Social Media Garage Sale?

by Nick Staroba

That’s right folks, I had a social media garage sale last weekend. No, I didn’t sell off my Twitter account or a Facebook fan page. I had a garage sale in real life and, while I didn’t completely rely on social media for promotion, I used it and it helped.

The back story is simple enough. Upcoming move + too much stuff = garage sale. Nothing special about that but the result and how I got it was very interesting to me.

Last week I gathered what I wanted to get rid of and made a list as my first action. Friday, I hit the garage sale section of Craigslist and posted the dates, times, location and the list of goodies. After
this I took my sale listing link, shortened it up with bit.ly, and Tweeted it. I got a few hits, but it sure didn’t go viral.

Saturday morning I did the standard garage sale action: Signs! I put out three signs on the main roads surrounding my block and people were showing up before I even got the table out. I made over a third of my total sales within the first half an hour. Throughout the rest of the weekend, people trickled in and so did the cash.

Guess where the most talkative of my customers came from? Craigslist. I had one confirmed hit from Twitter as well: @daleandthomas was looking for my window air conditioner and with a “social media” fistpump we saluted the Twitter love. I got a kick out of that.

So, what’s the point of this story?

While planning all of this, I had a passing thought that the “economy” might affect my sale, but because I discounted that idea and promoted by every means available, I did well.

The signage started the sale with a bang and the combination of Craigslist and Twitter brought in a steady stream afterward. So my advice is whatever you have to sell always keep promoting. Use traditional avenues. Use new avenues. People will see what you have to offer and they’ll reach out to you for it.

Image by Leigh Blackall

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