Craigslist estate sales

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Online yard sales, beyond Craigslist

It’s always fun to get new stuff, and even better if you can get what you need for free or at bargain-basement prices. Personally, I also like getting rid of stuff I no longer need. I find I’m more productive and more relaxed in a less-cluttered environment, but I hate creating more garbage. The ideal situation is giving what I no longer need to someone else who can use it. The only thing better is if I can sell it to someone who can use it.

Fortunately, in this world of online everything, plenty of opportunities exist to give, sell, get and buy all kinds of items. The things I’ve seen sold/bought or given/received include furniture, toys, clothes, appliances, books, DVDs, sporting goods, electronics and shoes.

If you’re stuck in the days of Craigslist, it’s time to embrace the modern world of online yard sales and swap sites. Discover the many ways you can buy and sell all kinds of items in your local community or beyond. There are also sites for people who want to give things away for free!

How to give stuff away or get stuff for free is a great resource started by people interested in keeping stuff out of landfills. There are more than 5,000 groups (usually community-based) around the world. Chances are there are one or more groups near you. I belong to the one for my town as well as two nearby communities. This gives me more opportunities to get things for free and give stuff away. As a mom of two young kids, it’s been an invaluable way to get rid of outgrown toys. 

Before you jump into the world of Freecycle, though, brush up on these rules of Freecycle etiquette.

Email loops

Another resource to get and give away free items as well as buy and sell stuff cheap is town email loops. My town has a neighborhood loop that is free to join. Users not only post when they have goods to give away or sell, but they also ask about and recommend new restaurants, local businesses and more. These groups may be run through your town hall or by a private person or group. Try asking around to see if your town has one or check If not, you may want to consider starting one, if you’re tech savvy.

Buy Nothing Facebook groups

For hyper-local swapping and community building, look on Facebook for a local Buy Nothing group. You can only join one, based on your exact home location. The goal of the Buy Nothing Project is to reduce waste and excess consumerism, while creating a bond within the neighborhood as people help each other out by gifting items for free. Some also have traveling boxes for clothes, books, jewelry, puzzles and the like where neighbors borrow from the boxes and add in their own items or return previous loans. Who knows, you might even make a new friend through the transactions?

How to buy and sell online

Facebook and Facebook Marketplace

When it come to buying and selling, there are a number of options. My current favorite is Facebook. Many communities nationwide have Facebook yard sale pages. One easy way to find local ones is to do an online search for “Facebook yard sale” or “Facebook Buy and Sell” with your town’s name. When I tried, I found eight on just the first page of results. In my town, there are two pages, one for just kids’ stuff and the other for everything else. These are closed groups that you need to request to join. I believe that helps keep the posts real and clear of clutter and junk. 

You can also use one of Facebook’s most popular features, designed exactly for the purpose of shopping and selling locally. Facebook Marketplace has made it easier than ever to use the social media platform to find hidden gems or sales from local businesses. Shop or sell clothes, electronics, furniture and even apartments. 

One of the best parts of these pages is that most people post pictures of their items so you can see what you’re getting. In addition, if you need something, you can post an “in search of” message. You never know what someone may have sitting in their garage, basement or closet. While I have no interest in going through the trouble of holding an actual yard sale, I have no problem snapping a picture and posting it. In fact, in the last two days I’ve sold four old toys that were in good shape and a set of brand-new baking pans I was given as a gift, but don’t need. I made $50, not too shabby for a few minutes of easy work.


Another local buy and sell option is Bookoo. This is basically an online yard sale in hundreds of towns around the world. You can join for free, and if you don’t have an option in your town, it’s easy to request one. Then, encourage your friends to do the same, so the folks at Bookoo see your town is really interested. This is especially big in the military community, but is expanding outside that group quickly.

Letgo and OfferUp

While any of these options can be used on a smartphone, there’s also free apps devoted to buying and selling locally. Letgo and OfferUp will let you post items for sale as well as see what people in your area are selling. 

