How do you have a virtual yard sale?
Yard sales have always been a great way to declutter and make some extra money at the same time.
And while setting up a garage sale outside your home is still a good way to earn some extra cash, there’s another way to earn money by selling your stuff – online yard sales!
Hosting an online yard sale has a variety of great benefits!
From allowing you to reach a bigger audience to helping you get top dollar for your stuff, online sales are a great option.
But if you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck!
Follow these simple online yard sale tips to get started.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you. Please read the disclosure for more information.
Is it better to have a yard sale or sell online?
The decision whether to have a traditional yard sale or sell your stuff online is up to you.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, which means you’ll need to decide which positives outweigh the negatives for the option you pick.
Consider these factors to help you decide whether to have a traditional yard sale or online yard sale:
Both options take a pretty significant time commitment, but the work you put into each sale is completely different.
When hosting a traditional yard sale, you’ll put time into setting up, pricing your items, sitting outside during the sale itself, and taking down the yard sale when you’re finished.
With an online sale, you need to take photos of each of the items you want to sell, create a listing, respond to interested buyers, and schedule a time to meet up and exchange money.
On top of thinking about the time and effort you’ll put into hosting your event, it’s also important to consider the time frame of the sale.
While a typical yard sale only lasts one weekend, an online yard sale can go on indefinitely. You can leave your items listed online until they’re sold and add new items to the listing whenever you want.
Since traditional yard sales are often held outside, weather plays a big role in the success of the sale.
If it’s raining, too cold, or too hot outside, you won’t get as many customers at your yard sale which decreases the chances that you’ll make a profit.
But online yard sales aren’t restricted by the weather. Your listings are completely online, allowing you to schedule pick-up times based on the preferences of you and the buyer.
Where to Host an Online Yard Sale
When it comes to picking the best place to hold your online yard sale, you have a few options to choose from.
There are several great places to sell your stuff online, but not all of them are the best choice for an online yard sale.
These online sales sites are a good choice for selling your stuff:
One of the best spots to create an online yard sale is Facebook Marketplace.
Since the social media platform is used by millions of people every day, you can have a huge audience for your sale with this platform.
The key to being successful is to use local Facebook groups and the marketplace to sell your stuff.
To find local buy and sell groups in your area, try doing a group search on Facebook for these terms:
- Your town name + online yard sale
- Your town name + yard sale
- Your town name + resale
- Your town name + furniture for sale
- Your town name + online garage sale
- Your town name + garage sale
- Your town name + buy and sell
- Your town name + swap
- Your town name + classifieds
In addition to searching for your specific town, you can also use the name of neighboring towns or your county in your search.
Keep in mind that the more groups you list your online yard sale in, the larger your customer base will be.
But it’s also important to remember that if you sell in a city-specific group, you have to be willing to deliver your products to that town.
There are two different ways you can create a listing for your online yard sale using Facebook:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook groups
While the listings posted in Facebook groups are only seen by members of those groups, anyone can browse the listings in Facebook Marketplace.
Below is how you create a listing on Marketplace and groups. Before we jump into the technical details, you might be wondering:
Should I list all of the items on one listing or have each item listed separately for my online yard sale?
My thoughts are that you should list each item separately unless you’re selling bundles of items.
I’ve seen virtual yard sales with one listing that says “Online Garage Sale” and then 5-10 pictures showing all the items being sold at the virtual garage sale.
While it’s easier to do just one listing, it’s difficult for the consumer to see the details of each listing. This will invite more questions.
While it might be more work initially, it’ll be less work overall (and less confusing for you to manage) to have each product listed separately.
Now that we’ve clarified that…here are the technical details:
To create a listing in Marketplace:
- Click on the marketplace icon at the top of the app.
- Hit the create new listing button.
- Choose the type of item you’re selling, add photos, enter your listing title, add a description, enter the price, and select a category for the item.
- The app will also ask you to include your location in the listing so buyers know where the item for sale is located.
