Have you heard of the Facebook Marketplace? Have you used it before? If you’ve got furniture, clothes, or other miscellaneous household items you’re looking to get rid of, this might be the best and quickest way to do so.
As someone who’s used Craigslist and had no luck on LetGo, I gave the Facebook Marketplace a try one day when I was looking to get rid of some framed artwork; it just didn’t suit the modern look we’re going for in our new home. And with a couple of photos, a price, and an item description, I was one click away from discovering something great… I even sold most of the canvas art that very same day! From then on, I was hooked! And in about three weeks, I’ve made around $750 selling items I was going to donate to Value Village anyway.
So, what was the key to my success? I’m thinking there were a couple of things and I’m so excited to share them with you right now! But first, let’s start with some basic things you might be wondering.
What can I sell on the Facebook Marketplace?
Almost literally, anything! If its taking up valuable space in your home, list it! I had a set of mismatched IKEA glasses and was successful in selling even those. Marketplace Categories include: Home & Garden, Entertainment (Books, Video Games, etc), Clothing & Accessories, Family (Baby, Pets, etc), Electronics, and Hobbies. The most important thing is to set the right price though.
What is the right price?
It depends on whether you have the time and/or patience. Like any sort of reselling, bargaining comes with the territory. And as much as some people have really pushed my buttons (offering less than 15% of my asking price when I’ve already discounted something by over 60% off the retail price), others have been great in paying my asking price and even buying multiple items from me.
(1) Take Multiple Well-Light & Quality Photos
Like Instagram and Pinterest, white backgrounds just work! And a high quality photo with zero clutter in the background will get you plenty more hits than just photographing your item wherever you might have found it. I did a comparison with some dresses I listed and the results speak for themselves; the exact same dress sold in three days when I took a few clean photos whereas when I had it listed before, hanging on a lamp in our storage room, not even an inquiry as to whether or not it is available. Finesse matters as does giving your potential buyer a look at all angles of the item. In their mind, the dress could be flawless at the front and have a stain or rip somewhere in the back. Save your time and theirs to guarantee that your in person experience is as simple as exchanging your item for their currency.
(2) List at a Reasonable Price and Assess Your Competition
Yes, I too once paid retail for most of the things that I have! But unless you’re selling a DockATot or some other high demand item that is hard to come by (or really holds it value after it leaves the store), its not going to sell for 10% less than that. Realistically, I’ve found that clothing sells for about 60-75% less than retail and furniture items sell for around 50% less (provided that it is in good condition). You can also have a look around the Marketplace and check out your competitors to see what they’ve listed at. Then, if you REALLY want to sell your item and quick, list for between 10-20% less!
(3) Make Sure Your Item is in Tip Top Shape Before Your Potential Buyer Arrives
While, its easy to just pull a lint covered shirt out of your closet, take five minutes to clean it up a bit. Your Marketplace Seller Rating could be impacted by this! Users rank each other according to the following categories: Fair Pricing, Friendliness, Item Description, Punctuality, Reliability, and Response Time.
(4) Be as Detailed as You Can in Your Listing Title
If you have a pair of Brand New Without Box (BNWB) Women’s Size 7.5 Nike Free Run Running Shoes, name your listing accordingly. One of my pet peeves is when sellers give their listing a very generic title (i.e. Ladies Running Shoes) and list it for $1! Be up front about what it is that you’re selling and how much you are expecting for it.
(5) Fill in the Item Description and List Any Extra Details or Defects Here
I sold an espresso machine with a leaky frothing wand one weekend; the buyer knew exactly what they were getting and asked me more about the leak before agreeing to come purchase and take the machine away. Remember when we talked about your Marketplace Rating? Item Description and Reliability could be impacted here, so make sure you get a positive review in being as detail oriented as possible.
Also, if you do not intend to deliver or meet anywhere outside of your home, state this in your listing! People are constantly looking to meet at mid-way point, transit station, and/or will even offer to give you an additional small amount of money for you to deliver it to them. I’ve personally never done this and wouldn’t as I hate the idea of wasting a trip only for a buyer to change their mind or not be home!
(6) If You Accept an E-Transfer, Make Sure the Potential Buyer Sends it Before Arrival
To eliminate the chances of you awkwardly waiting for technology to work (and I’ve found that it never works if you have a timeline), have your potential buyer send you his or her E-Transfer before they arrive at your doorstep.
Your money will sit in limbo for a bit, but when the buyer does arrive, they can then give you the password to accept the transfer.
This guarantees that you as the seller must hold the item for your buyer and guarantees your buyer that you will not be paid for the item util they actually receive it. It’s also a great way of assuring that you actually have a serious buyer!
Personally, I’ve had a handful of people offer to send an E-Transfer to reserve an item but they never ended up doing so, which brings us to our next point!
(7) Give Your Potential Buyer a Chance to Get Back to You But Don’t Sacrifice a Sale For It
Just like in real life, there are a lot of flakes out there! I once experienced a woman who spent three days giving me excuses of why she could not come pickup the piece of furniture I was selling. And while I understand that life happens, sometimes excuses are just that.
If you’ve got a number of people waiting on an item (as I did on this one… 8 of them), let your buyer know this. While some people might get offended, others completely understand and realistically, the most serious buyers will be at your doorstep ASAP to pickup whatever it is your selling anyway.
My rules of thumb for response time are as follows: When I receive an “Is this available?” message and have responded “yes”, I give the potential buyer an hour or two to contact me for further details.
Once details have been exchanged and a meeting time and place has been proposed, I give potential buyers 24 hours to confirm. You’d be surprised! There are plenty of people out there who ask if you can meet at A time and agree to meet at B place and then, poof, never to be heard from again. Strange, but it happens.
When a buyer is a no show, I contact them within half hour to ask if they are still coming and if I do not hear back from them within an hour or two, I contact the next interested buyer in-que. This might seem harsh to some people but I find it very disrespectful to just not show up when you’ve made the arrangement with someone.
When you’re a busy mom of a little one, this can be especially stressful as you almost literally have to schedule every minute of your day!
And there you have it! You are now ready to take on the Facebook Marketplace. Let me know how your experience went or what surprises you may have encountered along the way in the comments below 🙂 Happy selling!