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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

8 Tips to Buying and Selling on Facebook Yard Sales

My mom and I used to wait for yard sale season - April through September. A time when you could turn someone else's trash into your treasure. I have found depression glass, antiques, bikes and so many cool things for so little money. We would truly miss the season during late fall and winter. But thanks to Facebook yard sale sites, we no longer have to wait to get that high of receiving an incredible deal. We can get those deals all year long without even leaving the house to search for it! You find the item, make a deal on line and then arrange to meet.

I have found dozens of Northern Kentucky yard sale sites on Facebook. There are very broad sites like A little Bit of Everything Yard Sale or the Couch Potato Yard Sale and more narrow sites that are just for furniture, cars, special occasion dresses or wedding items. Some sites even state that the items must be new with tags or can't cost more than $10. All of the sites I have found have at least a few rules to avoid drama. The most common rules include if you say you are going to show up, show up, don't line jump and don't sell guns, animals or stolen items.

I have purchased a dining room table and hutch for $150, a brand new pub table for only $50 and a Gazelle Edge for $20. My step-son bought dishes for eight, pots, pans and several other kitchen items for only $50 for his new apartment.I have sold a car, end tables, a filing cabinet, two desks, a bike, a TV and several other items.

Sold two end tables for $50

Purchased these chairs with a dining room table and hutch for $150
I have bought and sold through these sites a lot. I've gotten same amazing deals, been burned a little, made some cash and learned a lot. Here are eight tips when buying and selling on Facebook yard sale sites.

  1. Don't share personal information in public. This seems obvious but don't post your personal information like your phone number or address on the page. I suggest working out the details via Facebook Messenger so that the page's thousands of fans don't have your number.
  2. Ask important questions. I learned the hard way that I should always ask if it comes from a non-smoking home since I am allergic to smoke. I had been looking for a dining room table and chairs for quite some time. I was so excited when I saw a table, chairs and hutch posted that I forgot to ask about smoking. We seriously could smell the smoke coming out of the house from the front yard. I didn't feel right backing out at the point but I regretted it. I had to leave the chairs on my porch for days because of the fabric seats and I spent about five days getting the smoke out of the furniture using homemade remedies I found online. I also ended up with a sinus infection. 
  3. Inspect the item. People will claim the item has never been used but then you end up with a purse with cracker crumbs and rips in it. You have every right to walk away from the deal if it isn't what they advertised.
  4. Be safe. Do not go inside of people's homes to pick items up. I suggest meeting people in a public space. If it is a large piece of furniture, ask the owner to bring it outside or take several people with you.
  5. Don't buy stolen items. The seller obviously isn't going to tell you it's stolen but it seems easy to me to detect. If a person is selling five Coach purses "with tags, never been used" at a discounted price, they are probably stolen. Also watch out for someone who is selling a lot of jewelry or a variety of electronics. 
  6. Be honest. Don't lie about the items you are selling. If there is something wrong, be upfront. You don't want to be scammed so don't scam someone else. 
  7. Ask if the seller has pets. A leather couch is probably going to have a tear or two if they have a cat or dog in the house. An allergy might also be an issue.
  8. Move quickly. If you see something you like, type "interested" in the comments immediately since it's first come, first serve. Then ask questions. You can always pass if it's not exactly what you want.
Enjoy yard sale shopping from the comfort of your house!

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