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Mon Feb 25 2013 14:01:43

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Gale, an online seller based in Oklahoma, has sold more since early December in her local Facebook local "online yard sale" selling group than she has in four years on Bonanza. And while granted, she did not list big or bulky items on Bonanza because of the hassle and expense of shipping, compared to major online selling venues, she says, "the local Facebook group just makes selling a lot simpler."

This and other such Facebook local yard sale groups have been growing in popularity: Gale's local county group is up to almost 10,000 members. And selling this way has many benefits. Among these are: no fees, no shipping, no promoting, etc.: just a few photos, a short description, price and wait for a buyer, she says. And of course, it makes more sense to list large, heavy items on a site like this. "I believe there is a great opportunity for some sellers of miscellaneous stuff or large items using a local Facebook group," she says. (You can see some of Gale's recently sold items here).

Facebook brings more of a personal and interactive component to sales. "And compared with Craigslist, about the only difference is you can be chatting live with a potential buyer or a seller," says Gale. You can also "bump" your post (make it more prominent/higher up on the list of posts by making a comment under it) more easily than on Craigslist, which has strict rules about reposting.

Plus, with local online selling groups, the burden of promotion is not there, because your buyers are inherently more qualified to buy from you because of their proximity and their very membership in the group. "In my opinion, to be successful on the major venues, you must meet too many requirements, such as "promoting" - Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Blog, Forums, etc.," she says. "Then there are requirements for traits, attributes, MPN, EAN, UPC, ISBN, etc."

In this Examiner article about the growing popularity of such sites, Debi Walstad writes, "What draws many individuals to these online groups is the ease of selling an item in a single post, while finding great deals on other things posted. Facebook yard sales focus on a specific area (typically within reasonable driving distance) and tend to grow quickly as members of the group share it with their friends.

She touts the additional benefits as, among others:
 -  Make money from home by selling items you no longer need.
 -  Post items at your own convenience (no need to stand outside all Saturday).
 -  No listing fees and typically no shipping fees involved.
-   Being a social networking site, it's simple to communicate with the seller or buyer through messaging questions and contact information.
-  Opportunity to meet new people that you exchange items with.

Among her advice on how to list your items (please note, each Facebook local site will likely have its own set up rules posted as a FAQ or about file), she suggests posting a brief, but clear description of the item, its condition, price and its relevant features.

"Include a clear picture of the item and/or a link to the item on a website that sells it new to give interested buyers more information. Specify what city you live in so potential buyers will know where they would need to pick the item up from."

Also keep in mind, another type of Facebook group selling site to consider is one that specializes in a certain niche or brand, such as the Re-Lilly Group I've posted about before, which only deals in Lilly Pulitzer brand items.

Have you tried selling something from a local Facebook group, and if so how was your experience? If not, is it something you would try, and why or why not? Post a comment here!




Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Feb 26 14:46:58 2013

Wow this sounds like a great idea, it could really affect the traditional auction sites.

Sort of like doing a flea market sales without having to set up

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Wed Feb 27 12:40:35 2013

Hey Julia, does Addoway gain fast results using Facebook?

Would you find out or create a blog sharing knowledge about them for many of us seeking the change. I've seen their homepage but have not had much time to read more unless I come here to read the current daily news.  

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Thu Feb 28 12:23:30 2013

Haha Donahoe. You're about to get your lunch eaten.

How do you feel about those pesky "flea sellers" now- there goes your FVF fees, walking right out the door!

Enjoy your ToysRus and mobile.  :)

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 17:51:10 2013

Couldn't be any happier with my group.  Awaiting a sale on one clothes rack and a roll around file, plus got an interested buyer in remaining clothes racks.  At 30 -35 a pop, I am very pleased.

I don't miss all those fees and I sure don't miss trying to satisfy search engines and selling venues with promoting and all the rest.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 17:52:26 2013

And Mr_Sheeny is Gale, from Oklahoma.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 1 00:33:44 2013

Broke the 10,000 members today, people around this area are selling, selling, and selling.  Cars, trucks, boats, campers, houses, furniture, exercise equipment, arts & crafts, clothing, and more clothing, just about anything you can think of will eventually be for sale.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 11 17:44:09 2013

I've been selling in FB groups for more than 2 years now, and I love them!!! Most of the FB selling groups I'm in are NOT local though. There are dozens of groups devoted to primitive crafts and primitive antiques; these are my favorite groups.

