The Underground.

I have become part of what I believe to be an underground network: moms like me who have loads of unnecessary, unwanted stuff and are willing to buy, sell, and trade it with other moms looking to take in such stuff.  Think Goodwill/tag sale for the digital age.  I joined a local group on Facebook.  You post a photo of what you have and the price and what town you're in, and wait to see if anyone comments back.  We message each other and make a deal and set up meeting spots and exchange cash for goods in public.  Scandalous.

This has helped me weed out a ton of stuff we've stopped using- our baby carseats, toys, coats, toys, books, toys, and in turn, I can use that money to pick up some things I might not otherwise want to buy new, like the two LeapFrog tablets I picked up- one for Gus, one for Greta- that they will use for a few years before they are onto bigger and better things, or the vintage German sled that I picked up the other day that will make a great porch decoration in the winter.  It's a faster, hyper-local version of eBay or even Craigslist.  Because it's a Facebook group, it happens in real time, and you could have your item in a matter of hours if you can plan to meet.

While this is a fabulous and handy tool for someone like me, I've had to set some ground rules for purchasing:

1. Only use the money I've gotten from selling off goods in the tag sale group to buy new things from the group.  I keep the cash separate from other money and use that to keep myself in check.

2. Decide if it's really something I need or need to get rid of.  I spent one week criss-crossing town to various meetups and was wondering if the time and gas was worth it, but it felt so good to get rid of things we don't use, and felt so good to pick up a few things the kids will love.  I try and keep this in mind.  If I would sell something for just a couple of dollars, it's almost more worth it to me to just bring it to the dump exchange and let someone have it for free.

3. Try to practice "one thing in, one thing out".  I picked up two amazing winter wool coats at the Goodwill a few weeks ago- one J.Crew and one Zara- for $30 each.  I already have two wool coats that I rarely wear anymore, so I listed them on the tag sale site.  I don't feel so bad taking in new things if I'm getting rid of others that are similar in nature.

4. Don't sell anything the kids are still using, no matter how much I want to get rid of it.  It's tempting to put all the things on the site, but if the kids are still actively interested in something, it stays.

Are you part of the underground?  What are your best trifting/tag sale-ing rules?  Is there anything on your current must-find list, or are you in clean-out mode?

1 comment

  1. I don't know that we have a group like this in the area, but we definitely Craigslist things or post items on our neighborhood page. A lot of people post stuff like that on the neighborhood page, so maybe it's sort of similar, just not specifically for that. Usually I don't end up buying anything, but just selling or getting rid of stuff. I'm still on a "get rid of as many things as possible" kick. I think number 3 is key though. I'm planning on going through my closet again to get rid of some stuff, since I went shopping last month.