Buy, Sell, Trade Groups :: What Does It All Mean?
What do you do with all of the things you are ready to let go of? Maybe it has some life left in it, maybe you want to make back a little bit of the money that you spent. Perhaps you want to try out something new, but aren’t ready to pay full price or maybe there is something specific you want but it is no longer available from the manufacturer where do you go? Where do you look?
In the past we may have looked to eBay or craigslist; searched resale, consignment or thrift stores or asked around, but for the last few years there has been online resource for almost anything you can think of. If you have something you’re looking to buy, sell or trade. If you’re looking for something pre-owned or even new, but no longer available, look no further than the Buy, Sell, Trade groups and pages of Facebook.
Decoding the Lingo
Most BST groups have a lot of abbreviations and lingo that takes some time to get the hang of. You can spend hours reading through posts and rules and comments to attempt to decipher all of the different meanings. I’ll save you some time with this list of the most common abbreviations you’ll find. While not all inclusive, hopefully this list will give you some confidence to engage in a BST group.
- BST: buy, sell, trade- what you can do in this group. Not all groups have the “trade” option.
- ISO: In Search Of. Someone is looking for something specific and they post with the hope that someone else will have it to sell.
- DM: direct message.
- FSO/FTO: For Sale Only or For Trade Only. The seller is not interested in trades or sales
- MMAO/DOND: Make Me An Offer/Deal or No Deal. The seller is open to offers on the item and wants you (the buyer) to name the price.
- BIN: Buy it Now, a hold over from eBay. Someone wants to know what the bottom line price is for the item. Typically you’ll see this on a MMAO post.
The two most commonly allowed forms of payment are PayPal (PP) and Venmo (V). These two monetary transaction apps/sites are typically considered safe forms of online payments.
- PP G&S/Venmo G&S: Goods and Services. The seller has a percentage of the sale price taken out of the transaction, but this form of payment protects BOTH the buyer and seller. The item is insured. If it is lost in the mail, both parties are covered. As the buyer, if the seller did not sell in good faith you have a way to recoup your money. As the seller you have protection should the buyer make a claim.
- PP F&F/Venmo F&F: Friends and Family. If you’re familiar with the standard form of PayPal or Venmo and have used it to send money to your friends or family you’ve probably used this form of payment. There is no service fee to the sender/seller; however, no one is protected should there be an issue with the sale
How to Buy
- Sold: Most groups have ways to “claim” an item. The typical way is to comment “Sold” under the photo of the listed item and then either share your email address to be billed or state that you will message the seller with your address. Be aware that stating sold and/or claiming an item is a commitment to pay.
- Hold: some groups allow this option if you have a question about the item before committing to the sale
When sellers post items for sale they typically will list the condition of the items. There are several conditions; however, these are the most common.
- NWT: New With Tag. Brand new item, never used, tags still attached
- NWOT: New Without Tag. The tags were removed, but the item was never used/worn/etc. (not all groups allow this description)
- EUC: Excellent Used Condition. Worn/used/played with but not often. Maybe it was washed or sat on a shelf. Could possibly pass as new.
- VGUC: Very Good Used Condition. Used a few times, but still in great shape
- GUC: It has been worn/played with/etc but still has a lot of life left in it
- Fair/Play- depending on the group and the items it could be described as fair or play. Play is typically reserved for children’s clothing. These items have issues, maybe a stain, a snag or a small hole.
A less common option, but one still available for many items. The same lingo applies and traders will typically add phrases like “paypal backed” or mention their willingness to “add funds” to supplement a trade that may not be equal.
Safety: Is it legit? How do I detect/avoid scams? I recommend joining the BST group and reading posts, following comments and essentially getting a “lay of the land” before buying or selling. Trust your instincts and, if something seems too good to be true, it may be. If you decide to sell something, be sure you’re comfortable with your options for payment methods, don’t engage in “cold calls” or direct messages from people who have not asked first. If you’re new to BST use the Goods & Services forms of payments to ensure you’re covered. A common BST group ask is to have a current photo of the item(s) with the seller’s name and the date. This way you ensure that the person selling the item actually has it. If someone asks you to send money in an alternative form, you do not have to accept/engage. Each group also has a set of moderators and listed group rules; refer to them to seek guidance/help.
Packaging: You can use anything (poly mailers, bubble mailers, envelopes or boxes). I typically recycle my mailers/boxes from Amazon or other things I get in the mail.
Shipping: I sold something now what? If you used PayPal to collect payment you can purchase/print a shipping label directly from your PayPal account. You can also use flat rate boxes from USPS or third party shipping sites like Shipstation or Pirateship.
I’m relatively new to the BST world, but I’ve bought and sold a variety of items. Toys, clothes, baby/kid’s items. There are literally groups for everything. Groups can be local, statewide, national or international. And who knows you may find that HTF (hard to find) item you’ve been searching for, or realize you’re sitting on a goldmine.