Rummage sale, garage sale, yard sale….whatever you call it, selling your unused household items is a great way to bring in some extra money when you’re in a crunch.
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However, a yard sale can take a lot of work and time to organize and set up.
From needing tables to having a prime location for traffic and even the time of year can really put a damper to your yard sale.
And, you might even have to go back and forth with your locality to make sure you have the right permits for having a yard sale.
Not to mention the signs you need to put up, letting others know about your sale, and spending at least a full day setting up, having the sale, and taking everything back down again.
However, there is a way to skip all of the hassles of a traditional rummage sale and you can even make a steady extra income!
Online rummage sales are becoming a highly popular way to make and save money.
There are many platforms online to sell your unwanted items like eBay and Craigslist.
Some people are even taking to Etsy and Amazon to get rid of vintage or handmade items.
But one that is a little less known is Facebook, in the form of its groups and Marketplace.
In Facebook Groups, people are able to post images of items they want to sell.
Interested buyers can then comment to ask for more details or claim the item.
The Facebook Marketplace is a more recent feature that Facebook rolled out to make it even easier for members to sell their stuff without ever having to join a group if they don’t want to.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about using Facebook to host an online rummage sale to save yourself time and effort when trying to make some extra money from your stuff.
What is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook group can be set up by anyone on Facebook.
A group gives you a place to chat with like-minded members and host a place where people with like-minded interests can virtually meet each other, learn more about each other, and discuss their mutual interests.
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Anyone who starts a Facebook group can then invite others to join.
They can also set it up for members to invite others into the group.
It creates a unique newsfeed particularly for the people who are part of the group.
If you’re a member of a Facebook group, you can head directly to that group to check out the latest posts.
Or, you can find them on your Facebook News Feed when you log into your account.
Think of a Facebook group as a little section of the internet meant just for you and people with similar interests.
It’s a great way to meet like-minded people for conversation or, in this case, sell unwanted items or even find great deals on things you want or need.
More and more localities – cities, towns, and even neighborhoods – are starting their own Facebook Groups for people who live there to join.
These groups are often focused on buying and selling, meaning that they’re specifically for people looking to buy things or sell their stuff.
What Can You Post in a Facebook Group?
Anything you don’t want!
Jewelry, clothes, household items, holiday decorations, baked goods, crafts, toys….it’s a yard sale- just online!
Just be sure to follow the rules of the group.
Some may specifically request that certain items don’t get sold through the group, like cars or anything that could be deemed inappropriate (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.).
Most of these groups have very specific rules you’ll need to read through before you join, and violating any of them can get you kicked out and even banned from ever rejoining.
Also, be sure to use common sense.
Don’t sell anything illegal, stolen, or offensive.
Not only can these get you kicked out of a group, but they could even get you kicked off Facebook for good.
How to Post in Online Rummage Sales on Facebook Groups
After you have joined a local online rummage sale group on Facebook, take a clear picture that gives an honest view of the item you are selling.
Write a description of the item describing its condition and any other important information.
Be sure to note if there are any scratches, defects, or even broken functions.
Something broken or not fully working isn’t something you need to cross off your list to sell, but be sure, to be honest about the condition.
Then set a price.
Remember this is basically the same as a yard sale.
If you want to sell that item, give it an attractive price that you still feel is fair.
What is the least amount of money you would take for the item?
Depending on your selling style, you may want to raise the bottom dollar up a little to make room for negotiating or give your bottom dollar and hold firm.
Once you’ve listed your item in the group, you should be prepared to start getting some questions from interested buyers.
In your group, you can check the settings to make sure you’re receiving notifications.
You can also set these settings specifically on your posts to ensure you get notifications when people comment on your listings.
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Return to Facebook a few times a day to answer questions and comments and to respond to others who might be interested.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace offers you another way to host an online rummage sale on Facebook without ever having to join a group.
This is a good option for you if you’re already a member of other groups and don’t want your feed to become overwhelmed with group posts.
Or, maybe you just have no desire to join a Facebook group!
Using Facebook Marketplace, you can post what you’re selling directly to the Marketplace for other Facebook members to see.
The best part about Marketplace is that anyone on Facebook can see your item, even if they live far away.
You can always note in your listing that you’re selling for local pickup only if you don’t want to worry about the hassles of shipping.
Facebook Marketplace is very similar to selling apps, like Close5 and Letgo.
You’ll upload pictures of your items, add a description, set a price, and start selling.
Whoever browses the Marketplace for items like yours can find your listing and contact you through the Marketplace (they don’t have to contact you separately through email or Messenger).
Also through Marketplace, you can set up a day and time to meet and chat with your customer.
What’s great about the Marketplace is that, if you are also a member of buying and selling Facebook Groups, you can share your Marketplace listings to your Groups easily.
Or, just share them on your own Facebook profile.
Either way, you’re getting more views on your listings.
There’s no limit to how many listings you can have at a time on the Marketplace, and you’re always free to mark items as sold so people stop contacting you about them once they find a new home.
