Online yard sales probably won’t replace the real thing anytime soon. There's nothing quite like a treasure hunt in the early morning air. But, if you’re looking for something specific, it's pouring down rain, or you just need a 2 a.m. shopping fix, here are some online yard sale options:
Local Online Yard Sales
Though I’ve seen a number of national online yard sale sites, unless the sites are widely used and have an effective way to protect buyers from fraud, I prefer local groups. With local groups, you can see, touch, and sniff the merchandise before any money changes hands.
- City or County Specific Groups: Use your favorite search engine to search for online yard sale groups and sites in your area. In my city, there are two, county and city. Both are yahoo groups. Search by combining the name of your city, county, or greater metro area with phrases like online yard sale, online garage sale, cyber garage sale, cyber yard sale, online swap meet, etc.
- Craigslist: Though Craigslist isn’t specifically an online garage sale site, it functions perfectly as one. It’s probably my personal favorite of the options, just because of the vast amount of used furniture available. Even though Craigslist is used all over the world, you can limit your search to your own city or metro area.
National / International Online Yard Sales
- Etsy: Lots of people know about shopping on Etsy for original artwork and handcrafted items, but many sellers offer charming vintage or refurbished items also. You’ll pay a little more than you might at a traditional yard sale, but there are good deals to be had. It’s a particularly good option if you’re still learning to tell the trash from the treasure. Some of the most creative people around have already vetted the goods for you.
- SwapItGreen: On SwapItGreen, buyers and sellers exchange goods with trading points, although you do pay a small transaction fee in real money. You have to sell your own goods for trading points before you can make purchases. Like any good swap meet or garage sale, you can haggle at this one. If you don’t want to pay the listed price, you can place a bid offering fewer trading points, which may or may not be accepted by the seller. Sellers are responsible for shipping costs.