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Garage Sale Alternatives: Our Top List Of Places To Buy And Sell

Alivia Whitaker | Jul 31, 2018

Are you an avid yard saler looking for garage sale alternatives?  Maybe you're looking to branch out either as a buyer or a seller.  Well we've got the comprehensive look at how to be successful as a buyer and seller in areas beyond the garage sale!

Garage Sale Alternatives: Thrift Stores 

Second hand stores are a great option for those out looking for a good deal.  Some are definitely over-priced but to the right buyer who is careful and patient success can be had at thrift stores.  Our pro-tip if you find a good thrift store with reasonable prices, "buy low and sell high"!  If you like to hold garage sales or sell things online, finding the right buy at a thrift store is a great opportunity to flip an item.

Our Thrift-Store Pro Tips:
  • Find the right thrift store - not all are created equally.  Many thrift stores over-price their products especially furniture.
  • Go often - obviously inventory at thrift stores fluctuates so there will be moments of feast and famine.  If you go often, you'll have a better chance of finding that great prize.
  • Weigh options carefully - just because you found it at the thrift store doesn't mean you can't find something better elsewhere.  If it's used but still priced high, you might be better off paying a few dollars more for the brand new version.
  • Check ahead of time - if you're interested in flipping thrift store items, check you venues such as garage sales and online ahead of time to see what is selling and at what price.

Garage Sale Alternatives: Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a relatively new aspect of Facebook that competes with more veteran sites like Craigslist.  It's a selling aspect of the site where Facebook users can buy and sell used and new items from other Facebook members (Whether they are friends or not).  The leg it has up on Craigslist is it is much more easily searchable and the photos are better.

CNet.com did a great overview on how to successfully sell on Facebook Marketplace:

"Take awesome photos

Facebook Marketplace is a photo-stream of items for sale, so your first picture needs to be eye-catching -- or, at the very least, well-lit and in focus. Your pictures don't need to be professional -- it's a mobile app, after all -- but it's worth it to spend some time getting the right ones. Here are some tips:

  • Keep background clutter to a minimum.
  • If you don't have good lighting in your house (you probably don't), go outside and use natural lighting.
  • Clean up your item before shooting; wipe fingerprints off screens or electronics.
  • Try to get the entire item in the frame for the primary shot (additional shots can be detail shots).
  • Take at least three (or more) photos from different angles (Facebook Marketplace lets you add up to 10 photos per listing).
  • Use your own photos, not stock photos -- people want to see what the item looks like, and your listing will appear more authentic.
Price high, and prepare for negotiation

You want to get the most for your stuff, but you don't want to alienate people with outrageous prices. To get a ballpark figure for how you should be pricing your items, check completed listings on Ebay -- you may not get quite as much for your stuff (Ebay offers more protection for the buyer, thus buyers are often willing to pay more upfront), but this will give you an idea of where you should start your listing.

Price your item at the high end, but be open to negotiation. Nobody will pay you more than the listed price, but plenty of people will try to negotiate via Facebook Marketplace's Make Offerbutton (or via private message).

List each item separately

Maybe you're moving and you have a slew of items to post. You might be tempted to combine them all in one mega-moving-sale listing, but if you can spare the extra minutes, you should list each item you're selling separately. Because Facebook Marketplace is primarily picture-based, you only get one picture to capture the heart of your potential buyers -- they're not going to swipe through 10 photos just to see if you have the pieces they want. All of your listings are associated with your Facebook account, so just mention that you're having a moving sale and potential buyers can browse through your listings.

Prep your profile

The big difference between Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is the fact that Facebook Marketplace is linked to your Facebook profile. This makes Facebook Marketplace a little more credible, because people can see your picture and learn your name (and perhaps other information, depending on what you choose to share) instead of making a completely blind purchase.

What this means is that you want your public profile to make you look like a trustworthy person -- not a scammer. Make sure that your profile picture is a photo of you (preferably a well-lit photo of your smiling face), and that your cover photo is not offensive. Now is also a good time to do a Facebook privacy check-- make sure your public profile isn't sharing informationyou wouldn't want random strangers to stumble across.

Make the sale

Once you've listed your item and found a potential buyer, it's time to make the sale. Facebook lets you connect with the buyer via Facebook Messenger, and you should use this to hash out all the details -- the condition of the product, the price, the logistics of how the item is going to transfer from seller to buyer, etc. Because Facebook Marketplace does not offer protection for the seller or the buyer, it's important for both of you to be on the same page before any exchanges go down."

Garage Sale Alternatives: Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a site an app that is a social media network for neighborhoods.  It connects neighbors for mostly neighborhood related communication such as local questions, crime information, etc.  Nextdoor describes itself this way on it's About Us Page:

"Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It's the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it's free.

Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name

Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world."

Nextdoor recently added a selling feature where geographically located neighbors and connections can sell items.  Similar to a Craigslist of Facebook Marketplace model.  It's pretty basic - you make posts with photos and information about what you want to sell and wait to hear back from your network.

How To Operate On Nextdoor

The Nextdoor Blog wrote an article on how to create engaging Nexdoor posts.  In it they wrote,

"

  1. Choose topics that are local, relevant, and timely.Your residents joined Nextdoor because they’re interested in interacting with their neighbors and accessing information that is relevant to their neighborhoods. Typically, your residents want to receive:
    1. Updates on an emergency/crisis situation
    2. Public safety tips
    3. Neighborhood specific crime issues, crime stats, success stories
    4. Upcoming public meeting notices
    5. Information about street closures, planned changes to a neighborhood park, etc.
    6. Requests for feedback or help
  2. Develop a schedule for posting. As a general rule, your residents like to hear from you several times a week. Of course, feel free to share information more often if there are unusual events or situations that need to be communicated. Try to avoid posting information multiple times a day to the same neighborhoods.  
  3. Target your messages to neighborhoods or service areas. Your agency most likely has many toolsto broadcast out information. Nextdoor provides an opportunity to communicate in a different way. By targeting your messages geographically, you’ll ensure they are relevant to your audience, and you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving responses from your residents.
  4. Be neighborly.Write in a friendly, relatable tone. Avoid using technical terms and jargon. This is an opportunity for you to show some personality and build rapport with your residents. Although it may be easy to copy and paste a press release, you’ll see more engagement from your residents if you take a little time to construct a more personable post. Don’t be afraid to use humor!
  5. Use a captivating subject line.Since many of your residents will see your posts via email, it’s important to construct a subject line that will catch their attention. If the information you’re sharing is relevant to a location (neighborhood, intersection, etc.), including the name of the place in your subject line. Limit your subject line to 50 characters or less and avoid USING ALL CAPS.
  6. Keep your messages short and sweet.Over 60% of your residents will read your posts on mobile devices. If your message is longer than a few sentences, break up the text into paragraphs. When you need to provide background information, consider adding a link or an attachment rather than including all of the text in the body of your post.
  7. Whenever possible, attach images to your posts.Remember that your posts are competing with conversations that neighbors are having with each other on Nextdoor. The majority of posts created by neighbors include images. There’s a higher chance that your residents will read your post if it includes an image.
  8. Engage in the conversation.You’ll receive email notifications when your residents reply to your posts. As your residents ask questions or request more information, make sure you are replying to the thread. If you no longer wish to receive replies to a post, close the discussion."

We hope these garage sale alternatives are helpful to you!

In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: keylockstorage.com/blogs