Are There Drawbacks to Selling on the Marketplace?
Yes, there can be, just like there can be with just about any online selling platform.
Facebook Marketplace is convenient and super easy to use.
Unfortunately, it’s not really where people who want to spend a lot of money hang out (Groups really aren’t either).
You’ll often find people contacting you who are interested in an item, only to find out they want to low-ball you into paying you only half of what you want for that item.
If you’re really set on a price, you need to stay firm to get what you want out of it.
You might want to add something to your listing that notes that there’s no wiggle room on price, just to try to weed some people out of the equation.
Also, the Marketplace can be easy for scammers to make their way into.
Facebook doesn’t continuously monitor every Marketplace listing, so it’s important to take control of your own listings and be careful.
Make sure you’re never sending an item to someone without already being paid for it.
I’ve read some horror stories of people paying for things through Marketplace and then contacting the seller the next day claiming that the product is defective and they want their money back.
These people aren’t usually nice about it either!
There’s always a risk when selling on Facebook that someone isn’t quite who they seem to be when you sell to them, so just keep that in mind and decide if it’s something you’re ready to potentially deal with.
Meeting People Safely to Sell Items
Once you have a buyer for your item you must arrange how you will handle the transaction of the item and money.
This holds true for anything you sell on the Marketplace or in Groups.
It is important to be safe and smart when meeting strangers. Here are some tips from experienced buyers and sellers:
Meet in a public location, preferably during the day.
Once you find a buyer in a group, move your conversation to messages so no one gives their personal information, such as a phone number, to the whole group or knows when and where you’ll meet.
If you’re using Marketplace, you’ll already be in a private conversation, so you can have a little more privacy with your information.
Never, EVER give out your address, though.
Always find a public place to meet that usually has a lot of people in and out of it all day, like a nearby gas station or fast-food restaurant.
This is just a safety measure that could prevent something bad from happening by scammers.
Some police stations now have public meeting spots in their parking lots for events just like this, so you can check with your local police station to see if it does.
You also might want to keep your phone number under wraps and just communicate via Messenger, since it gives you some privacy protection and the ability to block or report someone.
Bring someone with you to the meeting place.
You should always have someone join you for the buying and selling process if at all possible.
Someone will be much less likely to hurt you if someone is with you.
Make sure your buyer can clearly see your friend/relative that joins you, just so they’re aware of their presence.
And if you feel uncomfortable then don’t go through with the sale!
Feel free to call it off at any time- just communicate this to your buyer (or seller).
You’re never obligated to go through with a sale as long as that person hasn’t already paid you; Facebook won’t kick you out for backing out.
However, if you do this frequently and others find out, you might get booted by your group.
Your safety is much more important, though, so it should always take priority over a sale or a Facebook group.
Keep your cell phone handy.
Always bring your cell phone with you and make sure it’s fully charged and functioning before you leave the house.
You should also have a few emergency numbers programmed into your phone, like the police department and a few close friends and relatives that you can call for help if needed.
Make sure to have Facebook and Facebook Messenger installed too, if possible.
This way, you’ll be able to contact your buyer should you start feeling like you don’t want to go through with the sale.
How to Make a Steady Extra Income with Rummage Sales
Online rummage sales through Facebook is not just great for extra money here and there.
Some are making it a business much like they would selling on eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon.
Amazon.com and eBay often have brand new jewelry and accessories going for under a dollar!
A friend of mine recently bought a very nice licensed watch with a leather band on eBay for a dollar (free shipping too).
She then quickly sold it on a local yard sale site through Facebook for $10.
It’s all about knowing how much you could realistically get for items and paying the least amount possible to make a profit.
You can also sell your unwanted clothes, toys, home décor, appliances, furniture, and just about anything else you don’t need or want on Facebook through the Marketplace or groups.
And, if you have any items that aren’t selling well on Facebook, you can always try online consignment shops, which are great for clothing and accessories.
What if There is Not a Yard Sale Group for My Area on Facebook?
If searching for yard sale groups in your area comes back empty, start one of your own!
Most larger areas already have groups in place, like cities or even boroughs of cities.
You might also want to search for your county, since some smaller areas tend to group themselves into a county group to make it bigger.
Sometimes, it can be tough to find a local group on Facebook because many of them make their groups private so that people can’t find it through a search.
Instead, they need to be invited to join and see the group.
If you can’t find a local group by searching, then I suggest reaching out to your local friends and relatives you have on Facebook.
Ask around to see if they’re a member of any local buying and selling group.
If so, see if they can send you an invite or request that the founder invite you to the group.
Not having any luck there either?
It’s simple to create a group of your own.
Go to Groups on Facebook and hit Create.
Fill out the information, be sure to set specific rules for your group, and start inviting everyone you know who lives locally.
It probably won’t take too long for the group to catch on and for your member base to grow.
Have you used Facebook Groups or Marketplace to sell stuff online instead of having a traditional yard sale? Do you have any tips you want to add?
What has your experience been like with these buying and selling groups or Facebook Marketplace? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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