ASHLAND – Want to find great deals at garage sale prices without leaving your chair? Then log on to a new social networking page created by local bargain-lovers.
Just a few short weeks ago, Natalie Minnick created Ashland-Greenwood Buy/Sell/Trade on Facebook. The group page has over 200 members and is geared toward selling and buying from people in the local communities.
Natalie said she can’t claim to have come up with the idea of creating a buy/sell/trade spot on Facebook on her own.
“I saw Fremont had one and Saunders County had one,” she said.
Natalie found herself frequently visiting the Saunders County and Fremont pages looking for bargains.
“I was always on there,” she said.
It wasn’t long after Natalie sold a few items on the Saunders County site that she realized that an even more local page might be nice.
“I thought Ashland has enough people to support a page like that,” she said.
When creating the page, she added Greenwood because the two communities have numerous ties, including a shared school district and families that live in both towns.
The site caught on within hours after it went live.
“For the first couple of hours I was constantly adding people,” she said.
Just two weeks later, the number of members was over 200,
“It’s really caught on,” she said.
Natalie spends an hour or so each night as administrator of the page. She goes through posts to make sure members are following the rules that have been posted.
“I go to the page every day and look through to make sure everything is going O.K.,” she said.
As more members joined, she realized it was a bit more than she had time for. So she recruited her husband’s aunt, Brenda Minnick, a fellow bargain-shopper.
“I’m the enforcer,” Brenda said with a laugh.
So far, the rules are pretty relaxed.
“The only thing that is zero tolerance is offending people,” Brenda said.
Members can post an unlimited number of times, which is different than other similar buy/sell/trade pages. For example, the Saunders County page only allows members to post four times a day.
“We’re keeping it unlimited for now because we haven’t gotten to the point that we need to limit it,” Natalie said.
Also, there is no limit to what can be sold. Some other similar pages have limits, such as no clothes or shoes.
Natalie said the rules will evolve as more members join. An example would be a new rule regarding the sale of firearms that Natalie recently added.
Brenda said the page has been successful so far because people are looking not only for bargains, but an easy way to sell their excess items.
“It’s a lot easier to do it this way than a garage sale,” she said. “You don’t have to go through the stress of getting it all done for a one- or two-day sale.”
Natalie added that buyers and sellers feel more comfortable using the page to purchase or sell items because members generally know each other.
Another issue with larger buy/sell/trade pages can be determining a place to meet to exchange the item. With the local page, however, members can arrange to meet in public places and feel safe, Natalie said.
So far, the co-administrators have enjoyed watching people interact on the page.
“It’s been interesting to see what’s selling,” said Natalie.
In the first few days, there were successful sales, including a car.
Natalie stressed that she didn’t create the Ashland-Greenwood Buy/ Sell/Trade page to compete with the Saunders County page. In fact, many of the Ashland-Greenwood page members also belong to the county page.
“We don’t want to take anything away from the Saunders County Buy/Sell/Trade at all,” she said. “I still post on there.”
Anyone interested in joining the Ashland-Greenwood Buy/Sell/Trade can search for the page on Facebook or send a message to Natalie or Brenda.
“We just want people to join and see what it’s all about,” said Natalie.