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Archive for the ‘Alternative Yard Sales’ Category

I try hard to get a lot of our Christmas gifts at yard sales or on Craigslist .  . .although, at times, Amazon comes in really handy in December (particularly with free prime!).  Anyway, DH and I had been talking about finding a basketball hoop for our driveway for awhile now. We were looking at portables.

Then, on our local yard sale site on facebook, I found a $300 basketball pole/hoop (in-ground) still NEW IN THE BOX, for $100. It had great reviews online, so we bought it.

I’ll be honest, it took a long time for DH to assemble, but he did a great job. Here he is, at the end of the process:

Kurt finishing the installation of the basketball hoop

I have to say, the boys love their early (and largest) Christmas present. Unfortunately, it was very rainy this weekend. . .so it made for a lot of VERY muddy clothing and extra laundry. . .but they are so happy!

Shooting baskets!

Thing 1 shooting hoops

And, I am happy because we got an excellent deal through the online yard sale site and saved $200 on a very nice basketball hoop/set.

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Is Craigslist a viable “option” for bargain-hunters? How does it compare to yard sales?

I would put Craigslist in a similar category to “online yard sale groups on facebook”. The one advantage of the facebook groups is you can sort them by your town, while often Craigslist ads encompass a MUCH larger area.

Advantages of Craigslist:

1. You can search for JUST WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR with their search box!
2. Lots of ads and options to choose from.
3. Broken down into categories (for searching).
4. Reasonable prices, and the option to “haggle” for a lower price when you contact the seller.

Drawbacks of Craigslist:

1. Important to meet in a safe location. NEVER, ever, ever meet someone at your home to purchase something. If you are meeting someone to buy something, make sure it is in a public place and that someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Better to be safe than sorry.
2. If you are selling on Craigslist, you typically get a lot of spam emails.
3. Some sellers do not put photographs, so you may be “surprised” when you actually see what you are purchasing—I recommend asking them to email you pictures before you drive to buy something.
4. You may have to drive further to purchase something (which means you must factor in the price of gasoline into your “bargain price”).
5. Prices still tend to be higher than traditional “in person” yard sales.

I have and will continue to use Craigslist. Tomorrow, I will post some of my recent Craigslist bargain finds! Craigslist is a wonderful resource for bargain hunters, for job hunting, and for selling your own items! It is not a substitute for “real” yard sales, but it has its own niche, and is not intended to be a “yard sale”, per se. Enjoy hunting for bargains (or jobs or other things) on Craigslist!

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Sadly, I live in the part of the United States where yard sales (in the physical, local sense) have ended for the season. It is November. I won’t be able to start going to yard sales again until (gulp) March. I miss my yard sale Saturdays! (Thankfully, DH and I still make Saturday mornings into “date” mornings, so that takes a bit of the sting away.)

I will be writing about alternatives for those of you who are in the same situation, or who just can’t physically realistically get out to “regular” yard/garage sales. One of these alternatives is “online yard sales” on Facebook.

About six months ago, I started an online yard sales site for my area on Facebook. It was fairly easy to start–basically as easy as starting any group on Facebook. It was slow to catch on, but since then has grown to 627 members!

You may already have such a group in your area–just search on the Facebook “search” bar for groups that include your city/local area’s name and “yard sale” or “garage sale”.

If you do start an online yard sale group, keep in mind that people run them differently. I figure everyone is an adult, so I instituted VERY few rules on my yard sale site. Basically, I don’t allow “direct sales” (Avon, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc) ads on my site (mostly because these aren’t yard sale related). I let members work out other details between/among themselves, and try to get involved in the process as minimally as possible. It’s not really a power trip for me (LOL), and I don’t have the TIME to devote to extensive rules, etc.

That’s not to say yard sale groups with lots of rules are bad. Some of them are easier to navigate than mine. Just KNOW and READ the rules before you start posting and get your feelings hurt by a moderator.

The big question is: HOW DO ONLINE YARD SALES COMPARE TO REAL LIFE YARD SALES???

First, the negatives—

1. They involve more work, in my opinion. You have to take pics, upload them, create an album, etc. As a buyer, you have to go drive to meet someone (which could be further away than you would drive for a “normal” yard sale).

2. They take up a lot of time looking for things. I can scan a “real-life” yard sale in five minutes; online, I spend longer looking.

3. The prices are higher, probably because it involves more work to sell things. I find clothing, in particular, is priced higher than “in person” yard sales. Something I might buy for $1 at a regular yard sale, is priced for $5 or more. This is really a huge cost increase.

The positives–

1. Great for winter when you can’t “shop” at real life yard sales.

2. Another alternative for finding bargains!

3. A way to sell items (if you have the time).

So, try out online yard sales on Facebook if you get a chance, and let me know what you think! What is your opinion?

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