'Post your wears and wares'
It started with a search for a juicer.
Mary Batakis was looking for one for her daughter Erica Sproul, but couldn't afford to buy a new one.
She remembered seeing a group (based in a different county) on Facebook where people listed items for sale or that those they wanted to have. She thought to herself, “Someone on the peninsula has to have one in their cupboard they aren't going to use again.”
In June Batakis created a Facebook group called Boothbay Region Yard Sale online. The first post was “Erica Sproul is looking for a juicer, anyone out there have one collecting dust?” an hour later the group had 400 members. “I did send the post to my Facebook friends, but I don't have 400 of them!” Batakis said.
Twenty-four hours later there were 839 members; this week, that number had increased to 1,588 members.
Mary found her juicer. Minutes after posting, Betty Jeanne Maddocks contacted Mary to say she had a juicer that was no longer juicing. “I bought it for $25 – of course my daughter only used it one time,” Batakis said. “After that I found a bureau and a sink I was looking for that was listed for free.”
Anyone is welcome to join. Batakis said she's had to ban a couple of people who used the page for advertising.
There are two categories for group members: “wears and wares” and “wishes and wants.” Batakis encourages members to put up photos of the items to help them move faster and to delete their posts once an item has been sold.
Items include furnishings, baby clothing and paraphernalia, clothing, footwear, guns, outdoor lawn items, lawnmowers, household items, cars, boats, jewelry, electronics, appliances, musical instruments, tools, dogs, cats, pet clothing, saddles, holiday items… you name it, it's probably there.
To help her keep up with needed deletions and removing advertisers, Batakis asked Maddocks and Jill Reynolds as administrators. Recently, Lisa Lynn Smith was added to the list of “admins.”
Maddocks said she sees the online yard sale as a way for people to recycle and as a place for people to find what they need at a price they can afford. “I think it was a great idea. Anything that helps people in this economy is a good thing.”
Bartering, in addition to cash transactions, was suggested by Reynolds in mid-July. She has also posted the following suggestions for “smooth shopping”: limit posts to items for sale or trade, yard sale notices and wish items.
“My feeling is very few people have the time to do a yard sale and some items are just to valuable to donate,” Batakis said.
The residents of the Boothbay region are known for taking care of their own and the Boothbay Region Yard Sale Online affords just one more way to do it.
“It's great. You have Craigslist out there, but this is pretty much all local people who know each other,” Reynolds said. “Everyone that has listed has sold something; you can sell anything from a Beanie Baby to a car.”
To join the group one can be invited by a current member, or may contact one of the administrators.
Last week, resident Cheryl Lorrain posted a big thank you to the person or persons who came up with the idea. Lorrain said she was amazed at how quickly items moved for buyers and sellers. “Another plus to living in a such a great community.”
Check out Boothbay Region Yard Sale Online on Facebook. Chances are if what you need isn't in your own backyard, it's in your neighbor's!