Has social media killed the garage sale???

I can remember as a kid, zooming around the neighbourhood on my bike after dinner on Fridays, scoping out all the garage sale signs for my parents.  It seemed like clockwork, every Friday evening in the summer, the signs would go up for sales the following day.  Then on Saturday morning, we would head out for “the hunt”.  To a 10 year old, there was nothing greater than finding massive collection of baseball cards for a few dollars, or a new (used) bike to replace the one that was outgrown already this season.  By the end of the day, you would have amassed a trunk-load of stuff that you didn’t really need, then start the process over again the following week.

Now, while “the hunt” is still on, the techniques are quite different.  With sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and even social networking sites like Facebook, you don’t need to spend near as much time going from sale to sale, looking for your prize.  These social buy-and-sell sites allow sellers to upload pictures, descriptions, pricing, and where you’re located.  They also allow potential purchasers to search for specific items.  And best of all, it’s completely free!  There are options to pay a small fee to get your ad ranked higher up on the listings, but it isn’t required.

On the other-hand, if you’re still bent on having the traditional garage sale, social media is a great outlet for advertising your sale!  You don’t need to rely on a few signs posted inside your neighbourhood, you can post an ad with your location, along with some of the “hot items”, with pictures to give potential “customers” a greater incentive to visit. It also opens your sale up to people well beyond your local neighbourhood.

There is always going to be some concern when you’re making transactions with individuals you have never met before; Craigslist offers several Safety Tips, and Kijiji has an Online Safety section as well. Essentially it comes down to using common sense; when buying or selling, do so in a public place.  I personally like gas stations; they’re easy to find, are often busy, and a loaded with security cameras pointing in every direction. You also need to be aware that if something seems like way too good of a deal, it probably isn’t real… or it’s stolen goods!  It’s also important to watch for people who make the purchasing process convoluted or complicated; it’s usually a scam. It’s always a good idea to ask for payment in cash.

So how about you; have you bought or sold anything on Kijiji or Craigslist?  Over the years I’ve done lots of both. My wife and I managed to unload a bunch of wedding gifts that we didn’t want. I’ve also bought and sold furniture, bicycles, kids toys, motorcycle parts, car parts, and more.

Has anything bad ever happened to you?  The worst that has ever happened to me is that people haven’t shown up when they’re supposed to, but I adhere to some pretty basic safety rules.

Kijiji and Craigslist are the most popular buy and sell sites on the internet, but there are also many groups on Facebook devoted to buying and selling specific categories of items.  Do you have a preference?  Incidentally, Canadians overwhelmingly prefer Kijiji while Americans predominantly prefer Craigslist.

How about advertising a garage sale… have  you done it… did it work for you?  While I’ve never actually had a garage sale as an adult; I generally rely on social media buy and sell sights to sell things one at a time, I have been tasked with putting together an on-site estate sale… let’s hope advertising it on Kijiji and advertising it on Craigslist will pay off. (sorry for the shameless plug!)

3 thoughts on “Has social media killed the garage sale???

  1. I attempted a Garage Sale about 5 years and was unsuccessful. It is too bad because I was so excited; it brought back old memories of garage sales we held when I was a child. I believe the main reason is that the people that live in new suburban neighborhoods like mine simply can’t be bothered with driving around searching for deals on ‘stuff’ they may or may not need. As you mentioned, the first thing many of us do when I are looking for something is “hunting” online for it. With Kijiji and Craigslist and local ones such as Used Ottawa, we have an opportunity to shop for pre-owned or purchase new without driving around town!

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