My wife Brenda came across a new way to clear out our “yard sale” pile in the garage, and do a little shopping for herself, without leaving the house. Abilenee Swap Meet is the name, but I call it Brenda’s new addiction. It’s a fairly simple Facebook group that allows members to post items for sale, or post messages about stuff they are looking to buy. It’s similar to Abilene CraigsList or Abilene ebay, but buyers and sellers are more easily identified through their Facebook profiles.

It seems as though just about anything can be posted for sale on this page. Everything from empty perfume bottles to houses are posted for sale on the group wall. Interested group members can ask questions in the comment section below the post, or simply make an offer to buy. There are other sites that don’t allow pets or posts from businesses, but it’s all fair game at Abilenee Swap Meet (note the extra “E” in “Abilene”).

Brenda isn’t alone in this obsession. There are over 2,000 members of Abilenee Swap Meet, and that number is growing daily. I couldn’t help but notice several of my friends, neighbors and coworkers are members, too. Now I’ve joined, because there’s a chance I might be able to get a sweet deal on something I absolutely have to own.

In less than a week my wife was turned on to Abilenee Swap Meet, my wife has purchased a new handbag, two new chairs, and there’s no telling what else (power tools for her loving husband? Hey, a guy can hope.) since this morning.

But it’s not all buy buy buy for Brenda. She has also managed to sell a few items that we’ve been trying to get rid of in three yard sales, but have failed. An old kitchen table, a wall decoration, and this headboard that few people inquired about while it sat in our yard sales time and again.

I’m so glad to see that stuff go. I think as long as we adopt a couple simple rules to hold this obsession in check, I think Abilenee Swap Meet can be a positive addition to our lives. I suggest that anyone who joins this group, or others like it (Abilene CraigsList, Abilene ebay, etc.) keep a separate budget for swapping, where only money made selling items can be used to buy more stuff. This keeps the financial aspect contained, and keeps you from being featured on a future episode of “Hoarders“. You can also adopt the “one in, one out” strategy, where if you buy something, you have to get rid of something in return. These are just a couple things to think about if you notice your swapping habit getting out of hand.

One other important word of caution: There are bad people out there. Be safe when going to look at something you’re interested in buying. Let someone know where you’re going, and don’t hesitate to turn around and leave if you don’t feel comfortable in a situation.

Are you a member of Abilenee Swap Meet? How do you feel about buying and selling on websites like this?