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An Overview of Facebook Online Yard and Garage Sales

Updated on May 03, 2016

Selling your items has never been easier now that Facebook has online yard and garage sale groups for almost every city. These pages are often created by individual Facebook users who allow residents of the surrounding area to join. These pages are a great alternative to Craigslist, eBay, and other forms of advertising.

When I moved across country, I had two rooms full of stuff and only one car in which to pack everything I needed. I decided that I would like to make as much of a profit as I could on the items that I couldn't take with me, so I took to Facebook to find out if there was a way to sell it. What I discovered was that there were several local online sales groups for my area. I quickly joined one and began to read over its rules.

Before long, I was selling items left and right. There were a few times a sale fell through, but I knew about the possibility of that happening, especially since I was negotiating with people I had never met. Thankfully, I was able to sell most of my items and I ended up donating the rest to Goodwill.

I wanted to share my experiences with you so that if you ever consider joining one of these groups to sell items, you will know what to expect and how to get the best response from potential buyers.

What color is this? Make sure the photo you upload is as accurate as possible in terms of size, detail, color, and condition.
What color is this? Make sure the photo you upload is as accurate as possible in terms of size, detail, color, and condition. | Source

How Do I Find Local Facebook Groups?

On a laptop or desktop, look in the sidebar for “Find New Groups.” On a cell phone, hit the “More” button to find this same option. A list four options should pop up:

Suggested Groups

Friends’ Groups

Local Groups

Your Groups

Online Yard and Garage Sale Terminology, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

Groups often utilize the same terminology, so make sure you are familiar with each term:

  • Bump - This is often posted in the comments section of a picture so that the item is placed back at the top of the feed. Most limit the amount of times you can bump an item.
  • Pending - This usually means that an item is pending pickup (and may also be displayed as 'pp' or 'ppu').
  • Porch pickup - You may see that an item is only available for porch pickup. The seller and buyer must agree on how this exchange is going to go. Typically, the seller leaves the item in a place outdoors and the buyer places the money in an envelope in a previously-agreed-upon hidden spot. I have never done a porch pickup so if you try it, please proceed with caution.
  • Cross-posted or xp - If you see someone mention either of these, that means that the item is also advertised on another page. Sellers are encouraged to do this so that buyers know that just because there might not be any comments below the picture, the item still could have been sold to someone in a different group. This is common in the larger metro areas where there are several parts of town.
  • ISO - If someone is looking for a particular item, you may see ISO. This means 'in search of.'
  • PM - This stands for 'private message.' Someone may ask you to send them a pm if you are interested in the item for sale.
  • Next - People use this to let the seller know they are interested in the item if someone has already shown interest before them.
  • NWT - The item is new with tags.

I can't even begin to tell you how important it is to read the rules of each group! I have seen people get kicked out because they didn't obey the rules and/or were disrespectful.

If the group only allows one photo, consider creating a collage to show more detail.
If the group only allows one photo, consider creating a collage to show more detail. | Source

Post Your Items for Sale

Now that you understand the terminology and have (hopefully) read over the rules, it's time to get your items sold! Understand that sometimes items sell quickly and other times they don't. I suggest doing some research on your items to see how they should be priced.

To begin, you will want to have a good picture of the merchandise. Some groups allow you to have multiple photos and others only allow you to have one. Also, some require that you have an album while others say you can post pictures individually. Whatever that group says is what you should follow! You will notice the photo of the bed that I wanted to sell. My Facebook online yard sale group only allowed one image per photo, so I used an app on my phone that allowed me to take two photos and combine them in to one collage so that I could show different angles.

When you have your picture, make sure you add a good description. In the description, include:

  • Price
  • Size
  • Condition (used, new, gently used, etc.)
  • Location (you don't have to give your address, but at least give a general area of where you are)

Once you have your picture and description filled out, it's time to post your item! Some groups allow you to post yourself and others require approval by an administrator. If you post the item yourself, you should be able to see it on the feed right away.

In the description, be sure to list every detail: color, size, condition, location, price, etc.
In the description, be sure to list every detail: color, size, condition, location, price, etc. | Source

Selling Your Items

Congratulations on getting to this step! Now that you've had your item(s) posted, you should start getting some interest from potential buyers. You should receive a notification every time someone comments or likes an item. The likes don't typically mean much, but the comments are very important. Look out for and respond quickly to any questions from potential buyers.