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Posted by Heidi McIndoo, MS, RD, LDNFiled Under: Home & Garden · Hot Deals · Shopping


Goodbye Craigslist

As of February 2021 Craigslist has formally ended their license agreement with Yard Sale Treasure Map. This means the app can no longer automatically populate with Craigslist garage sale listings and the app will need to pivot to exist in a reality without Craigslist.

This decision from Craigslist came as a surprise considering how this app continues to make their own listings easier for buyers to access. I was not given a reason and I do not have enough information to even speculate. Throughout the 8 years that Yard Sale Treasure Map has operated under a license agreement Craigslist has always been quiet and distant. They did recently launch their own app; maybe this is related. Craigslist has denied my appeal for a new license agreement and there is nothing more that I can do. If you feel inclined, Craigslist has a contact form where they accept suggestions and feedback.

This app will continue to be a tool to help you plan and organize your yard sale adventure and I welcome your feedback to help with what comes next. As you’ll read below, your suggestions have been essential to making this app what it is today.

Your own pace

In general I can say that nearly everyone underestimates Yard Sale Treasure Map at first glance. This is by design– the app is intended to be simple and approachable, yet with increasing layers of complexity that allow you to discover advanced features at your own pace when you are ready. To the outside observer, it’s just dots on a map… but you and I understand that there is so much more to this app and to yard sale culture in general.

One of my favorite real-life examples is this app screenshot posted by Quest Collectibles a few years back. This business owner team regularly plans and optimizes a route to visit 15+ sales at a time to stock items for their store… incredible!

Various advanced features are employed here:

  • Keyword colors – markers automatically change color when specific keywords are matched in the sale details
  • Starred sales – 19 sales to visit were added to a route
  • Route ordering – the route was manually put into a rough ordering (drag/drop via the My Route menu)
  • Route Optimization – the app found an optimal path to visit the first 8 sales. It is likely that this user re-optimized the route in-flight to find paths to the later sales.

Shortly after this screenshot was taken the app was updated to support route lines and optimization for up to 24 sales; a map like this today would include blue lines connecting all of the numbered markers. Can you imagine attempting to visit 19 sales in a row without route optimization?

Making the app work for YOU

Before figuring out what comes next it’s helpful to revisit how we got to this point to begin with.

This app launched with a few simple features aiming to:

  • Save people time searching for nearby sale listings
  • Save people time and gas money getting to the sales

Originally this was accomplished by gathering sales posted on Craigslist, searching each listing for text that looked like an address (this was before Craigslist had map features), and plotting the sales on a map. Route creation, optimization, and navigation features were added and buyers found the app useful.

Over the years since this first app, most of the features I have added have come from feedback from users like you. Here is a sampling of some of the higher-profile features that came from user feedback (the full list is much longer):

Next Steps

Losing Craigslist sale content will undeniably change the way many folks hunt for sales. In the long term disruptions like this can breed helpful innovation… I want to hear your thoughts on how this app can be useful in a Craigslist-deprived environment.

For now I have adjusted the app and website to allow users to easily add addresses for sales they are aware of. Ideally app users can spend a few minutes adding sale addresses from the newspapers and websites that sellers use in your area. Hopefully other users do the same, and we can work together to create the most complete weekly yard sale map possible. Last year, even with a raging pandemic, the app had roughly half a million unique users across the United States and Canada. If each weekly user adds a single sale to the map then there would be twice as much sale content as before. I recognize that the sale detail content will be deficit in extensive text and photos and I do not have a quick answer here.

I plan on letting the dust settle for a few weeks before attempting any drastic changes to the app. I want to leave time for users like you to think about what changes, if any, would make this app continue to be useful in the future. If anyone out there has ideas, I am listening!

In this new reality where the app cannot auto-populate data from Craigslist (or Facebook or anywhere else), how can I adjust the app to make it continue to be useful to you? What would motivate you to contribute addresses to the map? Let me know in the comments below or send me a message on Facebook.


Thanks everyone for your feedback! I have outlined the next steps in this blog post.

  1. Dv lottery application
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