Whatever your feelings on it, lots of people are creating places to compete with eBay. One of them is Yardsellr.
We believe people are natural-born buyers and sellers. In the tradition of neighborhood garage- and yard-sales, we make it easy for you to sell or buy whatever you want. Best of all, the buying and selling is done by regular people like you. That means you get great prices from folks you can trust within your network or within a friend’s network.
First of all, it isn’t “easy” because you have to commit to the place before you even know what it is all about as Yardsellr requires you to login with Facebook to use the joint. And that means, if you don’t use Facebook, they don’t want you as a member.
Secondly, don’t you already have access to people in your network? I mean you can already tell them, in person, on the phone, via Facebook, etc. that you are selling something? So what’s the point of using Yardsellr?
When you put something up for sale, Yardsellr will spread the word about your item within your online neighborhood: “blocks” of other Yardsellr-s who love what you love, and in the news feeds of millions of Yardsellr fans on Facebook. No matter where they are online, Yardsellr finds other folks who are buying what you are selling.
OK, so maybe the “blocks” idea is interesting… But finding blocks was not easy. I currently am a “block of one” for Fargo, North Dakota, ruling out the “ease” or working with my geographical neighbors. And navigating the site was not as useful as I would have liked, particularly because, like so many rummage sales, it’s easy to find piles of used baby clothes but not easy to find the antiques and vintage items.
Also, for collectors, a lot of what we sell isn’t what we want to buy; i.e., we bought the auction lot for the two books in the box, not the assorted glassware, so we keep the books, sell the glass. So you’ll have to be in a lot of blocks.
Interestingly, Yardsellr does not charge any fees for sellers — Yardsellr charges the buyer the fees, called the Yardsellr Slice. That’s quite a different shift in fee collecting. In exchange, buyers are given credits called Photon$; more on those in a minute.
For the buyer, Yardsellr is just as easy. Sites like Craigslist and eBay have become pretty crowded and hard to use. It’s tough to know who you can trust and even harder to find great deals from everyday people.
Umm, if you don’t actually know these people because they aren’t really in your network or even your geographical area, you are in the same boats as eBay and Craigslist.
As you can tell, I’m not a fan of the Yardsellr.
Even when they throw free money at you.
The “free money” is called Photon$. You can “find” or earn them by purchasing and by doing random things on the site.
Photon$ are like money that you can use to buy anything on Yardsellr! You can win Photon$ by taking certain actions on Yardsellr.com, like buying and commenting on listings. Look for the $ for opportunities to win Photon$.
It involves some sort of math, which I find confusing. And Photon$ cannot be used to pay the Yardsellr Slice. But worse than confusing, Photon$ are frustrating.
Photon$ have a “half-life” which means they will decay whenever you aren’t using them.
You lose Photon$ at a rate of 1 per second — logged in to the site or not. Which means even if you join and start searching the site intending to buy something, your “free $5 to spend” dwindles quickly. If you don’t start shopping immediately, the next time you login, you may have none. It rather sucks the “free” out of things, if not the fun.
I’m not the only one frustrated by the Photon$ program. There’s a long list of negative comments about them on the site. So you don’t have to join to see it, I’ve put a screen capture at the bottom of this post. (Click to enlarge and read.)
Overall, I don’t see any point to Yardsellr.
If the point is to sell to people you know or in your network, just use the social networks you already have.
If the point is to sell and avoid shipping, sell on your own real world block or neighborhood by having a real yard sale or using Craigslist, eBay, Listia, or good old classified ads.