It’s a new way of doing an old thing. People have figured out great ways to adapt to technology. It seems as though the once loved tradition of waking up early on a Saturday morning and jumping in the back of mom and dad’s station wagon and going to a yard sale to search for hidden treasures has now been taken to the digital world. Simply typing “Sale” in the search bar of facebook lists many pages that are virtual garage sales, some of these pages are like swap meets that anyone can join and post their no longer wanted or needed things, and some are private member’s only groups similar to an actual store front business.
One proprietor we spoke to runs a private facebook sale page where she posts various miscellaneous items to her closed group of a few hundred people and also performs consignments where she lists other member’s good for sale for a small commission. She says the reason for a closed group is it keeps the virtual “riff raff” down and it helps maintain trust with the buyers as well as the consigners. As items are posted at a scheduled time each day members of the group see these items on their news feed and simply comment that they want it.
Once the item has been “wanted” the group proprietor then gathers the items together that the individual has purchased and has a designated drop off / pick up place where the exchange of goods and money happens. For this particular proprietor she has a “porch pickup” location where buyers pick up their items and leave the money in a lock box on the porch. In public groups the exchanges typically happen in public well-lit places like shopping center parking lots. Each page or group have their own particular rules that must be adhered to or the rule breaker will be warned or even banned from the page.
Either thru a private page or a public group, many people are turning to social media as either a way to start a traditional brick and mortar business virtually or, declutter their homes and put some money in their pocket.