Facebook Rummage Sales: Tips to Buy & Sell

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If you’re like me and love a good rummage sale, thrift store, or simply want to purge and sell things that you don’t need, consider joining your local community rummage sale group on Facebook. “Swip-Swap” groups, as they are often called, are becoming a popular and easy way to buy and sell unwanted new and used items through social media.

As a person who has sold and bought many items on Ebay, Craigslist, Instagram, at yard sales, thrift stores, and seasonal kids consignment sales, Facebook Rummage Sales are my new favorite thing!


PROS of Facebook Rummage Sales:

  • Responses are immediate and real time. As soon as you list an item, people will soon be asking questions or commenting “take” on your post.
  • You can sell things as you come across them instead of building a pile in the garage for a garage sale.
  • If you are looking for something specific, you just ask the group (Note: ISO means In Search Of)
  • There’s no shipping involved – this is the part I find most convenient!
  • There’s no need to drag all your stuff outside in your driveway.
  • No need to spend hours at a time tagging things for consignment sales or garage sales.
  • Less “creepy” than Craigslist because there is a face associated with the posting (Side Note: Obviously, you will need to observe basic internet selling and buying rules like not meeting anyone alone at night etc.)
  • You will likely meet folks with similar interests/hobbies in your neighborhood/community.
  • Most groups are monitored by an admin or person who started the group. My group currently has 12,000 members so if someone does something inappropriate or rude and gets complaints, they get kicked off.

Basic Steps and Tips to get you started:

  • First, you’ll need to find local online rummage sale groups for your area by searching on Facebook or Google. Many are titled “Your town or community name Swip-Swap” or “Swap & Sell”. Send a request to be added to the group.
  • Once you have been added to the group, you’ll be able to see items for sale on your Facebook newsfeed. You’ll also be able to take photos and list items to the group’s page. Some groups have special rules so make sure to read them. For example, my Group does not allow you to bid on the items listed in the comments – you have to private message the individual through Facebook.
  • Learn the lingo or language used in most groups. Here are a few examples:

facebook Lingo for Swip Swap

  • Add a well lit, clear photo of the item you’d like to sell along with a brief description of item, price, and your general location. Below is a good example from my group.

swip swap example 2

  • Be sure to answer all questions in a timely manner. If someone comments “take”, then send a private message to the person to make arrangements on pick up or meeting up at a public place. For items priced under $10, some people choose to do porch pick up which means the seller leaves the item out by the front door in a bag along with a pencil case or something small for the buyer to leave the money.

On a personal note, I spent last weekend going through our garage and identifying miscellaneous furniture and household items that I no longer needed AND I made a quick $150 just by posting these items to my Facebook rummage sale group!

Do you belong to a Facebook rummage sale group? What has your experience been like?


Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime!

Join The Discussion

Comments 107

  1. Christy B.

    I’ve just started following a few Facebook yard sale groups. It’s kind of fun! PPU in those groups stand for Pending Pick Up

    • Melissa

      our ppu is also pending pick up

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        In my group (and I only follow one) PPU in the description of item is porch pick up and then in the comments it means sold pending pick up πŸ™‚ I guess language can be a little different too! πŸ™‚ It never hurts to just ask for clarification once you are in your group. Thanks!

        • Alea

          My groups it’s “porch pick up” – people just use pending otherwise.

          • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

            Ha thanks, see I did not make that up! πŸ™‚ could be either!

  2. Keri Lawrenson Lambert

    Just an FYI… on the swap sites I use, PPU means pending pick up, not porch pick up.

    • Lisa B

      Keri, I was just going to post the same thing. PPU is PENDING PICK UP. A “Curb Alert” is when something is sitting out free for first come, first serve.

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Changed graphic to Pending Pick Up because it looks like a majority of sites do that meaning although the one I belong to it can mean porch pick up. Thanks!

  3. Nikki

    I noticed you highlighted the pros…but what about the cons? How much of your personal info do groups like these have access to? (is it as much as if you were “friends”?) And what about getting the items? Is it best to meet at a public place to exchange? I’d love to know those things before I endeavor into it. TIA!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Make sure to set your Facebook account to private. Other members can only see what is public.
      Your second question is a personal decision and you have to decide what’s comfortable for you. If you feel more comfortable meeting in daylight at say a Walgreens than do that.

      This weekend I knew my husband was around to greet people in our garage and was comfortable to do that. Thanks!

      • Laura

        My son and I always meet at Walgreens. It’s just safer. I have only encountered a few no shows. But if you belong to a great site with super admins, they will some sort of rule in place for this. 3 strikes and you are out! I find I get more money for my items than I would if I sold them at a garage sale. Especially electronic items.

      • Jennifer

        I’ve read that some police departments will have a spot in their lot by the door to meet for things like this.

        • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

          That’s great!

