Neighbors, that random brown paper bag a stranger just picked up from my front porch is not filled with drugs I’m dealing out of my Buckhead home. It’s something I sold to said stranger on the local Buy, Sell, Trade (BST) group (a.k.a. “the exchange”) on Facebook.
It’s the only reason I carry cash or have cash in my wallet.
It may seem a little sketchy but I clothe my kids, buy their Christmas and birthday gifts, and even gain some decent parenting advice (Does this rash on my kid’s arm look serious!?) at the mercy of these groups. And the best is the eye roll my husband gives me when I start my conversations with “today, on the exchange…”
Here’s a little of what selling looks like:
- By the grace of God, the kids are both napping at the same time (insert fist bump emoji here). You are enjoying yourself, feet propped with your laptop when…DING! You get that tempting email about the 25% off sale at JCrew. And it gets you in the mood to shop.
- Since you’re on a budget, you snoop around the closet for a toy or article of clothing that your kids have outgrown or no longer need and you do the math – you could totally sell 3 items and buy the one skirt you have your eye on at the online sale.
- You justify the purchase and put the skirt in your online shopping cart.
- Making sure the lighting is “just perfect” you quickly snap a few pictures of the kids’ items laid out on the cutest rug in your house and quickly post them on the local BST group page.
- …and you wait…
- You check out online.
- Confirmation email received. The skirt is yours.
- You daydream about what shoes will look best with the skirt and plan wear it on your next date night with your husband (sans kids).
- Hit refresh on the Facebook page.
- …and you wait…
- A notification pops up on your screen that someone has commented on your post. You quickly click on it.
- Score! Someone wants the “2 EUC SwaddleMe Swaddles – size small” and has messaged you about picking them up. Like right now because they are in the area and headed to pick up their kid from preschool. They need them ASAP so their kid can sleep tonight.
- Send them your address.
- You grab the swaddles and put them in a brown paper bag with the person’s name on it and throw it out on your porch. Hope they aren’t pulling up the driveway because you don’t want any awkward interaction.
- Five minutes later you jump out of your skin when your dog barks at a car slowly driving by your house.
- Scold the dog and pray the kids don’t wake up.
- You see break lights and the car backing up and pulling in your driveway. You slide out of view from the window and carry on with washing the dishes at the sink.
- Let them back out and disappear down the street as you open the front door to grab the cash from under your doormat.
- Your guilt from the JCrew purchase is gone because you just “paid yourself back.”
- You delete your original sales post. You go about your day while wondering what you’ll sell next to buy the “hottest Fall bootie” from the Nordstrom email that just hit your inbox.
Here’s the lingo for BST groups:
- IST – interested
- PM – private message
- OBO – or best offer
- GUC – gently used condition (when referring to condition of item)
- EUC – excellent used condition
- NWT – new with tags
- NWOT – new without tags
- PPU – pending pick up OR porch pick up
- ISO – in search of
- Bump – when your item hasn’t had any action and you want to “bump” it to the top of the page to gain more activity.
- “Following” or “F”- just don’t do this. If you want to follow a post, Facebook has a handy notification action that you can set by clicking on the “carrot” (v) at the top right hand of the post. You will receive notifications if someone else comments on the post. You can also save it and refer to it again later.
*When selling don’t forget to list the condition of the item, the brand, the size, price, and location for pick up.
To find one of these magical exchanges, search Facebook with the name of your city and the word “exchange” and you might be able to stumble upon several to join.
Happy selling and buying, momma!