In this post, you’ll learn how to buy and sell on Facebook Marketplace with confidence. If you decorate on a budget, check out the tips, etiquette and how to make money as well as save money! Did you know that almost my entire home is either thrifted or used…not much new!
Ah the wonders of social media. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with it (myself included) and yet it’s almost essential to life today. Whether you slide down the political chasm of Twitter (my husband 🙄), fancy the decor narcissism of Instagram or chat with friends on Facebook…it’s all there and a free for all. Let’s not even talk TikTok! Facebook is very familiar to me, like old home week. In addition to a personal page, I’ve maintained a business page on Facebook for a number of years. It’s large and clearly a traffic driver to my blog (oh…thank you!) But I digress…today we are talking about FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE (herein referred to as FBMP.
If you haven’t seen the incredible $20 table above that I scored on Facebook Marketplace, see more in this post! I was innocently perusing FBMP a couple of weeks ago and somehow bought this large set of Bordallo Pinheiro Green Cabbage Ware for a few dollars. Score! Not that I really need more table pieces, but I’ll be using them for sure this summer in tablescapes!
How To Buy And Sell (Like A Pro!) On Facebook Marketplace
First of all, you need to have an account on Facebook (doh). If you have a business page, I would suggest that you use your personal account to purchase items. It just seems less sketchy to a seller and they are more likely to negotiate with a real person 😉
Then you need to find Facebook Marketplace! It’s over on the lefthand side of your dashboard and looks like a little shop.
Facebook Marketplace is a better version of Craigslist and you’ll find EVERYTHING from household items, furniture and clothing to cars, campers and boats!
Tips For Successful Buying
- Do your research before buying. It takes a little bit of work. Whether buying OR selling, head over to eBay and check out what items actually sold for…not what sellers are asking. Additionally you’ll be able to find what prices are close to where you live. Ebay is probably the best source for this, as now Etsy allows sellers to hide this information. You can also check out what others are asking for similar items right in Facebook Marketplace and it often varies widely!
How To Find What You’re Looking For
I asked in a Facebook decorating group that I’m one of the admins for, what you’d want to know about navigating FBMP. One of the most asked questions was how to find great scores, as I do!
- First you need to add your location, as shown below. Then decide how far you’d be willing to go to pick something up. BUT WAIT…why is it showing you items that can be shipped to you??
Well just scroll down a little bit further on the page to see the local items.
Then tap what you want to see and tick the box LOCAL ONLY. I find that this generally works best ON MOBILE for some reason. Then if I find something that I’d like to explore further I head over to my laptop.
So now that you’ve learned where to look for something locally, how do you find what you want on Facebook Marketplace? Simple enough…create a list and save it in a note on your computer. Then you can enter the term into the search box. Here’s one of my current lists – although I have others and will never rule anything out! 😂
Once you enter a search often enough you’ll find that Facebook Marketplace starts to suggest these items for you.
**NOTE** I live in Miami and there are lots of listings that are in Spanish only! Learn what to look for in another language if this applies to the area that YOU live in. I’ve both purchased and sold to folks who do not speak English and most have someone who will translate for them. Also, look for misspelled words, like “consold table”, tole for toile, bowel…(I have seen this…for bowl 🤣😂) and the other day I saw this “Only serious buyer’s need and choir” (need inquire) on a local listing…hah!!
This is a question that I’m often asked…Where do I find my saved items on Facebook marketplace?
From your News Feed, click Marketplace in the left menu. Click Your Account. Click Saved.
Noteworthy Tips For Successful Buying on Facebook Marketplace
- Check out the seller’s Selling Profile. Sadly most buyers don’t take the time to leave feedback, just like on eBay and Etsy. I have sold loads of things and if I remember, I do ask…but people are people and forget. Just suss out the seller and see what kind of feeling you get. How thorough is the listing, if you ask questions…how do they respond?
- Negotiating on a price… FBMP isn’t a flea market, so don’t tell someone what you’ll give them. I find it infuriating when someone says “I’ll give you $20” on a $100 item…not cool man! A better approach would be to ask something like “would you consider $85” or if you feel that the price is right don’t even ask. People are trying to make some money folks and there really is a time and place to haggle.