    • Abigail

      I always meet at a public place when I buy/sell. The groups I am in have admins that take it very seriously and will remove people if they haven’t followed through with their end of the deal. Also, the admins try to monitor who is admitted to group to ensure there are no spammers.

  4. Audra

    I have had good luck and bad luck with these types of sites. (I’m currently a member of like 5 or 6). It’s so frustrating when someone says they want the item, you plan a place and time to meet up, and then they don’t show or let you know they are no longer interested. I have been stood up 4 times. But I have also had good experiences with them. I have sold about 5 items for about $150- most of the items I had actually had in a garage sale and no one was interested. So I posted them on the sites and sold them for more than what I was originally asking at the garage sale! Other items I have had posted for a while with no interest- even brand new in package items. But I do enjoy looking through what others have listed.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s interesting. I haven’t had that yet, but I know our admins are strict and kick people out who have multiple complaints…Thanks for sharing.

    • Amy

      I’ve had similar problems with pickups but same with craigslist. If the page has a good admin they usually will contact ppl who don’t show and then decide whether to kick them off or not. I find I tend to sell for less $$ than Craigslist but it tends to go faster. It’s also a great way to give stuff away for free, you don’t tend to get bombarded quite as much as you do with freecycle

  5. Christa

    PPU means pending pickup normally. I see these groups as just a step up from craigslist. People constantly are no shows and there are arguments all the time. Often the arguments are whether or not they are first in line to buy an item.

    • Sarah

      A good rummage sale group will have Admins who are on the ball and able to help resolve the drama, but on the other side, you can’t control people or their reactions to situations.

  6. Sarah

    I currently administer a group like this. I agree it’s frustrating to set up a sale only for the person to say they are no longer interested.

    As an Admin, I encourage everyone to read the rules of each group you join – not all groups are the same.

    I typically sell items that I want get for a higher price because there is typically no bartering, but I do enjoy a good garage sale.

  7. kelsey

    Oh I’m so glad you posted this! I had no idea how hard it was to sell stuff. I have 2 pairs of Uggs I’ve been trying to sell off (very good price) for like 3 weeks!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I have found that anything like designer shoes and purses are hot sellers at least on my group. Good luck!! πŸ™‚

  8. Dawn

    I always hate when folks put good stuff out (for free, like Freecycle) on the curb or porch and then list an address in their ad without picking folks for specific items. Such a waste of time and gas for everyone who might go to find it gone! Don’t do this and post it online unless you have tons of stuff or will pick people.

    • Alea

      I agree!

  9. Misty

    I have sold over 100 items using our local swapsite. I can honestly say I have about a 50% no-show rate. I have people pick up at my house because of this and I always arrange pick up times when my husband is home. So if you want to participate in this type of sale, dont be too upset when people dont show. Yes, it is rude. But it is normal these days.

  10. rwild1

    What does obo mean? Just saw that on the one I joined. Usually I am too slow to get what I would like.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I believe Or Better Offer.

      • rwild1

        Thanks.

    • karin

      I think it means or best offer

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Ha yes correct meant to type that! Thanks!

    • Laura

      Or best offer

      • rwild1

        Thanks all

    • Lauren Phillips

      I use it meaning Or Best Offer (e.g., if I post for $20, and one person offers $18 and one offers $15 I will sell to the person offering $18).

  11. e

    I HATE facebook sell sites. Capitalist is much easier imo

  12. Nancy

    I’ve sold lots of items including kids clothes and big toys (these are the most popular and sell really fast) and household items. You definitely get more money for them this way. I don’t personally post anything to sell for less than $10 to meet because of the gas expense and my time.

  13. JulieG

    I’ve had some good luck with these. I belong to 5 or 6 groups. The most irritating to me are ones that are ISO and claim to be desperate and don’t have much money, then I take the time to share photos, give a good price and one of two things happens: they either decide my stuff is not good enough and tell me they didn’t ask for such and such or end up being a no-show at a meeting and then try to give me a lame excuse. I’m done with them either way. If I took the time to send pics to you, reduce the price I would normally accept and the time to meet you, well you weren’t that interested or desperate to begin with, so 1 strike and you are done in that case. Keep in mind that some people will not be nearly as considerate of your valuable time as you are! JMO

    • OhioGirl

      What does ISO mean?

      • Kidsallgone

        In search of

        • OhioGirl

          Thanks

  14. Honey

    I am the creator and administrator of our community Facebook yard sale site. I have been involved for years. We have a small town, so there is under 2k members but it has been a very successful group. I have scored so many good deals as well as selling my own items for income. I would highly recommend finding a group near you πŸ™‚

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks! It’s interesting to hear what everyone thinks.

  15. MegN

    You forgot NIL=next in line

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh thanks, haven’t heard that one. We just say Next.

