Facebook Yard Sales: What and How

Facebook Yard Sales: What

Have you heard of Facebook yard sales?  I was really confused by the concept when I first heard of it so I thought it might help some of you out if I touched on the topic.

Facebook Yard Sale_Pinnable Image

A Facebook yard sale is essentially where a garage sale meets Craigslist, but better.  In a garage sale, you pick a day and try to sell all the things you no longer need in your front yard for a few hours.  On Craigslist, you list items you want to get rid of individually or in bunches and wait for people to make appointments to come check them out or purchase them.  Craigslist posts easily get lost among tons of other posts and are pretty much ignored if more than a few days old.

In a Facebook yard sale, you can also list things individually or in bunches like on Craigslist.  However, the posts show to a select group of people who are members of a specific Facebook group.  These people usually live in the same city or at least within the same zip code or area code as you.  Aside from details, a picture, and cost of the item you can post how long you will have the item available, by when you want it picked up, and where you want it picked up.

The idea of a Facebook yard sale is to have a buy, sell, and exchange group within your local area so the people are more than likely people you can trust.  Believe me, if something goes wrong with an individual, everyone in the group finds out.  Transactions can be made in a public area so you don’t have to have strangers come to your house.  A time is agreed on so you’re not wasting your time waiting at home all day and end up with no shows.  You don’t have to haul everything to your front yard and then have to figure out what to do with the things that didn’t sell all at once.

A nice feature of a Facebook yard sale is that every time someone comments on your post, it gets bumped to the front of the thread and more people see it.  Depending on your group rules, after a certain amount of time you may be allowed a given number of “bumps” where you can comment on your own post for the purpose of bumping it to the front of the thread.

Facebook Yard Sales: How

So how do you join a Facebook yard sale?  How does it work?

You want to start by having a Facebook account.  Sorry, you absolutely need one so you can interact on the groups.  It also helps to build trust since people can know you are a real person who lives in their area.

In your profile, you want to make sure you list the city you live in.  Once you log into Facebook, below your name on the upper left hand side, click “Edit Profile”.

Facebook Yard Sale_Edit Profile

On the left column in the page that appears, you’ll see a section named “Places You’ve Lived”.  Click that.

Facebook Yard Sale_Edit Profile Place You Live

If you’ve already selected a home city, but it’s not accurate, just hover on your home city and click on the “edit button”.  Change the city to your current city, select the privacy setting.  You will have to select “Public” as the group administrator will have to be able to “verify” that you live in that city.  Click “Save Changes”.

Facebook Yard Sale_Edit Profile Place You Live_2

Facebook Yard Sale_Edit Profile Change Current City

Facebook Yard Sale_Edit Profile Change Current City_2

If you haven’t selected a home city, click on “Add a place”.  Enter your home city, make it public, and save changes.

Next you will have to find a group.  In the facebook search field, enter search terms such as:

<Your City> Yard Sale

<Your  City> Garage Sale

<Your City> Exchange

<Your City> Buy

<Your City> Sell

<Your City> Kids

<Your City> Babies

<Your City> Findings

. . . . and anything else you can think of using.  You should be able to find a couple of groups this way.

Facebook Yard Sale_Find Group

Once you find a group, take note of whether they are an “Open” or “Closed” group.  If it’s “Secret”, you won’t be able to find it. This information appears in the “About” section on the right hand column.

An “Open” group is one where anyone can join and post.  Anyone can see that you are a member.  The postings are public.  So every time you post, your facebook friends will likely be able to see it.

A “Closed” group is one where you have to request to join.  Any current member who is your facebook friend or an administrator can approve your request.  Anyone can see that you are a member.  The postings are only visible to members of the group.  Your facebook friends will not be able to see your postings to the group unless they belong to the group.

A “Secret” group is not public at all.  No one can see who the members are.  Only members can see postings.  You basically need to find out about such a group from a current member and get an invite from them or the administrator of the group in order to join.

If you are comfortable with the type of group that it is, click on “Join Group”.  It’s currently a green button above the list of members or a gray button in the cover photo.  Now wait to be approved.

Once you are approved, make sure to read the group rules.  They will be listed in the “About” section in the right hand column once you’re in the group page and/or in a pinned post at the top of the thread (may only be visible on a desktop).

Facebook-Yard-Sale_Read-and-Comply-by-Rules

You are now ready to buy, sell, or exchange!  There are some acronyms you may have to learn along the way, here are a few:

ISO:  In Search Of

INT:  Interested

NIL:  Next In Line

EUC: Excellent Used Condition

NIB:  New In Box

OBO: Or Best Offer

TIA:  Thanks In Advance

PM:  Private Message

If selling, you just need to write a post and add a photo of the item.  In the text of the post, add the information required by the group which is typically the condition of the item, cost, pick up location (city), and whether it is cross posted in another group.  Include sizes when appropriate such as for clothes, shoes, or furniture dimensions may be helpful.   Typically sales rules are first come first serve.

If buying, you pretty much want to be the first one to state “INT” or “Interested” in the comments of the picture of the item you are interested in.  Arrangements of transaction are then done through private messaging.  Note, if you don’t know that person, the message may not be visible in their regular thread of messages and they will have to check their “other folder” on a web page or message you back before the message appears.

If someone beat you to stating “INT”, just type in “NIL”.  People sometimes change their minds or take too long to complete the transaction forcing the seller to move on to the next person.

Facebook Yard Sale_Biding

A Facebook yard sale transaction can easily be completed without exchanging phone numbers or private addresses.  You can PM your conversation and meet in a public location to complete the exchange.  Because you more than likely see that person active on the group buying and/or selling, you can have a good level of confidence that person is reliable.

Again, bad news travels fast.  If someone is shady or bad to deal with, people will spread the word quickly on the group and ban that person.

If you have been curious about Facebook yard sales, I hope this helps you take the first step.  I personally love them.  I’ve gotten a ton of things for the new baby at less than 50% of their retail value in like new condition.

Any questions?  Leave them in the comments.

If you have experience with Facebook yard sales, I’d love to hear if you have anything to add!  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

-Marisela

 

 

 

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