In the last dining room update (click HERE if you missed it), I mentioned how I had sold the chairs and antique desk/table that didn’t fit in the dining room. A fabulous reader then asked:
“I admire how quickly you sold those chairs! Did you sell them on-line? If you did, maybe a Friday 5 could be five things to know about or steps to follow for selling on-line. I’ve never done it.”
So today I thought I’d answer that question: how do I sell furniture or decor online?
Believe it or not, I have been most successful selling furniture and decor on Facebook yard sale groups. Yep. Facebook.
In our area, there are at least seven yard sale groups on Facebook. Usually the rules are that you have to be within X miles of a certain location, so check that before you sign up for one of these groups.
Facebook provides a form in such groups for selling things. You just fill in the information and hit “post,” and see what happens. So far, I’ve sold everything I’ve posted – except for my dining room buffet – within one day of posting it.
Here are my tips for selling in a Facebook yard sale group:
- Have clear, bright photographs of what you’re selling. That way, the readers can see exactly what they’re getting, which minimizes the risk of surprise when they actually meet you to see the item.
- Include the dimensions or size of what you’re selling. From my experience, the #1 first question anyone asks when furniture is posted is: “What are the dimensions?” Save yourself some time and trouble and include them in the initial post.
- Be honest about the condition of the piece. If it’s scratched or it has a hole in it, be honest about it.
- Write a detailed and compelling description of the piece. Describe the piece in a way that makes people interested in it, with details rather than just adjectives like “beautiful.” For example, rather than just saying that I have a table for sale, I included that it’s an antique table, slate gray color with distressed edges and scrolled legs, that it can be used as a table or desk and that it has a small drawer in the center with dovetail joints. See, you can start to picture (1) what this looks like and (2) that it’s a good quality piece (antique, dovetail joints, etc.).
- Price competitively. Keep in mind that this is a yard sale group – you aren’t going to get top resale value for it; you’ll get a little more than what someone would pay if they happened upon the piece at a yard sale. If you can give a reason for your pricing (for example: price is half of what you paid for it, or it’s new and you just want to get your money back), so much the better.
- Follow the rules of the group. Some groups are more militant about the rules than others, but if you break the rules, they can kick you out of the group.
Why are these Facebook groups better than, say, Craig’s List or eBay?
- No shipping. By the rules of the group, everyone is local, within a certain radius of a certain area. That way, you can specify pick up or delivery, and it’s never far or expensive.
- Pick up OR delivery: If you can’t transport the piece, then you can specify that it must be picked up. If you would rather not have someone come to your home to get the piece, then you can specify delivery or that you want it picked up at a different location (e.g., the post office parking lot, a restaurant parking lot, etc.).
- Safety. The people in the group are the ones who are seeing your posts and you can see who’s in the group. You can check their pages to make sure they’re legit. Also, see #2 about meeting at a location that isn’t your home.
- Dialogue made easy. Because each listing is a Facebook post, you can talk about or ask questions about the piece right there on the post. Plus, you get an alert when someone comments on or likes the post.
I’ve been very lucky on these group sites – knock wood! – and have found them to be a good and reliable way to sell unwanted pieces. To find a group in your area, ask your friends (that’s how I found out about them!) or just search Facebook for your city/town name and “yard sale.”
Happy selling! Thanks to Karen for asking this question! If you ever have a question for me, please email me or post your question in the comments and I’ll answer it if I can!!