With the summer temperatures elevated in cities across the U.S., opting for online garage sales – instead of venturing out into the heat – is a fun way to find deals, make a few purchases and find some unexpected treasures. While literal “online garage sales” are a thing of the past, a huge variety of websites emulate these virtual flea markets with strange treasures, low prices and even haggling.
Online Garage Sale: eBay
No list of recommendations for highly discounted, completely random, gently-used items could be complete without the go-to user-driven market, eBay. With more and more sellers opting to include a “Best Offer” feature, which allows you to enter the price you are willing to pay for the item-which may or may not be accepted by the seller. Few online vendors can match the volume of items available; used and unused, eBay features it all. The rating system for Buyers and Sellers adds an element of security in transactions; the rules about completing a sale are much more stringent than on other sites.
Online Garage Sale: Craigslist
Craigslist has quickly become a favorite resource for amateur Buyers and Sellers who just want to unload some goods. While caution must be taken on Craigslist over other sites like eBay-always meet in a neutral location, and bring a friend-Craigslist is full of people just trying to unload their goods. Avoid the temptation of the literal “garage sale” section; concentrate on the individual categories, such as Clothing or Arts and Crafts. Many Sellers upload photos, which makes virtual garage sale shopping even easier. Better still, most Sellers on Craigslist are willing to haggle on prices-an element of garage sales which isn’t available on many alternative sites.
Online Garage Sale: Marketplace on Facebook
This application hosted on Facebook is a product of the Web marketplace Oodle. The Facebook app gives users a slightly more secure interaction; Sellers and Buyers network using their Facebook profile, which most often is under their real name. You can sort by locations, with your default location being local to you. While some Sellers are obviously amateur professionals, many of the postings of items for sale or trade are listed by casual shoppers like you. You can “share” a posting with your Facebook friends, comment or signal your approval with a “Like” vote. Sections include the catch-all “Stuff,” Houses, Jobs, Tickets and more. Although not nearly as popular as Craigslist and eBay, Marketplace on Facebook is a way to browse online garage sale listings from the comfort of your Facebook account.
Online Garage Sale: Etsy
More of an online craft bizarre, Etsy is a community of crafters and artists who sell their products in nifty listings. But as any garage sale enthusiast can tell you, an afternoon of visiting different garages, lawns and backyards will almost always reward you with displays of homemade, crafted items. Since most of the Sellers on Etsy are amateurs-that is, they don’t own their own shops or Web stores-the prices are very reasonable. Purchase a handmade, sterling silver ring in any size with your choice of gemstone at $14, for example. If you want to eventually sell your own goods, Etsy is a great place to evolve from Buyer to Seller, once you are familiar with the procedures and markets.