I love garage sales. I just hate going to them. I have learned to get a really good deal you have to be there super early. Since I work the night shift, me and super early do not go well together.
For those of you who don’t know, there are professional garage sale shoppers. They get several area newspapers and map out their plan. They show up at their first spot at around 6:30 a.m. They hope to find items placed out already or to be there while they are setting up the items. They leave the first spot as quickly as possible in order to get to the next location. Now that almost everyone has cell phones, professional garage sale shoppers split up and one goes one direction and the other goes the other. They communicate almost constantly about what each location has.
I guess I don’t have what it takes to be a professional garage sales shopper. Besides, I get lost a lot on country roads. If I happen to drive by a garage sale and something catches my eye, I will stop. I will stick to my thrift store shopping.
There is a new way to garage sale shop that I have been checking out. The Internet changes everything. They now have online garage sale groups on Facebook. A lot of little towns around East Texas have one; Gilmer, Pittsburg, Mt. Pleasant, and Daingerfield. Once you are logged into Facebook you just put in the town’s name and online garage sale.
It is so interesting. From what I have observed there are several different types of sellers. They have the one-timers, the junker, and the professional. The one-timers state they are moving and they usually post a lot of furniture, sometimes at good deals. The junker is just trying to get rid of things around their house. This is what you find a typical garage sales. The worst part about the junker is most of the time the prices are way too high. Then you have the professional. The professional always has a lot of items to sell. I think they are hitting up real garage sales and storage auction sites and trying to make a profit. One great thing about the online garage sale, items usually sell quickly, if they are going to sell. I always see people waiting to be next, if the first buyer falls through.
While I am fascinated by the online garage sale I have some advice. Please be careful. Just like Craig’s List, you have to use caution. You never know when someone is trying to pull a scam or even worse, can be dangerous. Most people meet up at the local grocery story. I would be leery to meet someone at their house unless you know them.
Secondly, buyer’s beware. I saw a post for a car the other day that states it works perfectly. The car was over ten years old. I have seen other posts where they are complaining they bought something and didn’t work even though the seller said it did. When I go to thrift stores, I take a screwdriver and batteries of different sizes. If you are meeting someone in a parking lot to buy a stereo or a television, how are you going to know if it works? I think because theses online garage sales are local, people put too much trust in the sellers.
My last bit of advice goes to the sellers. It makes no sense to sell a couple of shirts and have to drive 15 to 20 mins away to meet someone for a $5. I see this often. Buyers live in the next town over and they seller agrees to meet them. The reason I care about this is because I do like the concept of online garage sales. In order to keep it going, people are going to have make a profit and get a great deal. Instead of selling just one shirt or one outfit, try putting up a bundle deal. All five outfits for $20 or a lot of baby shirts for $10. This way everyone wins. It is very hard to coordinate with people especially if it is only for $3.
I haven’t bought much from the online garage sale yet. Most of the time by the time I see an item, it is already sold. I did buy a bed for my son but that was from niece. I just happened to see that she had posted it. I probably wouldn’t have bought it from a stranger.
If you like good deals or need to sell something, I highly suggest you check these online garage sales out. Especially if you don’t like waking up early.
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