Today, we want to share with you on how to score great finds in Facebook yard sale groups.
Thrift shopping, second-hand shopping, flea market shopping, whatever you want to call it, has been the easiest and best way to save loads of money on everyday household goods and clothing. It’s how we survived those years when we were trying to pay off our $100k of consumer debt, while raising 6 kids.
In fact, being consumer debt free today, we still rely on these resources to save money on clothing, furniture, household, yard equipment needs, etc. It just makes sense. Nearly every item in our home or on our backs is a used item. I love thrift shopping! And even though we enjoy financial freedom today (after years of working hard to relieve ourselves of debt), we still do it because then we can choose to spend our money on the other things we love and enjoy, which become a bigger financial priority (that of organic food, travel and education – yes, this is where much of our money goes, besides our investments in our future).
Throughout the years, we have been able to score some amazing deals on some very high end, gently used items. When I can buy Nordstrom quality for Walmart prices, it’s a steal.
In fact, I have set foot in a Nordstrom, and then took a foot out right away after I saw a pair of ripped jeans on sale for $230! However, our home is filled with someone’s formerly loved items as this has garnered financial freedom on both fronts – items for our use and items to resell.
That brings me to the best news in all of this. Thrift finds can bring financial freedom beyond just your own purchases. We also continuously sell items through these gently used sources. A lot of those used items were things we bought second-hand, gently loved, and resold. Often times making money on that item (selling for more than we bought it).
It is a strategy and a really fun way to enjoy things that probably aren’t in your budget new, but will fit being used. Then turn around and sell your own items, or your own thrift finds later and make a profit.
Not only was this a strategy to save money and to help us in our goal of getting out of debt, THIS was a BIG method used to help us meet our 2% income increase goal each month.
The strategy of buying used and reselling again became a primary source of my stay-at-home-mom income during our darkest financial hours.
I would buy items for a great deal, clean them up, paint them, make any other low-priced upgrades to the item, then turn around and resell it. Very often I would make a 900% markup! I share the details of this in our book, The 2% Rule To Get Debt Free Fast. It became a fun and addictive method to make money from home while raising kids.
This idea has stretched far beyond just items, but I know many who now have Facebook Boutiques, primarily with clothing. In fact, one gal that we interviewed, she buys used boutique style clothing and resells it in her Facebook group, which has grown to nearly 10,000 customers in just a few years. She was making quite a chunk when we interviewed her last year – around $30 per hour. A year later since we posted that interview, she is now making multi-thousands per month, while raising two little boys!
So now that we have shared our history of:
- buying used to fit our budget for our own family
- buying used for a fantastic deal, cleaning up in some way and reselling for an upsell (we shared an example here)
- even creating a boutique online of high-end, luxury clothing and items for an online business
we want to share some strategies to take advantage of the great used deals on the most popular platform available – Facebook!
What we want to share with you today is how to score great finds in Facebook yard sale groups!
How To Score Great Finds In Facebook Yard Sale Groups
Facebook has absolutely revolutionized the way we view the world. Whatever interest you have, there is sure to be a group, board, or organization that is able to help you accomplish anything you are looking for. For those of us who like to budget, there are fantastic groups out there. Some of them are dedicated specifically to coupon hunting and finding great deals! It is incredible to be able to network with people who are trying to save money and keep their financial lives going smoothly. They will give you tips and tricks, and show you different ways to save money that you may have never thought of before. In fact, we encourage you to join our private group – Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple for that exact purpose.
In a world where we often lament the use of social media, groups are a perfect way to show how it affects us positively too. One of the best inventions that has arisen out of this trend of savings is the Facebook yard sale groups. In these groups, you are able to see what other buyers have to sell and buy just what you need at deeply discounted prices. If you are in need of something new, this is a great way to protect your bottom line.
By utilizing Facebook for your used purchases, you are able to reach a much broader audience, and a much broader selection. It’s far beyond a single-family’s yard sale, far beyond the classifieds (in this day and age) and far beyond the local thrift store.
Try these tips to score great finds in Facebook yard sale groups
What EXACTLY is a Facebook yard sale group?
