(WZZM) - Whether you call them yard sales or garage sales, spring is the season for them. But a new trend in the practice is making them prominent year-round.
Facebook Online Yard Sales are popping up in nearly every west Michigan community. Michele Marie started the Greater Grand Rapids Online Yard Sale about seven months ago.
"My dad passed away and we had a lot of things we had to clear out and there were groups in Muskegon and I figured why shouldn't we have one in Grand Rapids also?"
The sites are free to sell or buy from, you simply type in the key words for you community and ask to be added. An administrator from the site will give you clearance and you are on your way.
"We don't want home-based businesses in there," explains Marie. "This is basically helping people clear out things in their house or find things at a cheaper price than they could at a store. It's people setting a price for what they think their items are worth and finding somebody willing to pay that price for it."
Similar to a traditional yard sale, in the online version, the early bird catches the worm. If you comment on an item that you are interested in, you are essentially telling that seller that you want to buy that item at that price. You are not committed to buying it, but it does give you first dibs on the item if you want it because on Facebook comments, everything is recorded by the date and time. Once you agree on a purchase, you send the seller a private message and arrange a transaction at an agreed upon location.
And even if you decide this online way isn't for you, if nothing else, it will help you with your traditional sales because in a matter of seconds, you can do a search for an item or find the going rate for something you're contemplating selling or buying.
Besides the Greater Grand Rapids Online Yard Sale, there is one for Muskegon, Norton Shores and many other towns as well as the new "Children's Item Yard Sale", among many others. If you live in a decent-sized community, chances are there is one on Facebook for your location too.
By typing some key words on your Facebook page like, "yard sale" or "garage sale," that should pull up a dozen or more sites.
By Derek Francis