If a buyer says they are interested, type a comment under your photo that tags their name and tells them you are sending them a pm (private message). You should also mention that the buyer should check their 'other' folder as Facebook often doesn't put messages from people who aren't your friend in your regular inbox. Ask the buyer if they would like any additional information about the item and if they are wanting to buy at with the terms listed. Buyers will often want to negotiate the price, so make sure that you are okay with whatever you agree on.

Once you come to an agreement on the price, decide how the sale is going to occur. I've met people in CVS or grocery parking lots, and I've had some people come to my house. It's completely up to you and what you're comfortable with doing. Make sure you set a time and get the person's phone number in case something changes. Also, I highly recommend making sure the buyer pays you in cash. This prevents problems with bounced checks and any other money drama that could occur.

Congratulations! It's Sold!

Once you've sold your item, it's time to delete it from the online group(s) you posted it on. You should be able to do this by going to the photos section, or by using the little magnifying glass in the right top corner of the page and searching your name.

Congratulations! You are done with that sale and can move on to the next.

Have you sold anything through Facebook?

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Questions? Comments?

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    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 2 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      I learned some new things here. And I picked up some tips and new terms to know. Wow, cool hub. Thank you.

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for visiting Astra Nomik! I think these groups are great for finding new treasures and getting rid of unwanted items. I'm glad you were able to learn a few things :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I was happy to discover this FB page for our local sales. I was able to sell my old food freezer this way, and when I am shopping for something, I go there first.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It was interesting to read your views on this. I've always used ebay and craigslist for anything I want to buy online. I'll check out Facebook today.

    • profile image

      shirley oneal 2 years ago

      Would like to sell something on this site.

    • profile image

      Payton 2 years ago

      What does an asterisk mean when someone comments with just a *?

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Payton, usually that means that someone is just trying to bump their post so that it gets to the top of the newsfeed.

    • profile image

      Clrjlm07 2 years ago

      What does it me when someone comments with only a period?

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Clrjlm07 - it means that they are bumping the post so that it goes to the top of the feed

    • profile image

      Anita 2 years ago

      I just discovered online yard sale, and I am enjoying the experience. I still don't know all the terminology, and found your page. One terminology you are missing (which I had to inquire about) is EUC, which means, Excellent Used Condition. I don't know if there are others, but I thought this could be useful :)

    • profile image

      tlm 23 months ago

      What does sa or s/a mean?

    • profile image

      Robyn 22 months ago

      . Or * means they are moving the listing back to the top, or refreshing it. It's the same as bump

    • profile image

      Viola 22 months ago

      Hi thanks for sharing .This is so helpful.Do you know what does CP mean?

    • profile image

      Ela 21 months ago

      What I you post a picture of say a shirt and one person comments and asks for the condition then another person says interested. Are you supposed to serve the person who asked the condition? Or?

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 21 months ago from California

      Ela - It depends on the group's rules. Some groups say that you must go with the first person who commented and others say you go with the person who is interested. I typically give an answer to the first person who commented and then give them some time to respond. I tell them, "It's in used but very good condition. I will wait for you to get back to me with "x" hours and if I don't hear back, I will be moving on to the next interested person. Thank you!"

    • profile image

      Alie 21 months ago

      What does sa mean?

    • tehgyb profile image

      Don Colfax 20 months ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      Cool! I honestly didn't even know these groups existed. I'll have to go check them out now lol

    • profile image

      Dustin 20 months ago

      I realize that posting a . Or * means they are bumping. But what does it mean when someone else posts a . Or * on your item?

    • profile image

      Cristina 19 months ago

      When a non-poster adds a . or a * in the comments, it's because they want to keep following the conversation in the comments or see if any questions have been answered in the comments. They don't have a specific comment but this way Facebook sends them a notification that someone else has commented so the person can go back and check it out.

      Sorry for the rambling...hope that made sense!

    • profile image

      Tina 16 months ago

      I have seen a couple people ask the question what is SA? But I've not seen an answer as of yet. Can someone PLEASE tell me what that means.

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 16 months ago from California

      I've never seen SA be used - What is the context? I wish I knew the exact answer for you all!

    • profile image

      Melissa 16 months ago

      How about "bu"? I see that a lot from people other than the seller. What might that mean?

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 16 months ago from California

      Melissa, I'm wondering if "bu" might just mean bump or bump up so that the item is moved to the top of the feed.

    • profile image

      Eugenia 14 months ago

      BU means "backup." This is used when there is already somebody interested in an item and you want to throw your name in, in case that sale falls through.

    • profile image

      Joe 13 months ago

      Someone sends a PM at 8:00, you reply at 8:05, how long should you wait for next reply before moving on to next in line?