  16. shop4mybabies

    Please always meet in a public place. You have no idea how crazy anyone is, and they could be scoping you out for a robbery, to check out your kids, anything. Call me paranoid, but I call me safe. I have had decent luck selling. several people have been up to 30 minutes late, which is annoying as all get out. I have also bought a few things, it’s fun.

    • Jen

      Agree!! I didn’t even think home pick up was an option. Everyone on my local swap site always lists a store, etc. The only time I ever had people come to my house was when I was moving and selling furniture. I figured if they came back for anything “bad” I wouldn’t even be living there.

    • Sann

      No! Your not being paranoid. We had a huge news story over the weekend in our city of 2 people being held at gunpoint and their stuff was stolen.

  17. stacy

    none in my area sigh

  18. Nicolle

    LOL I just signed up with my local group 2 days ago and haven’t had time to check hip2save in the last two days OMG!

  19. t

    An acquaintance had a litter of Shitzu puppies for sale. A prospective buyer came to her house but left without buying a puppy. That night, all the pups were stolen from their kennel on her porch. Be wary of people coming to your house. They may be scoping.

    • Alea

      That’s horribly sad. πŸ™

  20. Rachel

    I posted to one in my town and someone I know personally commented on it. We were chatting back and forth as I answered questions… Some guy commented and said… Next, once this love fest is over. My friend said something like, it will never be over and then the guy commented…. Love me some girl on girl auction. I told my friend I would give her the item cheaper as long as I didn’t have to meet that creep to exchange!!!

  21. Stefanie

    My neighborhood has a free exchange page on facebook and its a great resource for those of us who are low-income. I have given away and received food, furniture, clothes, office supplies, books – its really wonderful!

    • Dawn

      Ours does too but only via an email list. I wish it was better and we had more participating. We all know each other so it’s nice! But I know So many things are donated to thrift stores, wasted or thrown away that someone in our neighborhood could really use instead, which is a bummer.

  22. Sam

    I’ve stopped shopping at yard sales and hosting yard sales. No need to when I can shop online thru my FB swap shop!

  23. V

    Never had much luck with this sort of thing. Been to collect a few items only to be told that they either want more money (sob stories) or have already been sold. Obviously I arrange a time and agree on price prior to going, but once I get there it’s a different story.

  24. Cori

    There wasn’t a swip swap in my town so I started one πŸ™‚

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That is awesome! Good luck and happy swapping!

  25. Alea

    I started the FB yard sale sites this summer – love it! Great way to get some extra money and get stuff gone fast. I have some pretty great admins running the different groups.

  26. Nancy

    What does it mean when people post “bump” in the comments? I’ve never quite understood that one!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I think it bumps the post back to the top of the feed so instead of re listing something people comment “bump”.

    • Becky

      Bring up my post (bump)

  27. Courtney

    I’ve sold all my baby items and have made over $500 the last two months on my babies outgrown clothes, car seats and baby gear. Even made a $25 sale tonight on my way home from work. It is kinda fun. I’ve only been stood up once.

  28. Leslie

    Does anyone know of one in the Atlanta/Buford GA area? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Corinne

      Leslie I use the Gwinnett County one. There is also a Lawrenceville so I’m sure there is one for Buford.

  29. pam

    Does any one know if there are any in MA?

  30. TM

    I live in the perfect neighborhood for a virtual “marketplace.” Around here we leave Rubbermaid bins on our porch and people can pick up at their leisure and leave the money in the bin. Yes, it seems risky, but nearly every other home in my town has a bin. In any other neighborhood it may not work (I live in suburban Mayberry ;)) but I’ve never once had a problem on this particular *secret* site. Only friends that will vouch for you can invite you, otherwise you are out of luck. The rules are very strict, but it makes for a great experience. You can only bump if you lower the price, can’t post on other sites, if you break the rules you get kicked out. I’ve saved TONS and made quite a bit too! The admin is getting ready to transition to a website (away from facebook), so that she add more search categories (and make a little too). The website has thousands of members, so she is very busy cleaning up the site. I’m excited to see what she’s got up her sleeve!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Wow! That’s neat. Yes the porch stuff is popular in mine too and it seemed odd but yet so convenient.

    • Christi

      This sounds a lot like the one I am on in Central Indiana!

  31. Rose

    Does anyone know if it is in chicago area thanks

    • snoopymom

      I live in the NW suburbs and there are several. I am sure you can find one on FB if you just search your town name and yard sale or garage sale or swap.

      • Rose

        thanks i too live in northwest suburb

  32. Jamie

    I usually see these listed as “(town name) buy/sell/trade”, so if u are searching “(town name) swap” or swip-swap try the above instead.

    I do like these sites but find it frustrating when the buyer shows up with less money than the agreed upon price with the lame excuse of, “I forgot to go the bank and all I have is $8 instead of $10.”

