Essays

A Field Guide to Facebook Yard Sale Groups

Selling stuff you don’t need is a simple way to make some extra cash, and the Internet has made it possible to skip the headache of holding a yard sale. But if you think your online options are limited to sites such as Craigslist and eBay, you might be overlooking an even easier option that you probably use every day: Facebook.

Facebook yard sale groups have grown from one small, little-known facet of the massive social-networking site to one of its major functions. Facebook has recognized this explosive growth, adding features that make it easier than ever to sell your stuff, including the ability to pay for an item immediately by sending money via Messenger.

I’ve personally turned to Facebook almost exclusively in the past few years to sell unwanted items. Buyers tend to be much more reliable than they are on Craigslist — perhaps because I know their name and anything else that’s publicly on their profile. In fact, I’ve realized that I’m selling to friends of friends on more than one occasion! And of course, selling locally means I don’t have to deal with the hassle of shipping items to an eBay buyer.

Finding a Facebook Yard Sale Group

It’s simple to find a sale group on Facebook. Go to the search box at the top of your screen and type in your city or area, plus a term such as “sale group,” “yard sale” or “buy sell trade.” A long list of options will probably appear. If not, broaden your geographical search. For instance, instead of using the name of your small town, search your county name or the nearest larger city.

You may also have a “sale groups” tab in your left-hand column that will give you a list of suggested groups and a map of where they’re based.

To join a group, click on the name. You’ll see a green “join group” button toward the top of the page. Once you click it, the button will show that your membership is pending. That’s because the group’s administrator will have to approve you. For a community-based sale group, this is typically a formality, but be patient: It may take a little time for the admin to OK your request.

Photo: Michael Pereckas