Social Media Revolutionizes Baby Gear Reselling

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Whether you’re trying to make money, save money, or simply create space in your home, buying and selling used children’s items is something many parents will do at some point.

“Kids outgrow things so fast. If something still has some life in it, why buy new?” says Vanessa Bumpus of Holden, who buys and sells used items for her children.

There are many ways to buy and sell used children’s items, including consignment shops, Craigslist, eBay, or a good old-fashioned yard sale. However, online yard sale groups are popping up on Facebook like dandelions these days and revolutionizing the used-goods marketplace. You can post an item for sale and within seconds have an interested buyer. Bumpus says she prefers to buy and sell on social media because it’s easier than setting up a garage sale or driving to the consignment shop.

A Facebook spokesperson says that while the company doesn’t break down the numbers on the volume of buying and selling on the site, there are “tens of millions of Facebook Groups today, and For Sale groups are one of the most common types.” Because many groups are dedicated to selling items, Facebook responded to that trend by adding a “Sell” feature to groups, making it easier than ever to conduct transactions on the site.

Compared to a site such as Craigslist, which attracts buyers and sellers from a large geographical area, Facebook groups tend to be more localized. Also, Facebook doesn’t allow for anonymity, which can be a concern on other sites. When you are a part of a Facebook “For Sale” group, you get to know the buyers and sellers on a more personal level. Elizabeth Walsh of Holden, one of the moderators for Mountaineer Mamas, a private Facebook group dedicated to buying and selling baby gear in the Wachusett area, says that other than minor communication issues between buyers and sellers, there haven’t been any safety concerns.

An added bonus to joining a group like Mountaineer Mamas is the sense of community; an almost neighborly feel can be found on the site. The group allows members to meet people within the community and make connections with those they might never know.

“Someone is always there,” Walsh notes, which provides an ear and instant support for parenting questions, doctor referrals, or birthday party ideas.

In order to join the group you must be referred by another member and live in one of the five Wachusett-area towns (Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland and Sterling). Those restrictions were put in place to help give buyers and sellers not only a sense of community, but also safety, she says. People feel at ease buying and selling via the group because, “someone knows who this person is so there is a comfort level,” Walsh adds. This offers sellers an added level of comfort as buyers often come to a seller’s house to pick up the item.

Used clothes and toys are some of the most popular items bought and sold online, generally safe purchases even from a stranger. However, when you’re in the market for or are selling a car seat, crib, or stroller, you may want to do some homework first. Make sure the items are in good condition and are not included on any recall list. Always consult the Consumer Product Safety Commission ( for recalls and safety concerns when purchasing or selling used children’s items.

6 Tips for Buying and Selling on Social Media

1. Aim to join smaller, more localized groups.

2. Take a clear picture of the item you’re selling and give a detailed description. If the item is clean, well taken care of, and accurately labeled and sized, the item will sell faster. If the item is stained or broken, mention it and price accordingly.

3. Price the item for half of what you spent retail — including price after using coupons.

4. Communicate with the seller if you can’t pick up the item at the agreed time.

5. Bargaining is OK, but realize that the item you’re buying is probably priced well.

6. Follow the rules of the social media site on which you’re selling.

A spokesperson for Facebook says that the company does not monitor groups behind the scenes for user safety, nor is Facebook responsible for the sale of a recalled item. The site does have a team that reviews, reports, and removes content that violates their Community Standards. Facebook Groups users agree to the site’s Community Standards ( These same guidelines apply to groups that help people buy and sell products.