ANDERSON, Ind. —
Accustomed to participating in a neighborhood rummage sale, Lori Baker Penticuff stockpiled all her gently used items that were no longer needed.
When the annual sale was canceled, she knew she had to find another way to reduce her clutter while bringing in a little extra cash.
A Facebook user since 2009, she decided to create a page to serve as a virtual rummage sale that spanned beyond her neighborhood to include all of Anderson.
“I watched a site that someone in New Castle created,” she said. “I figured if they can do it, we can do it. We’re bigger than New Castle.”
A little over two months later, her Facebook page already boasts 1,200 members buying and selling their goods. To find the site, go to facebook.com and then search for “Anderson Rummage and Resale.”
She has earned $400 on her own sales, but makes no profits on the sales of others. Local residents can join as members and list items for sale without incurring fees.
“It’s set up like Craigslist, but much safer,” said Heather Robleto-Chandler, administrator. “We only allow local people to join, don’t allow the sale of firearms or weapons, and we keep close track of what people are posting. We don’t want any drama on our site.”
Proud that they have only had to defriend eight or nine members over drama-related incidents, the administrators are committed to creating a friendly atmosphere for everyone.
“Not only are people trying to buy and sell, but we have had a few requests to just reach out and help people,” said Robleto-Chandler, owner of Chandler Nail Creations and mother of four. “It’s good for the community of Anderson. So many economic things have happened here, those of us left are banding together to help the community.”
Four administrators operate the site. Penticuff became overwhelmed quickly and reached out for help from active members. Although she had never met the other three women, she was impressed with the way they handled business on the site.
“I was surprised that the site took off so well,” said Penticuff, the retired owner of a childcare facility. “But Christmas was coming and people were looking for a good deal or to make a little extra money. I saw quickly that I couldn’t do it by myself. I liked the way these women talked to people and I asked them if they would help.”
Robleto-Chandler, Kristen Vo (owner of With These Hands Custom Lettering), and Niccole Hunt (owner of Domestic Diva Design) now laugh and talk with Penticuff like old friends. They recently met at Mounds Mall as their children became occupied with the inflatables at Big Time Bounce, the indoor play park. The women discussed ideas and issues with the site.
“It’s like all four of our minds work alike,” said Robleto-Chandler. “But we each take on a different role. Kristy is good with words, Niccole steps in and helps people, I am the enforcer and the night owl, and Lori was the creator of the whole thing. We each have a role to take and have taken it on naturally.”
- What: Virtual Rummage Sale
- Where: www.facebook.com search: Anderson Rummage and Resale