One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Treasure.
Having lived in three states, at eight addresses, in my thirty-five years of life, I have collected more than my fair share of things. I have learned to pack/repack and to live out of boxes/suitcases. I do not think that I am alone in this habit of amassing stuff. When it comes time to pack/move or to spring clean, everything can seem to have a “memento” status. It becomes that much harder to “letgo.” It is through these experiences, that I have concluded that there is a fine line between packrat/collector and hoarder.
I have used Ebay, Facebook and other local sale sites to sell un-needed stuff and to save money by purchasing other peoples gear. The sites have proven valuable as methods to circumvent the time-tested pastime of junking at yard/garage sales. Each of the options has some benefits and some limitations. Ebay relies on shipping and PayPal and a bunch of rules that may be overwhelming to some people. Facebook sale sites are often difficult to search and I have never been pleased with them. There are sites like Craigslist and others, that have also had some pros and cons.
letgo is a free app and is currently available on the IOS App Store. Once downloaded, open the app and notice the active/mobile background. The cursive title “letgo” is clearly displayed and you are given options to “Continue with Facebook,” “Continue with Google” or to “Continue with email.” Personally, too much information is given to Facebook. So, I chose to Continue with email. Add your email, a password (please make it secure) and then your name. Choose to accept or reject notifications, when another user sends you a message. You can also choose to allow or to disallow location. With all of the apps tracking location, with the recent vote by congress, I chose “Don’t Allow.”
You will then be taken to a page, which will allow you to post your first product. The app will ask for permission to use your camera and then will allow you to take a picture of the initial for sale item. Set a price or slide the free slider to the “on” position. You can add more pictures, change the title, change the free slider position, add a 1500 character description, change the location (must have location services enabled). You can also choose to share on Facebook if desired. Once the item is posted, you can choose to share with others, send a message to someone individually, or just wait for someone to search for your product. Unlike Ebay/Paypal, there are no fees. Like Ebay, you cannot sell live animals or animal products either.
As a buyer, you can open the app and peruse the wares or search specifically for an item. One of my favorite NES games is Blaster Master. I added this to the search bar and found a copy for $5 locally. You will need to make sure that you have set your location (unless you allow location services). It is important to note, the seller will not get your location. Through the integrated messaging app, you can determine when and where to meet. There are quick button options, along with the bottom of the screen, which will send quick messages to the seller. You can choose “I’m interested, Hi! I’d like to buy it, Is the price negotiable? and where should we meet up?” If none of these options are to your liking, you can add whatever comment you wish and then select “send.” This will go to the seller, who can then respond to your message. Again, decide when and where to meet up.
As an app, this is very straightforward and works wonderfully to connect seller with the buyer. I am not exactly certain how they are making money from this app. Perhaps there is some add revenue, or they are selling your search/location information for profit? There is no fee payment system, there does not seem to be any limit to the number of sales, and unlike PayPal, they keep no cut of the sales. At any time, you can change your location manually. This works well for people who travel or who are visiting a new place. I love that you can search for items by typing specifically within the search bar. If you want a more generic search, you can search based on free stuff or other subject headings. You can set the distance range up to about 30 miles. Along the bottom of the screen are 5 icons: home, notifications, camera, chats (all, selling, buying, blocked users), personal tab. I personally like that you can tell them where to meet. Our local police station has set up a safe zone for sales.
I have purchased a few items so far from the app and it worked out okay. These pictures above were created using a second email just to prevent the spread of personal data. Apparently, I have been lucky so far. Through the message stream, we decided to meet in the parking lot of a local Walmart to make the switch. Once the sale was done, the seller deleted their item. As an app, this seems to be a very reasonable means of buying/selling stuff. Be careful of scams, be careful of “too-good-to-be-true” prices, and be aware that people may just screw with you. If they ask for money up front, to hold money or to change the price on you, walk away. You can block people, which is a huge plus for the app. Nothing can stop people from stringing you along, not showing up or deciding to not buy the item. Nothing will make people trustworthy or honest. If you select allow notifications, you will get messages at random times. The search engine seems good at first, but you will notice some issues with specific items. The biggest issue is in multiple word searches.
To summarize the app, your experience will be hit or miss depending on city/location and item of interest. Additionally, whether or not you are the seller or buyer will play a direct role in your experience. I have searched many reviews on the app and there is a widespread from 1* to 5*. My personal experience was a 3.5* experience. Having sold on Facebook, Craigslist, Ebay etc, the ease of getting the product online is a snap. The ability to buy/sell locally was also easy for me. You will run into dishonest people, which will ruin the experience. You cannot sell anything alive and no food/firearms on the site. I have read stories of price gouging and scamming. You will find this with any of the sale sites. My experiences have been more positive than negative, so far. Be cautious with your data, stay safe and good luck with your sales/purchases.
DOWNLOAD – letgo – FREE