By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
Just when I thought I’d learned everything I could possibly learn from selling my stuff on Facebook…I ended up learning more.
To get you up to speed, my hubby Stan and I are downsizing and moving to a lovely apartment community. But we don’t want to shoehorn our stuff into our brand new place. So we’re donating some of it; and selling some of it on Craig’s List (Stan’s job) and some of it on Facebook (my job).
I can’t begin to tell you how much pleasure I derive from someone finally getting her or his hands on something they’ve been needing or wanting for a really long time, for a really low price. It makes them happy and it makes me happy. But don’t for a moment think that everyone out there is nice. Many are not. You’ll see at the end of this post, how I progressed from Good Guy to Bad Ass while I learned that:
- Some people have been searching for YEARS for something that’s been collecting dust in your home. Someone came to my home for purposes other than buying my stuff. She spotted an item and asked if it was for sale. I said yes, and she was delighted because she’d been searching for this discontinued piece for ten years! Boy, was SHE happy. And so was I.
- Some items can lie dead in the water while others can create a major frenzy. Who would have thought my set of Mikasa dishes could generate well over 20 requests?
- You have to watch your words. While doing an internet search to get an idea of how to price a red metal rocking chair, I Googled “metal rocker” and could not for the life of me, understand why these guys kept coming up. Eventually, I “got” it. Duh…
- Buyers want something, but not necessarily for the reasons you’d think. Remember the aforementioned Mikasa dishes? It’s service for 16, complete with hostess pieces. Yet the person who purchased the entire set only wanted it for the cups, saucers and dessert plates. I just found that to be really interesting!
- People ask the most surprising questions. A woman was inquiring about our large wrap-around sectional sofa with built-in recliners and queen foldout. She asked if we’d deliver.
- When mama’s gotta have it, she’s gotta have it. One mother of 5 packed up the kids and high-tailed it here, to purchase an item. She begged me to mark the item ‘SOLD’ on Facebook while she was on her way. (Spoiler alert: Here’s where my Bad Assery begins.) I had already learned that you don’t mark anything ‘SOLD’ until it’s sold. So to make sure she got here in time, she kept me posted on her whereabouts, texting me every time she turned onto the next road. I begged her to be careful and to stop texting me because she had her kids in the car! She finally got here, took a look and…you guessed it, declined.
- Some people are downright mean. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m human, and I make mistakes. And as a newbie selling stuff on Facebook, I’m learning the rules of the road as I go along. A woman, we’ll call her Henrietta, had the misfortune of encountering me at the very beginning of my journey. Here’s my crime: I forgot that on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, I’d promised Henrietta that she could pick up a $5 candle holder on the Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend.
On Tuesday, she sent me a Facebook PM, asking when she could pick up her $5 candle holder. I apologized profusely, telling her I’d made a mistake and sold it to someone else, just the day before. That woman chastised me, berated me and reminded me that I am a business owner in the community so I’d better watch my step. That last one was creepy because it meant she’d “looked me up.” I was extremely distressed, and asked her what I could do to make it up to her. Her request was absurd.
Next thing you know, a Facebook Friend spotted this person badmouthing me on that Facebook yard sale site! I wasn’t tagged correctly, so I would never have known about it were it not for my Facebook Friend. Henrietta had posted her poison on two different places on that site, and people started ganging up on me! All for a $5 candle holder! My Facebook Friend and other friends who saw it, gave me equal time with their lovely comments, and one of them had the presence of mind to tag the admins, who promptly took down the offending posts.
Will this incident stop me from continuing to post our stuff on Facebook yard sale sites? Hell no!
And here’s the happy ending: the gentleman who actually purchased that $5 candle holder did so for his 20-something, profoundly disabled daughter. They are moving into a new apartment together so he can properly care for her. I am grateful that my candle holder will help brighten their new home. And before we’d let him leave, Stan and I put together some items we hoped his daughter might enjoy. As the man reached into his pocket, we said no.
Because you can’t put a price tag on how it feels to make someone else smile.
PS: I’d love to hear about your Facebook online yard sale adventures! Please post them in the comment section below.