Facebook Marketplace: Tips on Buying and Selling

by Ann-Marie on August 28, 2013

Facebook Marketplace Tips

Today I was on both B105.7 and Indy Style (WISH-TV) talking about the latest thing to hit Facebook: online garage sales, or the “Facebook Marketplace”.

Are you a part of any Facebook Marketplaces in your area? I’d estimate I’m in 20 different marketplaces in my county, ranging from furniture & home goods to crafts & homemade items, and everything in between.

Whether you’re new or seasoned, I have some tips from buyers and sellers, and even from a couple of group administrators that can help you get the most for your money, completely headache-free!

Facebook Marketplace

How do you get started on a Facebook Marketplace?

It’s really all about who you know! Sometimes they begin city- or county-wide, and when memberships become so large it can become difficult to manage, so administrators may choose to break off by category. Do some research, poll your friends on Facebook and if they’re a part of a marketplace, ask them to invite you. Many groups are “closed” or “secret”, requiring an admin to approve potential new members.

Tips for Selling on a Facebook Marketplace:

  • Admin tip: Read through the group policy, usually pinned to the top of the group page. Some will not allow you to cross-post, meaning post the same item in different groups. That just opens up a whole bag o’ crazy trying to keep track of who was next in line!
  • Admin tip: Watch several transactions take place before jumping in. See how the conversations flow, ask questions.
  • Take a decent photo: The best photos have a contrasting, solid background – crop out your spouse/kid/dog sleeping on the couch and potato chip bag on the coffee table, please! (I’ve seen it, for reals).
  • Price your items to sell, at or slightly above garage sale prices. That gives you a little wiggle room for negotiating, but probably 75% of what I have sold the buyer never asks to if I would take lower.
  • Post in the correct category: Don’t post a blender in women’s clothing because you think women would be the one wanting a blender. #Seriously.
  • Be quick in responding (also when buying): This is simple courtesy. No one wants to get excited because they’re the first to respond to a deal, and you don’t get back to them for 48 hours. See the group’s rules for acceptable timeframes. And have grace, not everyone is mobile and can respond in 15 seconds or less.
  • Meet in person off-site for higher priced items. I’m sure this goes without saying, but don’t leave cash laying on your doorstep for 10 hours. If you work from home or stay at home, you might be comfortable with leaving your sold items in a tote on your porch and collect cash once the item has been picked up. Otherwise, find a safe meeting spot close to home to make your transaction.

Here’s an example of a perfect Facebook Marketplace transaction. The seller posted details of her item, her general location, and price. Someone responded, then the seller replied that she private messaged the first responder. One additional person expressed interest by commenting “Next”. If the first buyer passes, the seller will go to the next one in line.

Facebook Marketplace Tips

Tips for Buying on a Facebook Marketplace:

  • Line jumping is not a sport on the marketplace! If there is more than one person ahead of you, simply put “in line” in your comment, and any respectable seller will move down the list, in order, should the first responder pass on the item. Don’t type in “Quick pick-up! I need this item ASAP because my dog is dying and my car broke down and my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife left me.” Wait your turn like everyone else.
  • Do any bartering before pickup. Some like to do this via a Facebook private message.
  • Inspect item upon pickup. It’s ok to pass!
  • Learn the terms: Similar to selling on eBay or Craig’s List, learn the terms so you know what the heck people are talking about. PPU = pending pick-up; EUC = excellent used condition; NWOT = new without tags, etc.

 

Facebook Marketplace Tips

In this photo (above), you can see some examples of items bought/sold on the marketplace. I bought the two framed art prints (still with $29.99 price tags on the back, each) for $4 each to go near our bar in the basement. The two pairs of jeans are a prop I borrowed from my neighbor Erin (thanks!), and she paid $10 on the Facebook marketplace for the Paige jeans (retail $150-$200) and $5 for the Limited jeans (retail $50-75).

Is it time consuming? It can be. Factor in your time taking and uploading your photo.  Turn off your notifications so your Facebook newsfeed doesn’t become inundated with marketplace deals. And some do complain that there are no-shows when an item is scheduled to be picked up.

Is it safe? I believe so, especially when you can meet someone off-site if you are concerned in any way. As with any online communication or transaction, be smart. One admin told me she’s seen people put their street address within a comment (instead of private messaging). That would be not smart.

Is it fun? Yeah, I’ll admit it’s pretty fun! I sell most of my kids’ clothes and toys through Indy Kids Sale twice a year, but I have had some decent success with home decor, household items and my own clothing. I save up my cash from selling for some “fun money”, spending it on shoes or a purse, you know, girlie things like that. Another friend of mine sold her entire living room furniture set through the Facebook marketplace, and used that money to put toward her new set.

I hope you found these Facebook Marketplace Tips helpful!  Do you participate in Facebook marketplaces where you live? What’s your take on them?

You can view the video clip from today’s Indy Style segment and hear audio from B105.7 over on my media page.

Facebook Marketplace TipsHere are a few more areas you might like to look around:

If you’re new to Chaos Is Bliss, you may want to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and sign up for email updates so you don’t miss a deal!

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