- In the final step, Facebook will give you the option of adding this listing to other Facebook groups you’re a part of, allowing you to reach a wider audience.
If you’d rather just list in a local Facebook group because you want the item to only be available to select individuals, you can create a listing in a local Facebook group:
- Click on the group from your group listing page.
- At the top of the page, you’ll see a box where you can create a post.
- Click the box to start your listing.
- From here, you can add photos, a description, a price, and select a category.
- After you create your listing, you’ll be able to select other groups you want to post the listing to.
- Then, you can publish the listing.
After listing your items for sale on Facebook, you’ll need to keep up with your listings.
This includes answering messages through Facebook Messenger about the listing as soon as possible and updating the listing to remove items that have sold.
Short for virtual garage sale, VarageSale is another great option for hosting your online yard sale.
The platform is divided into local groups where you can list items for sale to buyers near you. This online garage sale app allows you to connect with local buyers near you and sell your stuff with ease.
To create an online yard sale using VarageSale, you need to:
1) Find your community
To create an account on this selling app, you need to start by connecting with your VarageSale community. Enter your location on the app to join the community near you.
2) Verify your identity
Once you find your local community, you’ll be asked to connect your Facebook account with the app. This will help the app’s admins verify your identity and ensure you’re a real person.
3) Create your garage sale
After you’re approved, you can start creating listings on the app.
To create a listing on VarageSale, just create a post in the app by adding photos of the item, then fill in details of the listing by adding a description and price.
You can also select the different communities near you where you want to post your item for sale.
4) Sell your stuff
When someone is interested in your item, you’ll receive a notification from the app. Buyers can comment on the listing or send you a private message to let you know they’re interested.
After you finalize the details of the purchase with the buyer, you can reserve the listing and set up a time to meet.
Online Yard Sale Pricing Tips
Once you have your yard sale platform picked out, it’s time to start creating some listings.
That means you’ll need to come up with prices for all the stuff you list.
To ensure you get the most money out of the stuff you’re selling, consider these online yard sale pricing tips:
Do research before pricing
If you’re not sure what your item is worth, do a quick search online to see what it’s going for.
You can search for similar items on the platform you’re using to host your online yard sale or use an online auction site, like eBay, to get an idea of the item’s value before you list it.
Leave room for negotiation
Selling your stuff online will require some haggling occasionally. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave a little bit of wiggle room in your pricing to accommodate negotiation.
Pricing your item slightly higher than what you’re willing to accept will ensure you get the price you want after you’re finished negotiating.
Include some free listings to garner interest
You likely have a few items lying around your house that you want to get rid of, but you know aren’t really worth anything.
Adding those items to your yard sale and listing them for free can give your listing a little more attention.
What to Sell in an Online Yard Sale
Selling your stuff online instead of at a traditional yard sale might be the best way to maximize your profits.
But not everything you want to sell is the best fit for an online yard sale.
When deciding what items to list in your sale, consider what sells best on yard sale sites, like Facebook and VarageSale.
These items are popular products to sell in an online yard sale:
Everything from baby gear to clothing is perfect for selling on an online marketplace.
Buyers are always on the lookout for good deals on kids items, including toys, clothing and accessories, furniture, and baby gear.
Although it may take a little longer to sell bigger pieces, online marketplaces are the best place to sell bulky items, like furniture and appliances.
If your electronics are in good, usable condition, they’re great for selling online.
Make sure to clear off any personal data, then list your old cell phones, tablets, computers, televisions, and other electronics in your online yard sale.
Buyers are often looking for entertaining options when browsing online. That’s why entertainment products like movies, video games, books, and toys are good options for your online yard sale.
If you plan on cleaning out the garage, listing your tools on an online marketplace is a great way to earn some extra money.
Home décor, kitchenware, and other household items are perfect for listing online. In addition to having great success selling housewares in your yard sale, buyers also love finding seasonal décor for sale.