    • Jennine

      Yes ours are Not called swip-swap sites! Ours are (town name) yard sale ect. And you ask to be added

  33. Chantel Chapman

    Wow this is really cool! I actually have a huge pile of stuff for a yard sale so this is perfect timing. I found a group with 13,000 people in my city. Thanks Hip2save!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      You’re welcome, good luck!

  34. Corinne

    When I was still in Colorado I started using VarageSale and it is amazing! So easy to use. Searching and posting items much better than the Facebook groups. Now that I’m back in Ga none of my local communities use it so it’s back to fb for me πŸ™

  35. Teri

    When I meet someone I just arrange a place that I may have to go anyway. Grocery store, Home Depot, Baskin Robbins…lol. Then I have them text me when they are there. That way if they are a no show it’s not a complete waste of time.

  36. Dawn

    Make sure people know how much to bring exactly, and if u can’t do change—don’t just assume they know the price!! Even though they should! I have gotten grumpy inside when folks meet me and often start dickering for a lower price because they only brought X amount of money!!! Grrr…..I also once had someone meet then say they forgot their money!!!

    • Dawn

      Like they are secretly hoping you’ll go lower or free (if it’s a low amount already) so u won’t have to re-arrange a new meeting with someone else. I always say online, “ok it’s $15 Cash, and I don’t have change, so please bring exact amount”. And once someone met and wanted to write me a check—-ah!!!! No way, cash only I said!!!

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Oh no!

  37. Kathy

    It’s very addicting too! I’ve sold a bunch of stuff that was just sitting around, but I’ve bought a bunch of stuff too. One man’s trash……

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Ha I agree!

  38. Brianna

    I have joined several of the yard sale groups in my area on Facebook and have sold a ton of stuff. We also have one that is a bidding site where you can put a starting bid and then a buy it now bid and people actually bid on it like ebay but it only goes for 48 hours. I didn’t see this kind mentioned in the comments above.

  39. deb

    I just joined one because of you writing about this Lina, thanks. Question- what does cross posted mean? TIA

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      It usually means they have also posted the item on another rummage sale group as well. Thanks! Good luck!

  40. Monica Matthews, http://how2winscholarships.com

    I love my FB swap sites! It’s also good to know this one: POOS = Posted On Other Sites, when you list your items on multiple swap sites.

  41. Mona

    I have a question on one of my swipe swap location, I inquired about high-end furniture its being sold at friends house that’s empty 45 minutes from where I live and she doesn’t live there either but will meet me there. I’m trying to make sure it’s not a scam has anybody ever heard of this?? You know I’ve always heard that rule of thumb if it’s to good to be true it normally is, my friend tells me what could go wrong!!! But I would be meeting someone in an area of town that you’re not familiar with. Idk ideals??

  42. paula

    Does anyone know what pmed mean?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Private messaged . Someone has use the private messenger via Facebook to communicate address and details

  43. Sally

    My daughter and I found these groups when she was first pregnant and we “scored” a ton of wonderful baby clothes and gear for my beautiful granddaughter! Our swap site is specifically a children’s site, one of them anyway! We have found this as a wonderful source of beautiful and inexpensive merchandise, as well as pretty darn convenient!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s awesome! I agree. I joined one for kids, and one for home decor and furniture!

  44. Sarah

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for searching within the page. The one I’m on has so many posts per hour that it’s really hard to scroll through the feed looking for anything specific. Thanks!

  45. Anne

    I have a pc of furniture up on FB. Someone responded “interested”. What does that mean?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I think it means just that they are interested and thinking about it. Sometimes people will comment that so that when someone else comments next they will get a FB

  46. Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

    Notification and be able to stay in the conversation and come back to it later.

  47. Eyde Olson

    What does an “inline” reply to my item for sale mean?

  48. Megan

    I’m trying to figure out what it means when people comment on a post with a “.” Does anyone know?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I think that means they are trying to follow that post and will get notified after someone else comments – so it just means “following”
      They are interested in knowing what happens to the item I’m guessing πŸ˜€

  49. Takako

    As others noted, please meet with people at open-wide public space. I join multiple FB groups and always meet with someone well before sundown and at open-wide public place for my security reason. Before the meeting, make sure that what kind of car that the person ride (so you know which car is) and very specific spot (for example, not as “at the store’s parking lot”, better if you say “at the store’s parking lot, the nearest of the main door” or so) that you would meet. Be safe and have fun!!

  50. Julie

    I use the local FB swap groups a lot in my town. I try to meet just down the street at a gas station or in our walmart parking lot most of the time. But… when I do have people pick up at my house I only give them directions, I don’t give them my full address. I’m aware they can still see it once here but I’d rather strangers not have a permanent message with my home address in it. So I just tell them the cross streets an then my street name and I count the houses and say I’ll be waiting outside and to look for me. I also avoid letting them come inside. If its a large item I move it to the garage or side of the house before they get here.

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