About a year ago, I discovered a local group on Facebook that I decided to join. It was "(Fill in the Blank with County Name) Area Yard Sale" Facebook page. Several people from my church had invited me to join, so I did. Every now and then I would scroll through and look at items for sale to see if there was anything I wanted or needed.
Since beginning our adoption and becoming a fundraising family, being involved in this group has helped me raise $322! In adoption world, that's like several sets of fingerprints, or several parenting courses, or a couple of visas, or a post-adoption report! Ha!
If you're interested, just search your Facebook for your county's yard sale page. All of the counties surrounding us have one established, but if you can't find one, create it yourself! TONS of people love yard sales and would want to join. I love it so much more than Craigslist because, well, we all know Craigslist has some questionable stuff on there. I can't think of one thing I've successfully sold on Craigslist. Another benefit of using the county yard sale page is that all the members live in your local area. I don't have to worry about shipping things across the country (like with ebay) or driving to a city an hour away to meet someone who may or may not be shady (as in Craigslist). Knowing that everyone is local also frees me up to sell several smaller, cheaper items because I know I don't have to ship or travel far to sell it.
The first thing I do is take nice photos of my items. The word "nice" really is important. I can't tell you how many blurry, dark, or poorly thought-out photos I see posted. One time, someone posted a photo of his truck for sale and he had taken the photo outside at night. Come on, people! If I can't see what color or size the item is, and if I'm not able to enlarge it to see details and possible damaged spots, I'm not buying! So, I try to set my small items up one at a time in our brightly-lit kitchen on a table with no other clutter around. I usually wait until I have several items and post them together in a photo album.
Next, I always include a good description of my items, including the price and I add that all proceeds help support our family's adoption. Any time I have failed to include a detailed description, people ask questions and I end up having to add details anyway!
Like our consignment items, I get my Facebook items mostly from things donated by other people. Our family and friends know we are in the adoption process and trying to bring in extra cash, so we regularly have stuff given to us to use as we see fit for fundraising.
Things that sell really well on my Facebook page are: Baby items, DVD's, video games, kids toys, anything "NEW," and electronics. Almost everything I have sold has been something small and relatively cheap. DVD's and CD's for $2 each, a box of baby clothes for $10, light fixtures, phones, TV's, baskets, laptop cases all for $5 each.
When I post items, I wait until someone comments and says they want it. Rarely do people haggle on my Facebook page like they do at yard sales. Once a person expresses interest, we begin a private message conversation so we decide when and where to meet. I usually pick a busy place like one of our grocery store parking lots in my town. I never meet people at my home or workplace. So far everyone I have sold to has always shown up on time, and no one has ever "stood me up."
5 bucks here and there adds up, friends. I think my very post was back in August, and I have now raised $322 just from selling small stuff! The only thing I have to do is take a decent photo, include a description, check my Facebook messages once or twice a day, and be willing to meet people every now and then at the grocery store. If you are a fundraising family (or just want to save up for something special), I highly recommend selling stuff on Facebook. You know we all have items around our home that could bring in $5 or so. If you don't have enough stuff for a full-blown yard sale, try Facebook!
- Take nice photos
- Add good descriptions of each item (size, possible damage, age, price, quantity)
- Each time someone comments your photo, it gets moved to the top of the newsfeed, so if you have an item that hasn't gotten any love, go comment on it yourself to bump it up in the feed.
- Meet folks at nearby, public places, during the day
Happy virtual yard-selling!