My love/hate relationships with online buy and sell groups


Dear Moms and Dads in buy and sell groups,

I’m a mom and I like nice things. I like my kids to have nice things. I’m sure you like your kids to have nice things too. I like to save money when it comes to my kids because most of the clothes I buy them, they outgrow so quickly and I would like to recoup a few dollars when I can. My guess is you like to recoup some money too. That’s why you are part of these groups, right? So please, oh please follow this buying and sell group etiquette! There is nothing more frustrating then trying to buy or sell something and it falls through for a variety of reasons. Trust me, I just tried to sell a whole bunch of excellent quality stuff. I had about 50 people show their interest, yet most of this stuff is still in MY house and not theirs! My experience was stressful and annoying. Selling my stuff to you or buying stuff from you shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t be annoyed and neither should you.

So here are my 11 buy and sell etiquette tips:

1- only say you are interested in an item If you are 1000% interested. Like so interested that you would go in the next 48 hours and pick it up! Sure, if it’s a big-ticket item maybe you can check it out before closing the deal, but if you aren’t actually interested in the sweat suit I’m selling move along!

2- read the damn description. I post the price, my location and tell you it’s cross posted. Don’t be messaging me asking if I will drive across the city to deliver something to you! I’m not a store and don’t provide a shipping service. I give my location for that specific reason, for you to come and get it!

3- to parents who are selling please write a description! Tell me if the item is new with tags, never worn, washed but never worn, worn a few times, in EUC (excellent used condition), VGUC (very good used condition), GUC (good used condition), with stains, holes etc. 

4- be honest!!!!!! If your kids wore those shoes only two times, and really only two times then why are they so dirty, and scuffed up?

5- if we make a plan for you to pick up an item, show up! Seriously! What is wrong with people who say they are so interested and we make a time, I make myself free and you either have forgotten and are soooooooo sorry or you just realized how far i live or you just don’t show up. Those no-shows make my blood boil. You can at least have the decency to send a quick note saying you aren’t going to show up. 

6- if there are at least five people who have already written interested why are you saying “next”, “next”, “next”. Chances are it won’t get to you and you don’t have to be 50th in line!

7- It’s ok to bargain and try to negotiate a better price. I get it. Goes back to my point about finding good stuff for good deals, but don’t ask for me to donate items to you or give stuff away from free. I donate lots of clothes to a variety of charities many times per year, but the stuff I choose to sell are items I know I can get money for.

8- Don’t private message me over and over. Once the item is accounted for I will write “SPPU” which means sold pending pick up on the post!

9- If people write posts “ISO” which means in search of for something specific don’t message them with things that aren’t exactly what they are looking for. Save your time and theirs.

10- don’t try to scam me!! I know the price of stuff that I’m looking for. Used items should typically sell for at least 50% off the original price. Why? Because it’s USED! If a stroller bunting bag sells for $90, you use it for a year and then sell it. The max you should be selling it is $45 and even then it’s probably a little too much!

11- there are some things that shouldn’t be sold and should just go in the garbage. I get that pacifiers are expensive and your son didn’t like any of the 15 that you bought, but I don’t think someone wants to buy a bag of used pacifiers for their kid. That’s just gross. Same as with underwear. Throw it out!

As much as I might be annoyed and complain with these groups and I go through phases of buying and selling, you better believe that when it’s time to clean out my kids closet I’ll be back with some good items to buy!

So parents, do you agree with me? Anything you would add to my list? Do you like to sell items in buy and sell groups? What problems have you run into and what amazing scores have you gotten?


  1. mom2michael says:

    My biggest peeve is with the folks who express interest and then never follow up, or confirm a time to come by and then never show up. I need closure! If you’ve changed your mind or found a better deal elsewhere, just let me know so I can move along to the next potential buyer.

    Sigh. I just find it really rude.

  2. Lauren Jacobs says:

    This is the truest post anyone could have written!!

    A couple of weeks ago, I had plans to meet someone who wanted to buy a skirt from me for $10. On the day we were going to meet, I sent her a note that I was on my way and advised what I was wearing so she would recognize me. Then she said “great” and when I got there, she had blocked me! I tried messaging her to see where she was. All over $10. Like, tell me that you changed your mind instead if wasting my time.

    • mscmommylife says:

      Thanks so much Lauren! I had a similar experience. Made a time to meet someone and checked in with her multiple times, told her the exact spot and she never showed. Then she stopped responding to my messages. So frustrating when it’s not that difficult to be kind and not waste my time!

  3. Robin says:

    My little pet peeve is when I respond to someone’s ISO, can they not just comment that they will pass if they are not interested? Just some common courtesy. I however don’t agree with your point #6 “Next”. Sometimes for many of the reasons you have listed, you do get to that person way down on the list…because those in line before them either never follow up, want you to drop off, lowball you etc etc. I wish my posted items had multiple interest! I have had my share of no shows but I usually offer to leave as a porch pick up if I am not going to be home. I never agree to meet anywhere…as the odd time I have done it, I have been burned. No more. I also dislike when people comment “can you meet me at X, as I don’t drive?”. Just b/c you don’t drive, doesn’t mean there isn’t anybody in your life that doesn’t drive…partner, parent, sibling, friend.

  4. NormaJane says:

    I use Kijiji instead. I just don’t trust FB as a whole anymore. This close to just closing out my account.


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