Updated date:

An Overview of Facebook Online Yard and Garage Sales

When I moved across country, I had two rooms full of stuff and only one car in which to pack everything I needed. Here's how I sold it all!

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.

How Do I Find Local Facebook Groups Where I Can Sell Things?

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
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.

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.
  • NWOT - The item is new without 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.

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.

Post Your Items for Sale on Facebook

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.

Meeting and Communicating With Potential Buyers via Facebook

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.

Questions? Comments?

Nancy on February 15, 2019:

Why am I unable to send a message to some of the sellers on the online yard sales question iMessage error keeps coming to me saying I am unable. Not that I'm being blocked help please

Andrea on March 01, 2018:

I bought a washer I have all messages of the woman saying it’s perfect condition works no problems I come home start a wash it doesn’t work can I do anything she says it works when it doesn’t clearly. I told her come and show me it works. Or I’ll have her my money back

Caroline Clements on November 04, 2017:

I sold a pony saddle on FB the lady bought it she never asked for size or measurements but now want to return it as it the wrong size? Do I have at accept the item back as this was her mistake and there nothing wrong with it ?

Pamela McIntyre on September 27, 2017:

I sold a scooter and two pieces of furniture to a gentleman 7 days ago. He paid me and said he would be by later to pick up. I have not seen him sense then. I'm wondering how long do I have to keep these items, waiting for him to pick up?

Carol Reuff on August 31, 2017:

What does the amp.stand for?

Marcia on July 31, 2017:

I thought PPU meant Porch Pickup. I think that is what it means around here. Just to be safe I went back and changed a lot of my PPU to Porch Pickup.

Sherryl Marsh on May 28, 2017:

There is one problem though. You cannot see any of the comments from your posts since they did the update.

Donna Scurco on February 23, 2017:

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!

Jenny on February 06, 2017:

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.

Christina Mote on December 14, 2016:

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...

Charlie on November 25, 2016:

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

Charlie on November 25, 2016:

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

Crystal on November 21, 2016:

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

Dave on November 09, 2016:

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

Beverly on October 30, 2016:

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

Tina on October 29, 2016:

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.

Denise on October 08, 2016:

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

Erika on August 15, 2016:

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

Erika

Judy on August 06, 2016:

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???

Kathie on August 06, 2016:

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?

jjbuzbuz on July 26, 2016:

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?

PROWE on July 18, 2016:

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

al on July 14, 2016:

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

Joan s on July 04, 2016:

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

Reed on June 13, 2016:

Sa - still available

Mary Matsuura on June 09, 2016:

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

s. quick on May 25, 2016:

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?

mary on May 24, 2016:

where do I find PM of non friends? clueless.

Also - how do you post a PM?

Newbie here!

Renee on May 06, 2016:

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

DareJo Dean on May 02, 2016:

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?

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on May 01, 2016:

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

Bernice on April 29, 2016:

how do I post for something I amiso

Joe on February 13, 2016:

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?

Eugenia on January 11, 2016:

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.

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on November 07, 2015:

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.

Melissa on November 07, 2015:

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

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on November 05, 2015:

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

Tina on November 05, 2015:

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.

Cristina on August 08, 2015:

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!

Dustin on July 27, 2015:

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

Don Colfax from Easton, Pennsylvania on July 10, 2015:

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

Alie on June 28, 2015:

What does sa mean?

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 19, 2015:

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!"

Ela on June 19, 2015:

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?

Viola on May 30, 2015:

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

Robyn on May 11, 2015:

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

tlm on April 06, 2015:

What does sa or s/a mean?

Anita on March 04, 2015:

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 :)

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on January 12, 2015:

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

Clrjlm07 on January 11, 2015:

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

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on October 13, 2014:

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

Payton on October 12, 2014:

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

shirley oneal on September 17, 2014:

Would like to sell something on this site.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 18, 2014:

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.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 27, 2014:

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.

Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on April 01, 2014:

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 :)

Cathy Nerujen from Edge of Reality and Known Space on April 01, 2014:

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

Related Articles