Marketplace for Almost Anything

There it was, just what I needed – a “huge lot of 8-track tapes.”

Well, maybe not. But that’s the kind of stuff you can see for sale on the “Almost Anything for sale in Red Wing, MN illegal items or guns not allowed” Facebook marketplace. With a title like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued?

I admit that I’m late to the universe called Facebook. I joined many years ago, then decided it ate too much of my time viewing what someone was eating for dinner. I tried to delete my account but it won’t let you. It just makes you inactive so you will already be set up when you are shamed into returning later.

So, I drank the Kool-Aid again and, after much friending and then unfollowing some of them to retain my sanity, I’ve reached a level of tolerance. I don’t follow a lot of people and I don’t post much because I may need these friends in the future.

Then I found the Marketplace feature, a mash-up of every yard, garage, and thrift sale you can imagine. You can do your “saling” with your feet up now. I still don’t know all the options with it, but since becoming a member of Marketplace, I’ve sold and given away a lot of stuff. It has worked better than Craigslist, and eBay just seems too intense.

Our recent move forced us to get rid of a lot of things that still have value. Much of it went to the Salvation Army (they know me now). But items they won’t take and items too valuable to donate were good candidates for this site. So far, I’ve sold a couch, keyboard, and stoneware. I gave away light bulbs, ceiling fans, and a bunch of drawer pulls. I also gave away every brass doorknob in the house since I replaced them with brushed chrome handles, which are easier for us older folks. The guy who took them was going to use them in some sort of art project.

If you want to waste some hours, just scroll through all the stuff for sale. You can search for specific item types, such as “couch” or “dresser” but the descriptive words the seller used become important. You can also search on general categories such as “appliances” but, again, the seller needs to have entered their item in that category for it to appear there.

The fun part is just looking at all the stuff out there and wondering about the history of it. Is a rusty snow blower from the 1970s worth $50? Says it “runs good”. An engagement ring “never worn.” A wedding ring “gently worn for less than two years”. I’m curious how you gently wear any kind of ring. You can sense that there might be interesting stories behind some items. 

Scrolling through the general listing I would not have expected to see bras for sale. Many are from Victoria’s Secret, some “worn only once.” Prom and wedding dresses are everywhere and, presumably, they were worn only once. Then there was the “Men’s underwear tye-dye” which looked to be three pairs of men’s briefs tie-dyed in every color of the rainbow, $3 each.

Would you be interested in some “vintage windows”? To me, they look a lot like the ones I was happy to get rid of when I got combination windows in my old house. Words like “vintage”, “original”, and “antique” are good marketing words for old stuff.

Cars and trucks come in every imaginable age and condition. There’s even a hearse for sale which says “motor leaks coolant”, “the dash is a little messed up”, and “exhaust is off but goes with car.” Pictures demonstrate these last two points. I did a search on “hearse” and found two more for sale. 

I noticed many items listed as “barley used”. A little spell check would help. That reminds me of a thrift sale sign I once saw in Chippewa Falls (in parts of Wisconsin they seem to be exclusively called “thrift sale”). The sign said “Thift Sale.” The missing “r” made me laugh until I notice that the other side of the sign also said “Thift Sale.” Uffda.

Do a search on “good runner” and you’ll see a wide variety of cars, trucks, snowmobiles, ATVs, tractors, jet skis, and snow blowers – like the one mentioned above. You’ll have to decide if that assessment is correct. I’m never sure if “many new parts” in the description is a bonus. You can even set an alert to get notified whenever a “good runner” item is posted.

Some items are really filthy. If you’re posting glassware, wipe the dust off first. And take more than one clear picture of it from a different angle and not in the garage next to the mower. Answer the questions people will ask such as measurements and sizes. I still think if you want to get rid of something of no value to you, free works best.

I’ve decided I like Marketplace. I can buy, sell, and chuckle from the comfort of my lounge chair. Many of my long-departed relatives would have thought they were already in heaven with the ability to shop like this. It would have been fun to watch them use it.

Now, excuse me while I search for a vintage, gently used oak coffee table.