Friday, September 13, 2013
Garage sale junkies in McKinney use Facebook for deals
Online garage sales are a great way to sell a small amount of items, leaving actual garage sales for larger lots of loot.
Facebook used to be a website where social networking took place, pictures were posted and -- let's face it -- the average Joe was able to present himself in his most flattering light. Now, it's become a spot where moms, dads, shopaholics and garage sale junkies spend their time looking for that perfect item thanks to online garage sale groups.
The city of McKinney has two online garage sale groups - McKinney SB Ranch Online Garage Sale and McKinney TX Online Garage Sale. These sites aren't just for neighbors, either; the Stonebriar Ranch group has more than 5,000 members, and the McKinney TX group has more than 11,000.
So what makes these groups so popular?
"It's a quick and easy way to sell items," said Angie Rucker of the McKinney SB Ranch Admin and group founder, adding it's an easy way to get rid of unwanted items. "Shoppers can view posted items as soon as they are listed and buy them by simply commenting on the post and arranging the purchase of the item directly with the seller."
Rucker started the group a little more than a year ago and has watched its membership grow. There are no fees for posting items or selling items, unlike online selling counterparts like eBay, which charges a percentage based on what one sells.
"The best part of online garage sales is helping people clear out their unwanted items," she said. "I receive messages weekly from buyers and shoppers thanking me for creating this garage sale site."
The McKinney TX online garage sale group was created in January 2012 as the first for the city by Charron Hoekman.
"I had been trying to sell my own items on Wylie and Mesquite sites, but it was becoming more and more difficult to meet folks," Hoekman said. "So I created the site and posted it on a couple other sites, mainly in hopes of selling my stuff. I had no idea it would become so popular. We grew quite rapidly in the first month, hitting 2,000 members. From there on, we get one to 15 new members each day."
Hoekman said shoppers are looking for good deals and love the haggling process, while buyers are looking for some extra cash while purging unnecessary items.
"I have talked to and seen a number of folks starting to make a business out of it," she said. "Buy low, sell high. The online garage sales just give them better access to products, and sellers get rid of their clutter."
For Hoekman, the site is all about helping neighbors.
"The best part is when I get recognized by my name or face around town and people tell me how much they love the site," she said. "It just helps me get through those 400 to 600 post approvals each day, to know that it is really helping someone."
Rucker said new shoppers should check the sites often as some items sell within seconds, adding that the online garage sales are a great way to sell a small amount of items, leaving actual garage sales for larger lots of loot.
Brittney Holley, McKinney resident and busy mom of three, said the sites allow her to find exactly what she's looking for without leaving the house.
"It's a very easy way to shop for a range of things from appliances to clothes from any place at any time," Holley said. "I've never been a huge shopper. Loading children up and taking them along can sometimes be a hassle, especially when they see something they want at every turn and are too young to grasp that mommy can't always buy them everything. It can open up a bag of worms."
Holley has been scouring online garage sales like a pro for the past several months and has found the perfect game plan: Look often.
"Every night before bed, I look through the site as a way to wind down," she said. "One of my best buys was a real Dooney and Burke purse that I got for $35; it usually runs for about $250 or higher. The woman got it as a gift and didn't like the animal print and couldn't take it back because she didn't have a receipt. I also purchased a pretty white dresser for $120, which would have cost at least $400 at the store."
As member numbers of each group climb, items become more diverse. Each site boasts items ranging from cowboy boots to kitchen tables, all moderately priced and ready to be sold. To become a member to the site, simply request to be added as a member.
Then, let the shopping begin.
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News