While there are a variety of items you can list in your online yard sale, there are a few that might not be the best products to add to your sale.
These types of items often don’t sell as well on online marketplaces.
Instead of including these types of items in your yard sale, consider listing them on more specialty sites, like eBay, to get the most money out of your listing:
Niche products, like specially designed car parts or artwork, might not be the easiest to sell in a local marketplace.
Antiques and collectibles
Although you may be able to sell antiques and collectibles to your local market, you might not be able to sell them at their full value.
To ensure you get the most money for your stuff, it might be a better idea to list collectible items on another platform.
Buyers love purchasing children’s clothing through online marketplaces, but it’s difficult to find people to purchase adult clothing.
You could try listing your old clothing as a lot to increase the chances of it selling. Or try listing your adult clothing on Ebay or Poshmark (more known for clothing) to sell to a larger audience.
Although you could find buyers for your high-value items, like expensive technology or designer handbags, through a local marketplace, selling these expensive products might not be safe.
Think about the cost of the item and the amount of money that will exchange hands when you meet in person to determine if you feel safe making that transaction with a stranger.
Tips for Getting Online Sales
You might think that creating a listing on your favorite online marketplace is all you need to do to sell your stuff online.
But online sales are becoming more and more popular, which means you’ll have plenty of competition from your neighbors to get local buyers’ attention!
To ensure you make the most sales from your listings, follow these simple online sales tips:
Take Good Pictures
Pictures are probably the most important part of your online yard sale.
Providing your buyers with great photos will help them see exactly what they’re getting before they commit to buying it.
And that’s why it’s essential that you take the time to get the best photos of your items before you create your listings.
These simple photography tips will help you take great product photos for your online garage sale:
1) Clear the area surrounding your product
Since you want your product to be the focal point of the photo, it’s important to take the time to make sure the space surrounding the item is clear of dirt, debris, and other products.
Make sure there aren’t any distractions in the photo frame to ensure your product is the highlight of the picture.
2) Make sure you have good lighting
The key to getting a good photo is having good lighting.
Natural light is your best option when taking a product photo to ensure the colors and details are properly balanced.
To get photos in natural light, you can take your item outside to use the sun as your light or place the product near a window to allow natural light to brighten your photo.
3) Take photos of your product from different angles
Since your buyers can’t pick up the item and look at it in person, you need to provide them with a view of all sides of the item for sale in your photos.
That’s why it’s so important to take pictures of your product from several different angles.
Start by making sure to include an overhead shot and a shot of the item from the front.
Then add different angles to your listing to include up-close photos and pictures of the product’s details to provide your buyer with even more information.
Write Detailed Descriptions
While great pictures are the best way to show off the items you have for sale, making sure your buyers know exactly what they’re getting is essential.
That’s why it’s important to provide as much detail as possible when you’re creating the description for each of your products.
Each listing needs to include all the relevant information a buyer would want to know when making a purchase, including the product’s:
- Brand name
It’s also important to think about the technical elements of your listing when creating an online yard sale.
Most selling platforms require you to include information in your listing that helps the platform’s search engine sort through all the different posts.
When creating your listing, make sure not to ignore any of these elements to ensure your posts show up when buyers are searching:
While it may be tempting to use a cute or funny name for your listings to get more attention on your products, you will actually be hurting your chances of showing up in a search.
The name you give your listing is one of the most important elements of the listing, so you want it to be as informative as possible.
Make sure to include exactly what the item is, including the brand name and size if that’s relevant.
Think about the terms you would use to search for that item if you wanted to buy it, then include those words in the title of your listing.
Next, you need to be sure to pick the correct category for each of the items you’re selling.
You want to make sure you include each listing in the correct category to make it easier for your buyers to find what they’re looking for and easier for the search engine to sort your listing into the proper place.
Finally, adding tags to your listing will give the platform’s search engine an even better idea of what your item actually is.