    • profile image

      Bernice 10 months ago

      how do I post for something I amiso

    • Torrs13 profile image
      Author

      Tori Canonge 10 months ago from California

      Bernice - Typically you would type ISO and then list the item or just type "In Search Of" and you should hopefully get some responses.

    • profile image

      DareJo Dean 10 months ago

      Why do people put their name under the comments section and usually under a different person's name in yard sale items for sale, that I am selling?

    • profile image

      Renee 10 months ago

      Someone left an F in the comment. Does anyone know what this means?

    • profile image

      mary 10 months ago

      where do I find PM of non friends? clueless.

      Also - how do you post a PM?

      Newbie here!

    • profile image

      s. quick 10 months ago

      I belong to several of these groups and love them. But for some reason I can no longer post items for sale. Is there a setting somewhere I don't know about?

    • profile image

      Mary Matsuura 9 months ago

      I also have seen NIL which means : next in line.

    • profile image

      Reed 9 months ago

      Sa - still available

    • profile image

      Joan s 8 months ago

      Don't do Goodwill. It is a privately owned company.

    • profile image

      al 8 months ago

      darejo dean, when someone puts another persons name in your post it is something they want that other person to see. it should show up in their feed. that other person may be looking for what you are selling

    • profile image

      PROWE 8 months ago

      can someone tell me how to update a picture that is already posted. I want to change the picture. Do I need to delete the current post and re-post it?

      Thanks for you help

    • profile image

      jjbuzbuz 8 months ago

      I have one of these groups, I started it almost 2 years ago but recently I have recently had an increase in followers. I have been looking for a set of rules that would be good to post. I don't like self promoting, stock photos, or swearing and want to remove all of these and I need to find a balance for bumping that doesn't override everyone else's posts. Any suggestions on what rules people like vs what they don't like to see on these pages?

    • profile image

      Kathie 7 months ago

      I was blocked for 4 days. Didn't do anything inappropriate. I appealed; useless. What else can you get blocked for besides bad language, inappropriate behavior, stuff you would expect?

    • profile image

      Judy 7 months ago

      I have been blocked for 4 days too. I had anotheaccount for garage sales and it got completey shut down. I am now afraid to post on my fb page cause I don't want it shut down. Any ideas what to do???

    • profile image

      Erika 7 months ago

      How do i go about placing a request for iso on fb. The description of the abbreviations was fantastic..

      Erika

    • profile image

      Denise 5 months ago

      How do you see if your post in a group was bumped ? I can't find any new dates or views showing I did it correctly

    • profile image

      Tina 4 months ago

      How long do you have to wait for a response is someone is interested. I list on several sites and I wait for a response and have to deny people. Not sure how long one should wait.

    • profile image

      Beverly 4 months ago

      If a person purchase a couch keep it for 3 days are they entitled to a refund on an online yard sale?

    • profile image

      Dave 4 months ago

      Why would someone just like a posting that you have added to sale? Is there some meaning for selecting like? Thanks

    • profile image

      Crystal 4 months ago

      We're trying to sell something, someone wrote sa. What does sa mean?

    • profile image

      Charlie 3 months ago

      I frequently sell thru 6 local sites on FB. However I don't buy since I'm moving. Is there a way to stop all the posts from filling my timeline without unfollowing the group? I still need to see people interested in my posts. TIA. Charlie

    • profile image

      Charlie 3 months ago

      I found the answer to my own question. On each group homepage there is Notification Settings. You can custom what you receive from each group on your timeline. Thanks again. C

    • profile image

      Christina Mote 3 months ago

      When you thrive on Facebook Sale Sites (among others) and FB notifies you that you aren't able to post any sale items because you might be spam?!? For one, my husband has been utilizing these sites for quite some time now and don't tell me that he's posting too many items for sale. Since when was there a limit upon how many items we can sell?!? Who sets that standard? Maybe they don't realize how taxing it is to get all your products organized, snap photos, upload photos, tag each and every photo with it's identifying information, post to all the sites just to have Facebook tell you that you're possibly spam and you aren't able to post any of your items for sale after all the taxing, tedious work. Thanks again, Facebook!!!!! Very dissatisfying...

    • profile image

      Jenny 6 weeks ago

      This article is very informative, thank you.

      I've see people post "oos" with their listings but I do t think they are referring to he item being "out of style". What else does "oos" stand for? TIA for the answer.

    • profile image

      Donna Scurco 4 weeks ago

      I have sold many items on these groups. Recently, my items are not coming to the top of the page when I bump them. Any suggestions on what the problem could be? Thank you!

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