Before we dive in to the strategies it’s important to understand what it is. A Facebook yard sale group is a group online through Facebook. You have to search and ask to be a part of them. It is a community of local people in your local area that are selling one, or many items like they would at a yard sale. So when you buy something from someone in the group, you will likely need to go to the location that they specify to pickup your item.
We don’t live in a giant community, it is a smaller community, yet we have 4-5 Facebook groups that are like online yard sales or garage sales and there are 30,000+ in each group! That is a large audience to sell to, but it is also a large audience to find some amazing deals. Far greater than having a yard sale where your items are only exposed to a few hundred.
Here’s an example of just one of the Facebook Yard Sale groups I am a part of in my smallish local community:
Facebook Selling/Buying Safety
We would recommend not paying on Facebook (as this option is available), but rather pay cash in person so that you can ensure the item is as stated and that you get your item without a hitch. Unfortunately, there can be some scammers that will collect money via Facebook, but then you never have the chance to obtain the item as they “disappear.” You can report these profiles and people to the admins of the Facebook group, but this really only protects others in the future and rarely solves your case. So ultimately, your money is gone.
We use the Facebook yard sale groups as a platform to find items for our personal use and for reselling. We also use the platform for reselling. But we never accept or exchange money through Facebook to ensure that we can avoid actual scammers. We will go to the person’s location that they specify and see the item and exchange the money for the item in person, like you would for a yard sale.
So it is like the classifieds, except that you have direct messaging access to the seller until the item is sold.
For another level of safety, when we are selling items, and a potential buyer has messaged us on Facebook and wants to buy or see the item, we will often meet them in a public parking lot locally. We personally feel safer and better by not letting strangers come to our house. We haven’t always done this as some items are so large and bulky that we have let some come to our house, but we try to minimize this as much as possible.
Here’s another example of a local Facebook Yard Sale group I am a part of:
As you can see – you can really sell anything!
Look for groups specifically tailored to your needs
If you have a closet full of clothing, you may not want to join groups that are full of leggings consultants trying to destash. You know what you are looking for, and you don’t want to get caught up buying things that you don’t need. Be sure to enter only groups that are tailored specifically to what you are looking for or items you are willing to resell, and there are plenty of those in addition to regular general purpose sale groups.
There are so many groups – some general, but many specific, that you can easily find the items you are willing to deal with.
Here’s an example of a general Facebook Yard Sale Group. I am sharing just three examples from my local community in this post so that you can see how WIDE OPEN your options for buying and selling really are:
Turn on notifications for what you want
If you are looking for something specific, you can absolutely let Facebook know that, and they will recommend it to you. Looking for a washer/dryer? Type it into the search bar and tell Facebook to notify you every time someone lists one. You will then be presented with every option within the groups you belong to. Don’t be afraid of your notifications blowing up, this feature only notifies you within the sale section of Facebook so that you aren’t completely overwhelmed by the notifications. And then when you have found that washer/dryer set, you and turn your notifications off!
We have also used this strategy for our reselling business. We check out trends, seasonal needs, etc. and turn on notifications of items sold within that category.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Because you are dealing with people directly, and not a retailer, you have the option to negotiate. Many times, people aren’t looking to make a huge profit off of what they have to sell, they are simply looking to get rid of items that they no longer have a use for.
When you are viewing an item, you have the option to message the seller. Ask them if they are willing to negotiate a fair price with you, you’ll find they often are. Do not attempt to negotiate with people when they have listed the word “firm” in their listing. Those people have given you the least expensive price they are willing to accept for that item, and will not budge (maybe they are a reseller?). From there, it is up to you to decide whether this is an item you are dying for or one that can wait until later. Please note that we find similar items continuously on the Facebook yard sale groups. So keep a price in mind that you are willing to pay and you remain firm in your budget. It is likely that something similar will be for sale very soon after and you can stay within your planned budget.
In the end, Facebook yard sale groups allow you to enjoy garage sales from the comfort of your own home. It is a time saver, a chance to see a wider range of products, and an introvert’s dream. Before you know it, you are going to be proudly displaying your latest Facebook find! And who knows, you might even have a flourishing little thrift shop out of your home too!
Do you have any tips on buying or selling in Facebook yard sale groups?
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