OMG Facebook Selling Pages!

So my latest obsession is local selling pages on Facebook.  If you are down with second hand and like a bargain check this out.

I was introduced to my first one about a month ago.  These sites are brilliant for both buyers and sellers.  It is a garage sale at your fingertips.  I have never been a huge fan of garage sales just because I don’t like driving all over town, getting out of the car and not seeing one thing of interest.  Or even worse, not getting out of the car because the description of the sale is no where near what they have.  The selling pages skip all that-Love!

At first I didn’t really get it but then the more I watched the more addicting it became.  Someone starts the page as an administrator and they make the rules. Usually it is pretty basic: have a picture, price and description.  Also, be honest and fair with how you deal with people.  You are also suppose to do all initial communication on the page not private messages until you get to personal information.  This can be good and bad which I will get to later.  A lot of them are closed groups and you have to be invited and approved.  The idea behind it is more of a community and more honesty.   Of course there are still issues that arise but I think overall everyone abides by the rules and stays honest.

It is first come first get so you have to be fast (this is the addicting, constant watch!!!  Kind of like Ebay bidding so the last second when it first began).  This is were the addiction comes in because if it is something really hot it people comment in under a minute and they have first dibs on the item.  Then people claim “back up” or second, third, fourth, etc in line if the people above them pass or don’t finish communication.  Usually children’s items go the fastest if they are priced right, for example: ride on items, playhouses, and water tables to name a few.  There is also room for negotiation but you have to be careful about it because everyone in the group can see your request.  So someone can comment they will give the seller full price which puts you in a spot to pass or pay full price.  This is the downside to having everything communicated on the page.  The upside is that if you are not the initial person you are able to read what is going on with the item.  It is also like being a fly on the wall sometimes seeing what is going on with hot items or topics people bring up.

Here are some tips based on my experiences:

Buying:

-Check often and a lot.  Add notifications on the Facebook page to all.  If it is a busy site you will constantly get updates but you will have a better chance in getting an item you find interesting.

-If you see something you like immediately comment and say you are interested.  You aren’t obligated to buy but it will put you first in line if you catch it fast enough.  Caution on this: ask what you need to know to make your decision and then let them know if you want it or pass.  This is a common courtesy to the seller and another potential buyer.  But if you wait to think about it you may miss it.  That has happened to me several times!

-Contact the seller once you have been told its yours!  Get information on where they live and pick up options.  Sometimes people will meet you or you pick it up at their house.  I have had people drop off  items I bought at my house but I think I was super lucky!  Once an arrangement has been made keep your end of the deal.

Selling:

-Clean your item up, nobody wants to pick up a dirty item plus people tend to want more $ off if it is dirty.

-Post a good pic, short description and a GOOD price.  I also leave a little room for negotiation on a big item but if it is small I make it a price that can’t be resisted.

-Once you have a buyer let everyone know “sold pending pick up” in your comment section.  Once it is picked up delete the post off the wall.  Both of these things are common courtesy so people know it’s gone and deleting helps to not clog the site.

-I try to pretty much post everything that I am about to take to goodwill.  I price it cheap because I figure a few dollars is better than nothing.  Those items I leave on the porch for people to pick up and leave money at my door.  I don’t want to have to wait around for someone for $3.  My thought is that it is a community and most people aren’t going to steal from you.  But I am taking a chance and figure I am out a few dollars.  Anything larger I make sure I am home to actually make a transaction.

-Some people do post things for free just to get rid of.  This is nice if you don’t want to make a trip to a donation center.

If you join a group, have fun and remember it’s addicting!!!

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Ways to Save-This Thifty Moms Favorite Sale

Toys at a sale

Toys at a sale

I am sure many people know about what I am going to write about today but  can’t help it I have to give my two cents.  One of my favorite places to shop are the Mom sales.  I had never heard of these sales until about 2 years ago.  I was Very skeptical because I am not really a fan of garage sales because I never find anything that was worth all the driving around and I don’t like getting one thing here, one thing there.  I am more one stop shop if I am buying second hand.  I also am particular about quality and condition of items I buy I want them to be in darn close to brand new condition.  So needless to say it took some convincing to go to my first sale but now I am hooked and look forward to each sale I find.

I have a couple things that have helped me get the best deals and not miss out which I am going to share my secrets below! Each sale is set up differently.  Style 1 is more garage sale like that each seller has their own area while others Style 2 group all the items together-this is the kind of sale I prefer because you don’t have to worry about finding something in better condition or spending all your money at the start of the sale and then see more at the end.

First: Where to find the sales locally-Word of mouth from other moms is always great because they have more than likely been to the sale before and can give you the low down.  Also, online of course.  Facebook has some pages dedicated to sales.  My favorite for Ohio is Ohio Mom to Mom Sale Facebook Page it has a page of all the sales and then a few days before posts on their wall all the upcoming sales.