I've listed a few items in local yard sale groups, but have sold very little in these groups (I think that's because they seem to focus on baby clothes and kid's toys, so it's not my ''target market'').

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 15 01:52:48 2013

Sierra, you are correct.  Locals contain clothes, toys, cell phones, jewelry, purses, etc.

But since I don't specialize in any one category, I'm having fun and enjoying it.

A new group just started for Antiques and More.  So, when I have that 'so called' antique, usually the 'more' part, I list there.

Like mentioned in the article, I love not having to pack and ship.

Have to wonder though, as more groups are started, how will they eventually affect the larger sites; and will FB get more involved and ..... (you know where I was going with that).

Maybe I'll look into one or two of those primitive sites.

Thanks for your post.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 2 00:57:50 2014

Just a quick update to selling via local Facebook groups.  As I stated about a year ago, I run a local Facebook group for auctions.

Tonight between 5 pm and 10 pm I sold $175.00 worth of miscellaneous glassware, books, record albums, knick knacks, puzzles, etc.  

From another local group, I am waiting for the weather to improve so buyers can pick up an entertainment center and a bedroom set.

For playing around on local Facebook groups, and not having to ship anything, not having to worry about showing up in Google or any other Search Engine, not having fees, etc., to me is better than any of the other selling venues.

I'll admit, I'm not trying to make a living at this.  I sell as a hobby and enjoy meeting customers face-to-face.

In regards to the Sellers Choice 2014 Marketplace Ratings: Facebook, I give the following:
Profitability:  Excellent
Customer Service:  Don't need any from FB, I have my own.
Communication:  See Above
Ease of Use:  Very Easy, like anything, learn how to use
Would you recommend:  Yes, highly recommend

For those who need more exposure, join the national and international groups.  Here's one for Antiques & Vintage - https://www.facebook.com/groups/AntiqueVintageResale/

For those who do not complete a sale, the group admin can remove them from the group, or the seller can block them from commenting (buying).

Selling via Facebook local groups does work for the hobby seller of miscellaneous wares.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Lyngo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 11 09:24:43 2014

After encouragement from a couple of people to try the FB local groups I started in Aug. 2013. I live in a relatively small residential pool of residents and our groups generally have a couple hundred to about 1300 hundred members. But for all that I've done well with the groups. Selling jewellery, books, household items, garden items, kitchenware, artwork plus others. I've tried different groups and not all work for me but I've settled on 3 that do work for me. I think they're safer than Craiglist's because you get to know the other members in a smaller community. I've sold things (for the same amount of money or more) that I couldn't sell on my other sites of Ebay, Etsy, Amazon or Bonanza. I might even drop a few of the commercial sites if it keeps up.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: mrlizzzard This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Mar 20 10:21:08 2014

Seems like a great place to spend some time.

Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction   Facebook Local Selling Sites Gaining Traction

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 25 20:49:57 2014

Well, it's been 7 months since I last commented.  Believe me, no one can convince me to ever go back to a selling venue like eBay, Bonanza, Etsy, etc.

The main local yard sale group is now at 17,875 members and my auction group at 3,305 members.

Listed an item this afternoon on the yard sale group for $50. and within an hour it sold.  Best  thing is, it was free.

Sold $200. last Saturday on my auction group.  Have another one wanting to join the auction group right now.  That makes 3,306.

All the complaints I read about concerning eBay, PayPal, Bonanza, etc., and the amount of work sellers are spending trying to find the perfect venue, just makes me wonder why they don't give Facebook groups a try.

As I and others have said, there are national and international groups selling everything, just like eBay.

And if there are no local groups in your area or they just don't seem to be worthwhile, start your own.   Just remember, it's like anything else, requiring dedication and commitment.  Proper rules and procedures for posting is a must.  Screening new members is also a must to keep out scammers and business ads, lost dogs and cats, missing folks, amber alerts, etc.  Remember, you are running a yard sale or auction group, not a public announcement board.

Just had another member join the auction group - 3,307.  Got to go and post more auctions.  Have fun.  I am.

 



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