Have you ever spent a weekend out driving around looking for cool stuff at garage sales? It can be a really enjoyable experience, but of course, you have to brave the elements, and there’s a chance you might find nothing at all.
For the last few years I’ve been collecting retro video games, and I can’t even tell you the number of hours I’ve logged driving from garage sale to tag sale to estate sale, only to come away empty-handed.
Thankfully, there’s no reason to do this anymore, because VarageSale for iOS and Android creates the garage sale experience without ever leaving your home. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it (and likely for a really good price), with VarageSale.
Just a quick glance at the iTunes and Google Play reviews will show you that the app is rated 4.5 stars from thousands of reviews. But just to be sure, let’s take a closer look at what VarageSale is all about.
To use VarageSale, you’ll need to first set up an account and choose a community. As of writing, 46 US states are supported, as are all of the Canadian provinces. Each state and province is divided into communities, and you can let the app have access to your location, making it easy for it to find the one closest to you.
If you’re in one of the four unfortunate states not supported by VarageSale, you can enter your email to be notified when it comes around to your area.
You do need to connect with Facebook in order to use VarageSale, which might be an annoyance with some services, but in this one is makes sense. Each person who tries to join a group is checked into by an administrator to make sure they’re a real person and that they’re actually from the area in which they’re joining.
That means buying and selling is quite a bit safer than on something like Craigslist, where anyone can create an ad completely anonymously.
Once you sign up, you’ll be able to browse the group for deals, but you’ll need to wait a bit for approval from the admin before you can participate in the buying and selling fun. For me it took less than 24-hours to be accepted into the downtown New York City group, but of course, your mileage may vary depending on the admin.
Buying With VarageSale
Browsing and buying items with VarageSale is quite easy. You can browse the main feed of your community to see all of the most recent action. There are no categories on this screen, so much like a real garage sale, you’ll be seeing a mix of all kinds of products, from clothes to collectibles.
Of course, this isn’t a real garage sale, and that affords you some conveniences that the real world just can’t offer. By clicking the categories button on the bottom of the screen, you can browse only the types of products you’re seeking. Things like video games, books, electronics, home, cars, and plenty of others are included.
Broader categories like electronics have subcategories to help you narrow it down, which is great because it would be quite hard to find what you’re looking for otherwise.
There’s also an option to search, so if browsing isn’t your thing, and you just want to get down to business, you can just type in what you want and get to wheeling and dealing.
When you see something you like, just tap the Interested button, and a screen will pop up allowing you to message the seller and make an offer. You’ll also discuss where to meet and all that good stuff.
If you’re unsure, you can also tap the Ask button to leave a comment and get more information on the products. Additionally, you can tap Watch to keep an eye on any item.
Once the deal is done, you can leave reviews about the person, and they can do the same for you. This helps create a safer environment for future buyers and sellers, much like how eBay has its feedback system.
One last way to buy stuff is to follow the selling process outlined below, but check off the Looking For box to let other VarageSale users know that you want something specific that isn’t for sale right now.
Selling Your Stuff
If you’ve ever sold anything online, you should be familiar with the process used by VarageSale. It’s super easy, and it takes you step-by-step through the whole thing.
To start with, you’ll need to choose a photo of the item you want to sell. From there, give it a title, write a short description, choose the correct category, and enter a price. Leaving the price blank will set it to “Make an Offer,” and entering 0 as the price makes it free. Click Post, and you’ll be good to go.
After you list your item, you’ll be given the option to receive notifications whenever there’s action on your listing, which is great for making sure you don’t keep any potential buyers waiting.
Now, you can go to the More tab and click My Stuff to see the things you have listed. You can edit or delete them if you manage to sell them through VarageSale or somewhere else. This section is also where you’ll view transactions, discussions, and your standing as member on the service. There’s an option to join other communities and see the ones in which you’re a member.
Is It Worth Checking Out?
I feel very good about recommending VarageSale to anyone who likes to buy and sell locally. Even compared to similar apps like Wallapop, it offers many more safeguards that will help you feel confident before you meet up with someone, which feels great.
To put it simply, it’s a well-designed app that makes it easy to buy and sell items, which is really all you can ask for. As long as you live in a supported location, you should definitely give it a shot before you turn to less secure options.