- I don’t feel that I should give advice on buying items shipped, as I haven’t done that and probably would not. If it’s not within reasonable driving distance then I pass.
IMPORTANT!! Head’s Up!
- If you see the item that you have been lusting after and the price is amazing, send the seller a message immediately (oh yes, you’ll have to work through Facebook Messenger). Don’t just leave a comment on the item! Act cool, but tell them that you can give them a deposit right away with Venmo or Zelle and arrange for pick up soon. This should ensure that you SCORE and those who just leave an “interested” comment do not. 😉
Make sure that you look at the FREE ITEMS. You know that gorgeous vintage breakfront that I told you I got on Facebook Marketplace? Yes…it was FREE, and as soon as I saw it I contacted her and arranged for someone to pick it up.
How To Get Large Local Items Safely To Your Home
My husband didn’t want to lift this thing (can’t blame him) and so I arranged for LUGG to pick it up and deliver. Lugg is an app that you can download on the app store and get pretty much anything picked up and delivered locally door to door. It’s not inexpensive, but a GREAT convenience and I’ve used it several times for Facebook Marketplace purchases. There are a couple of other similar services around, but to date I’ve only used LUGG. Factor this cost in to your item before you decide to purchase if you are going to use them. Estimate is free. You know that blue Ethan Allen cabinet at the top of this post? It retailed for $2K and I got it for $149, but I had to pay Lugg to pick it up.
Always check the seller’s selling profile and see what else they have for sale. This sweet seller was moving and I also purchased the Arhaus armoire from her (for $149 as well!) and she threw in some various lamps! I plan on doing a makeover on the armoire with paint and new hardware and will share soon! It’s just a bit too rustic to me as it is, but I think it will be great for linen storage once finished. I sold my other linen chest on Facebook Marketplace on the same day to someone who came to pick up another item!
Tips For Successful Selling On Facebook Marketplace
- First… DO NOT HOLD ITEMS when selling unless a deposit or prepayment is made. Use Venmo or Zelle for that. It’s just not fair for people to expect this. Your time is important and everyone is busy, but people can flake out and that’s not cool. So in your item description, add some text like “Please DM me if you are interested in purchasing this item”. Savvy buyers will know not to comment and just to do this, but it’s a good reminder.
- Be as thorough as you can in your listings. Include any damage, lots of images and if the item has some value that you can prove through an online listing, take a screenshot to share! I just sold something that is still available on Wayfair for $300 and asked $75 for. It was grabbed up quickly!
- As for your photos, yes…use your phone but don’t have a lot of junk in the way and please style your item nicely. Edit your photo if it needs it. Below is an iPhone image that I shot of a small vintage drum table that I just sold on Facebook Marketplace.
Safety and Courtesy
Check out the Facebook profile of your potential buyer if you need to or feel suspicious in any way. Likewise of a seller that you might be interested in buying from!
- Be courteous and be cautious as well. If someone rubs you the wrong way or you are suspicious, you don’t have to sell to them and someone else should come along. I have had this happen and told them in Facebook messenger that it was pending to someone else.
- Do NOT give out any personal information. I really suss out my buyers and if they want to come pick up at my home, then I make sure that my husband is here. I will only give my address AFTER being paid. Most of my buyers seem nice and legit, and I can generally tell when not. One of the ladies in my decorating group offered this advice “A word of caution and safety could be included – like meeting at the local police station parking lot. Some have designated areas for this type of transaction.” Use your own discretion, but I mostly sell furniture and this wouldn’t work for that with me.
- Another tip from a Facebook follower “Courtesy – after contacting a seller, let the person know if you’ve decided not to purchase something … and, in reverse, after selling something, mark it sold.”
I hope that this helps if you are looking to buy and/or sell on Facebook Marketplace…with confidence! I’ll try and answer any questions that you might have in the comments below. Most of all…it’s FUN and I hope that you have a positive experience and don’t forget to rate your seller/buyer!
One of my current listings above, which is an amazing vintage Italian Tole Roses wall console table. I could possibly ship this one (we had the glass top custom made) so if you’re interested…let me know and I will get you more information! xo…Janet