The Mom’s Beat: Online shopping has gotten social

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by Laura Stetser by Laura Stetser I got a little nervous sitting there waiting in the parking lot for my arranged meeting. We had chosen a public place to meet to be safe since we did not know each other, other than through online messages. I felt like people were watching me, suspecting I was up to something inappropriate.

I looked over to the other side of the lot and saw two men doing the same thing, and it made me feel a little less awkward. Then I saw the tan car described to me online pull into the lot, and I realized this was really going to happen.

 I was going to get my bargain.

 Nearly everything comes delivered to us through social media these days: news, event invitations and now, even yard sales.

 There are countless Facebook “yard sale without a yard” pages popping up. I already belong to at least five different ones. You can get nearly anything though these pages: designer purses, baby clothes, yard equipment, furniture and movies. It’s like eBay without the need to ship.

 The first deal I engaged in, I was the seller and it ended up being to someone I knew, so that one was easy. Within an hour of posting the pictures of outdoor kid toys, I had negotiated a deal and arranged for drop off to its new home.

 I only recently ventured into the purchasing end of the transaction. This week I wasn’t really looking for anything, but that’s the trick of these pages. The items are delivered to you through your newsfeed and waved in front of you while you are already primed for distraction. There’s no longer a need to stop the car and browse along someone’s driveway.

 I saw a kids’ fan that was in great shape and being sold for $7. The exact one is also being sold on EBay for $59 with $30 shipping, also in used condition. It was too good of a deal to pass up, so I got first dibs in by commenting “interested” on the post as soon as I saw it, and we arranged the details via private message from there.

The woman was great, arrived on time and offered her cell phone number if I had questions on it after I got it home.

 While there are quality items and great bargains out there, there is also a ton of junk being peddled. I once saw a fleece blanket that had a close up of Edward, the vampire character from the “Twilight” movie trilogy, on it. The person disclosed that their dog had chewed off the corners, but they were still asking $20 for it. 

 I even saw someone trying to sell a set of loofah sponges on one of the pages, swearing they had never been used. I am not sure I would ever need to exfolilate badly enough to ever take that chance.

 We haven’t had a opportunity to hook the fan up yet to see if it works, but even if it doesn’t, I only wasted $7 instead of much more, and if it does, I got a heck of a bargain, and I am hooked.

Laura Stetser is a full-time reporter and mother of two school-age children. Connect with her via email at    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @TheMomsBeat.

Read more of The Mom’s Beat HERE.  


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