How to Buy and Sell, for the fast moving expat

Buy & sell


Since I began my professional career I have moved 10 TIMES!

 Keeping up with the fast changing job market in an Expat world can mean changing homes, countries and cultures at a pin drop

…BUT how can we do this sustainably on a budget?


When my travel partner (and husband) decided to change careers and pursue an MBA we sold our possessions, and headed to his business school in Spain, with just a few bags each.  Renting a furnished apartment and buying a few items second-hand was all we needed to live comfortable for two years …but still upon moving  we found ourselves with more items then we could carry back, in those two suitcases…and they needed to be SOLD!

Backpacks and bags for moving to spain

Fast forward to graduation, when Thaddeus (my travel partner/husband I spoke of above) took a rotational job, post graduation…we  moved to the United States for what we knew would be a one-year assignment.  In Washington DC (like much of the USA) renting a furnished apartment didn’t make sense.  The added fee and limited properties available would cost us much more in  expenses than renting unfurnished, EVEN THOUGH we knew we would only be in our apartment for one year!!! (Not to even factor in the comprise we would have to make on property and location).


MOVING is EXPENSIVE! Everything adds up quickly- so ever saved penny can help!

I have found a great budget friendly

{not to mention environmentally friendly!}

solution to these moves is buying and selling used!


For Sale Sign

Here are 10 GREAT places to Buy & Sell Used

Facebook Marketplace 

Facebook marketplace

  • Facebook Marketplace is my new favorite place to buy and sell items! Almost everyone is on social media making transactions quick and easy.
  • To use this feature simply log onto Facebook,  look on your left hand menu bar and select “market place.”  Set your search for the area you are looking in and the item you want- THEN you are good to go!
  • Similarly you can sell your items using the same platform.
  • Facebook Buy/Sell groups still exist, and if you join your local groups, items will be automatically sorted in the marketplace. This is great because you do not have to  scroll through hundreds of adds on the groups to find what you are looking for.


  • craigslist

    • Craigslist is an oldie but goodie for buying and selling used. Although this site does come with some drawbacks, there are many genuine sellers our there and the potential to find great bargains.
      • When using any online platform remember a deal that is too good to be true probably is and never pay for something before receiving the item.


Buy/Sell Apps

  • With smart phones always in our hands many awesome buy and sell apps have emerged! Two of my favorites are Letgo and Offer Up for buying and selling in the US…but do your research. A quick google search can help you find the most popular applications that work where you are moving.



  • Ebay is an old favorite for many. The online auction platform is great for buying and selling certain items.  I find this site best for electronics, name brand items, books and clothing.  Sellers can list items for free but are charged a small cut of their profits.

Yard Sales/ Flea markets/ Bazaars

  • In the US Yard Sales may just be THE BEST place to find a bargain. Find out if the neighborhood you are moving to does a town wide tag sale day  and save the date! Many homes participate, so you can easily shop throughout your community. You can also search on the above apps for Yard Sale advertisements to find out where there are sales near you or just do it the old fashion way and look for signs on the side of the road.
  • Similarly Flea Markets and Bazaars are a great one stop shop for items; although I generally find sellers with a bit higher prices then home based yard sales.
  • During Christmas time many churches and community groups have Bazaars with a used section that have great bargains!
  • If you have a lot to sell and live in an apartment community renting a booth a Fleamarket or Bazaae can be a great way to sell a lot of items at once without arranging individual encounters.


Second hand shops

  • Second hand shops can be an amazing place to find great deals! Branches like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity are a great place to start, but searching local stores may help you find other favorites. Second hand stores (also called thrift shops) can be great if you like used clothing and accessories, but most also sell home furnishing. Find out when the stores have discount days and shop at that time for an added bargain.



Community Boards

  • An oldy but a goody- local coffee shops, libraries and apartment complexes still often have community boards, where you can buy and sell items. Believe it or not, this is the method I used to buy my most recent car!
  • Digital Community Boards-My last apartment also had a digital community board where tenants could advertise services and buy and sell items to one another.  I sold many of my items using this platform.Community Board


  • Check out your local newspaper.  Yes, people still post in the classifieds. This can be a great place to buy and sell big ticket items or find out about yard sales, bazaars and flea markets.

Freecycle/ Curb Alerts

  • Many cities have freecycles where you can join and give away your items or receive something you need. I hate to waist.  What I can’t sell I usually donate or give away, but donation centers prohibit certain goods.  Items like open food (that I know is still good), plants or specialty items I post on freecycle and it almost always gets taken!  One mans trash is another one’s treasure!
  • Additionally keep your eyes open for curb finds. Many freecycles will post curb alerts where they will tell you where you can find items people have put out on the curb to take.  Using your own detective skills is also great for this.  Loading docks at apartments can be a treasure-trove for finding furniture and house ware in great condition.

curb alert


Donation Centers

  • If you have items you want to get rid of, a not-for-profit donation center are quick and easy way to give your items away. Places like Big Brother, Big sister and Habitat for Humanity can even come to your home and pick the items up free of charge.




I've been living abroad for a decade now! My travels have lead me to visit over 80 countries, marry a fellow globetrotter, and reside in 8 countries in four different continents. I am currently based in Brussels, Belgium! Join me as I focus on sustainable budget friendly travel and giving back while living abroad!