Second: Do your research-Try and find out as much as  you can about the sale: hours they are open, is there an admission fee, do they take credit cards or cash only, how large of a selection do they have/how many sellers do they have, what sizes they sell and what kinds of toys they sell.  Some mainly sell second hand where others have new toys from Melissa & Doug, etc.

Third-Volunteer-This is by far the best way to get the best deals (aside from being apart of the organization holding the sale).  Usually you can sign up with the organization that is sponsoring the event and work a 2-4 hour shift (this varies on their policy), I have also brought food and been considered a volunteer.  Basically there is always a “pre-sale” for those that are working that takes place Before the sale starts.  This is the best way to shop. Why?  Several great reasons: Shopping before everything has been picked over, not as stressful because there aren’t as many shoppers, you can actually get to all the areas you want to shop without having to wait and the line to check out isn’t as long.

Fourth-Get there early-even for a pre-sale.  The line will always start before the doors open.  This can vary on the sale from an hour to three hours.  I don’t feel like I have to be the first one in but I like to be in the first 1/3 of the line because I know I will have a great chance at the items I am looking for.

Fifth-Have a list and your smartphone-I always make a list of items I would like to find.  Sometimes this is specific (last time was Little Einstein figurines) and sometimes it is general (last time outdoor play gym/house).  I write this on my notes in my iPhone about a week before and keep adding anything I think of so I don’t forget.  I also use my phone to check prices on items that I am not sure if they are overpriced or a rare find.

Sixth-Make your Game Plan-For Style 1 (the more garage sales) decide where you want to start, sometimes going all the way to the back is best (but you are working against flow) or make a lap and then go back to the sellers you are interested in but you do risk something being sold by the time you get back to it.  Style 2-whether you want to hit the clothes first or large toys figure out where you want to go first based on what you would be more disappointed in not getting.  I usually hit large toys first, then small toys then clothes.  Mainly because I can usually find that special item (only one of) in the toy section and it takes me longer to go through the clothes than it does the toys.

Seventh-Look over all your items-Style 1-Check the items as soon as you pick it up.  If it does have some damage/stain that you can live with ask them for a discount.  They may have priced accordingly or maybe didn’t know it had it, can’t hurt to ask.  Style 2-I will grab anything I am interested in (if you have to think about the purchase TAKE IT because if it is a good item it will be gone by the time you make up your mind) and then when I worked my way through the sale I find a spot out of the way and double check all my items and get an idea of how much I am spending.  Clothes: check for holes and stains, make sure to look on the back and under collars and along the seams.  Toys: make sure all the pieces are there and that it does what it is suppose to.  If it doesn’t have batteries that is a crap shoot on if it really works or not.  For me it depends on the cost and how much I think my son will like it that I take the chance.

My Final piece of Advise-Bring a friend-it is always more fun with your best pal-ENOUGH SAID!

Racks and Racks of Clothes

Racks and Racks of Clothes

A Great Trip to the Outlet and Even more savings than expected

I recently have become obsessed with furniture and wall hangings now that we have moved in to our house (4th one in 8 years) and swear this one is it, no more moving.  Every other house I didn’t really decorate or worry too much about filling rooms with items I liked.  This one is different.  I am making this one feel like home.  So I decided it would be great to have my 2 year old have a craft table along side mine.  I looked and looked and Pottery Barn had the best tables I found.  I took a trip to the Pottery Barn outlet and found 2 tables in the color I wanted but they both were pretty damaged.  I was debating on what to do when I went to the far back corner and there it was, a table in PERFECT condition in the mahogany color I wanted.  Same price as the majorly damaged.

Now I just had to decide if I wanted chairs that didn’t match.  After a quick call to The Husband and his reasoning I bought the table and 2 white chairs at the cost on the sticker plus 25% off (special they were running).

I got my claim check and the guy said he would meet me at my car to load them up.  After we were loaded we headed home.  When The Husband went to get it out of the car he asked if I knew about the 2 dings in the top.  Of course I didn’t.  He said he could fix it but I was so frustrated that the guy damaged the table putting it in the car (2nd time this happened from the outlet) I decided to give them a call.   I explained to the girl on the phone what happened and that I knew it was an outlet but it is hard to justify paying for one condition and receiving another.  I said, “I don’t know if you do anything about these instances but I at least thought you should know this is happening.”  after 2 more phone calls I was given an additional 25% off the table making it less than the 2 chairs.  This frugal girl was ecstatic!!!

Moral of the story is it doesn’t hurt to nicely explain when things happen or aren’t right from a purchase, who knows you may end up with a steal of a deal!!!!

 

 

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