You know what they say about someone else’s trash, it can easily turn into another person’s treasure. Garage sales are the perfect examples of this age-old theory. The garage sale used to be the weekend gem that you surprisingly found on your way around town. It would provide the perfect detour in between those Saturday morning errand runs. You can always justify the unnecessary splurges at the garage sale—the reasoning is all in the price.
The true joy of purchasing items at a garage sale was always hidden in the value of the items being sold. Items found at these spur-of-the-moment neighborhood shopping sprees can help set your home apart from the traditional décor pieces sold at popular furniture stores. Like all other forms of shopping, the internet has also revolutionized garage sale shopping. Now, sellers across Oklahoma are taking advantage of easy ways to clear clutter, earn cash and discover hidden treasures.
Despite the fun of happening upon a garage sale on the drive home, many saw a need for access to quality used items without having to wait for the neighbors to put up a yard sale sign. “Before the internet, you had to get up, get dressed and go look for what you want,” said Rhonda Digby-Bussell, the online moderator of the Facebook group Edmond Buy, Sell, Trade Furniture. “Now you can order from your pajamas.”
Rhonda’s group was created a year-and-a-half ago in hopes of bringing online bargain shoppers together to sell and trade furniture. Over time the small idea turned into a huge following that has recently grown to over 13,000 members. “Everyday 50 to 60 people ask to join,” said Rhonda. And people aren’t just browsing items, they are actively buying and selling. Users are encouraged to post furniture items that are available for pick up near the Edmond area. Pictures of the item, including measurements, price, location and quality of the item for sale are required for each posting.
So what exactly is the appeal of shopping online for used furniture? Consider the overall cost of moving. Deposits, down payments, closing costs, movers and other obligations can at times put your desire for new home furnishings on the back burner. Resale sites allow you to bid for high-end items at extremely low prices. Burnhardt, Pottery Barn, Century and other luxury furniture pieces can set you back an entire month’s mortgage. The typical price to furnish one room with Ethan Allen furniture is around $10,000. Many bargain shoppers are opting for gently used items that still carry the quality name without the hefty price tag.
These high-end items add to the appeal of shopping at online garage sales. It’s easy to let the thrill of new furniture lure you to the site. Before long, a few clicks can easily turn into hours spent shuffling through décor pieces. Cara Taylor moderates the Deer Creek Edmond Garage Sale group on Facebook. She said that the secret to keeping members clicking through items is constantly engulfing them with new must-have items. “I have made the site successful by keeping the garage sale site up to date with items that only stay listed for a month and deleting sold items and advertisements that don’t belong,” she said. Cara sees no end to the online garage sale craze. “I think that most people flock to the online garage sales opposed to the traditional ones because it is fast, convenient, and a person can make more money from an item online versus selling it all at the same time out of their garage.”
Online garage sales have also become a hot commodity for families. Cara’s group not only sells furniture, but clothing items as well. The site easily allows moms to get rid of clothes that their children may have outgrown. The convenience of photographing items and selling them online initially drew Cara into creating the sales site. “I know for myself I am a very busy mom of six kids and work a full time job,” she said. “It is not always easy to throw together a garage sale to be able to get rid of items no longer needed. It is also a plus that a person can make a little bit of extra cash on their items to help out with family needs or any extra expenses they may have.”