Tags are simply generic terms you would apply to the item listed. So, for example, if you’re listing a dining room table, you could use tags like table, furniture, and dining room.
Bundle Smaller Items
When selling smaller things, like clothing and housewares, you may have more luck selling items as a bundle or set.
Think about what a typical buyer would do at a traditional yard sale.
When someone finds that you have clothing in their daughter’s size, they’re likely to buy multiple pieces at once, right? The same goes for online listings.
In addition to helping you get more money out of each listing, creating bundled listings also saves you time.
Instead of needing to take a photo of each item individually, you can take one photo of the entire lot.
Then, use the description to list the details of each item in the bundle so your buyer will know what’s included in the bundle.
There are a variety of different products that sell well in bundles, including:
- Clothing in the same size and style
- Matching accessories, like a handbag and wallet set
- Jewelry in similar styles
- Matching kitchenware, like utensils or dishes
- Linens in a similar style or color
- Home décor in a similar style
- Toys with similar characters or themes
- Movies with a similar theme or actor
- Books by the same author or written for the same age group
- Video games for the same platform
When hosting a yard sale at your home, you probably feel pretty safe selling your stuff.
But selling your stuff online comes with a little bit of risk because you’ll typically need to set up a place for an in-person meeting to deliver your product to the buyer.
That’s why it’s essential that you take precautions to ensure your safety during these meetings. Follow these tips to stay safe when selling your stuff:
Research the buyer
If you’re using Facebook to host your online yard sale, take a minute to click on the user’s profile to do some research on them.
People often create fake profiles to scam sellers, which means it’s always a good idea to do a little bit of research before scheduling a meeting.
If you feel like their profile is genuine, continue with the meet-up. Otherwise, let the buyer know that the item isn’t available and move on to the next interested party.
Arrange meetings during daylight hours to avoid meeting in dark or secluded spots
It’s never a good idea to meet in the evening or nighttime hours.
Always meet in a public place
When scheduling your meeting, make sure to pick a place that will likely have people nearby. This will ensure you’re never alone with the stranger purchasing your stuff.
A busy parking lot or a location near a police station are great options for scheduling your meet-up.
Move items outside if your buyer will be picking something up at your home
Larger items, like furniture, may need to be picked up at your house.
When selling these things, it’s always a good idea to research the buyer before giving your address.
Then, make sure to move the items outside on your porch to avoid the need for a stranger to come inside your home to pick up their purchase.
Only accept cash or an etransfer to prevent fraudulent purchases
Unfortunately, scammers are abundant on online marketplaces.
When selling your stuff online, never agree to accept a check from your buyer. There is no way to tell if the check is valid, which means cash or an etransfer is your best option for online yard sale purchases.
Consider Porch Pickups
Everyone has different schedules. Arranging an in person pick up can be challenging.
In my experience, the easiest ways to arrange pickups are through a porch pickup (a pick up from your porch)!
A porch pickup is when you leave an item on your porch for someone to pick up. They can leave the money under the welcome mat, in a mailbox or etransfer it directly.
I love doing porch pickups because you can just walk the item to your porch (no travel or gas money involved) and the buyer can come when it’s convenient for them.
When you’re doing a porch pick up, it’s best to put the item in a bag or box and ensure it can stay in good condition given the weather.
If there are multiple pickups scheduled around the same time, I’ll often put a name on each bag to minimize confusion.
It’s always a good idea to put the items out as close as possible to the time the person will be coming for the pickup.
Another great meeting arrangement is if you ask the buyer to come to your workplace as you’ll already be there.
Of course, before thinking about either arrangement, you’ll want to ensure the buyer is trustworthy and look up their profile in advance.
If you’re hesitant about the porch pickup method because you’re worried a buyer might take off with your item without paying for it, you’re not alone.
I felt the same worry.
I can tell you I’ve arranged easily over 100 porch pickups and fingers crossed, I haven’t had a buyer take off without paying for an item yet.
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