Local Military spouses looking to empty their closets and garages are taking the “yard” out of yard sale, forming groups to buy and sell from each other online.
Dozens of Facebook groups have opened in the past year for Military Members who want to sell outgrown baby clothes and toys, unused household goods or other items that in the past would have ended up in yard sales or in the trash.
Military members say they feel safer dealing with people they know —at least in the Facebook sense of the word — and who are close to their homes on base. There’s also less hassle involved than hauling your unwanted items to the front yard in hopes that buyers drive by.
Being a Military Member find a Closed Group Virtual Yard Sale Group associated with the area of your base or post. One that requires you to have base access to meet and pick up the items, I don’t like Craigslist, It’s too risky. You don’t know who you’re meeting. I like this; you can at least see who you’re meeting.
The virtual yard sale sites leave pricing and pickup arrangements to the sellers and buyers. They ask members to be courteous. Some ask participants not to compete against each other by pitting multiple sellers against each other for higher prices, or posting cheaper items to undercut another buyer.
I found pricing quite easy and I used these guidelines to sell my items this week. To price your items, start with a bit of research. Check online auction sites like eBay or virtual sale sales like Craigslist for starters. If you can’t find items like yours, use these general rules of thumb. Items in new or like new condition should be priced at 30% of what you paid when new. Items that are showing wear or that are obsolete should be priced at about 10% of the original price. If possible, include a brief description of each item. Include details such as size, age and condition.
Using a virtual yard sale will require you to break out your digital camera. Take a photo of each item you are selling with the price card prominently displayed. If possible, include a brief description of each item. Include details such as size, age and condition.
When hosting a virtual yard sale, keep safety and common sense in mind. Never allow strangers into your house. Always insist on cash transactions with exact change only. If possible, arrange to have items picked up at a safe, neutral location such as the food court at the Exchange. Don’t give out personal information other than an e-mail address or cell phone number where you can be reached for questions.
Unlike a traditional yard sale, you don’t have to pack up your stuff at the end of the day. Because your sale is virtual, you it can extend over several days, weeks or months. Just store everything in your basement, closet or other storage area until you deplete your inventory.
So next time you get the itch to host a yard sale, don’t worry about the weather. Set out to put your items on a virtual yard sale instead.