immediately start to browse items and even list items for sale.  However, remember that you need to be verified to fully take advantage of the app.

Once you join a community, your dashboard will look something like this…

You can browse the feed and scroll as you please or you can break down your search by category, which is located in the “categories” menu tab near the top.  They even have a discussion board, similar to that of a message board, where you can chat with other members in your community.  All of these options can be found via the links in the top menu.

At the bottom of your screen, you can view your most recent notifications, check your messages or even view your profile, where you can look at your stuff for sale or the transactions you completed in the past.  You can even join more communities and add friends if you wish to do so.  I will get into this later on this review.

For now, let’s talk about how you can buy as well as sell items on the app.

Buying on VarageSale

To buy something of interest, it’s not going to work like your typical eCommerce site, wherein you click on it, add it to your cart and then provide your credit card details to complete the transaction.  Instead, you will have to communicate with the seller to confirm the price as well as agree to a meetup spot.  Yes, like Craigslist and many sites that work like it, you will have to meet someone in person to complete the transaction.

When you find something of interest, you will want to click on the item and be sure to read the description to understand what you’re buying.

On the description page, it will look something like this…

You will be able to see who’s selling it, a simple description as well as where the buyer is willing to meet you.  You can also scroll down and view the seller’s feedback, similar to that of eBay.

If everything appears to be what you think it is, then you can click on the “message seller” button near the bottom to start the transaction.  It will look something like this…

I would recommend starting the conversation out by asking them if the product is still available so that you’re not wasting your time.  If it is, then you can either negotiate on the price or if you’re happy with the price posted, you can work out the meetup details.

All active messages can be found via your dashboard beneath the envelope tab, and anytime someone responds, you will receive a notification.

Selling

Selling works similar to that of buying, at least in terms of communicating.

To start selling, you will want to look for the “Post” button on the main dashboard.  It will look like this…

In clicking this, it will take you directly to your photo gallery, where you can add up to five photos for the item you’re looking to sell.

After you add the photos, the app will then ask you to add a title, description, price as well as assign it to a category.

If you don’t want to sell the item, you can click on the “looking for” button.  In doing so, this means that you’re interested in finding this item and not selling it.

Once you add everything, hit the “post my item” button and wait for a buyer to contact you.  If you don’t receive any hits within 24-48+ hours, then your price may be too high and/or there may not be enough members in your area that are interested in what you have to sell.

Before you sell, just make sure that you’re not selling something that’s on the restricted list.

TIP:  When selling, make sure you take as many detailed pictures as possible as well as use specific keywords so that you show up in a search whenever someone uses it.  Use one of the many free keyword tools online to get keyword ideas.  Also, be honest in your description to avoid any problems in the future.

What Others Are Saying

Now that I think I covered the app in detail, let’s take a gander at what other people are saying about it.  Personally, I haven’t used it all that much, so I can only comment on usability.  Like any app/website, you will always find a lot of positive press as well as a lot of negativity.  Nothing is perfect after all.

Listed below, I broke down both the pros and cons that I sourced from various third-party websites online.

The Pros

You have to be verified in order to use the app, usually with your phone number.

You can only buy and sell with neighbors in your immediate area (this can be seen as a con to some, however).

The app is very easy to use.   You can upload something for sale within minutes.



The Cons

Admins may not let you join if you live outside the area.  This seems to be the biggest complaint.

Like any selling app, some sellers may flake out on you.

Admins can be strict with your profile picture when signing up.

You do need to give hand over your phone number in order to use the app and be verified.  This is a turn-off to some.

It can take a long time to get your application to be approved.

Some areas have very little activity.

A lot of poor third-party reviews, most of which average one star with 50+ reviews.

Final Thoughts

VarageSale seems to be an okay app to buy and sell, but I would say it’s the best option out there.   If you want to sell something, you could at least consider it, but I wouldn’t expect as much as traffic as Facebook, Craigslist, Letgo and Offerup, to name a few.  I would start with these first before considering this option.

For that reason, I will say VarageSale is a mixed bag.  Out of all the selling apps I reviewed, they seemed to have some of the poorest third-party reviews, mostly due to the strict admins and approval process.  Plus, if you don’t live in the area, there’s a good chance you won’t get approved.  Most other apps don’t put you through this.

Nonetheless, if you want to sell and/or buy on as many apps as possible, add it to your arsenal to see if you can have any luck.  Don’t consider it as a top option, however. How much you find to buy and/or sell will be heavily dependent on your geographical location.

Now, it’s your turn.

Have you ever used the app?

Have you had any luck?

Want to know more about it?

Have anything to vent about?

Whatever is on your mind, you’re more than welcome to sound off in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. Working in the finance industry for more than a decade, allow me to share my thoughts! If you ever have questions, feel free to contact me via the contact page.

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