In only two months, I made $1,800 selling old stuff–thanks to Facebook marketplace. If you are looking for the best tips to sell on Facebook marketplace the right way, you found it.
In the last few years, Facebook marketplace has been quickly surpassing Craiglist as an online marketplace. If you haven’t used it yet, it’s time to start!
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The Fundamentals of Selling On Facebook Marketplace
The first thing you need to think about is the people who are buying on Facebook marketplace. I’m gonna give you a hint: Beyonce is probably not one of them.
Fundamental #1: Facebook marketplace shoppers are looking for deals. They’re not coming here to buy a family heirloom.
Fundamental #2: They’re not grocery shopping. No one who runs out of toothpaste is thinking, “Oh man, I really need to check marketplace to get some more.”
The exception to this is people selling stockpiles. (I’m pretty sure couponers with extra toilet paper did pretty well in March last year.) But this is the EXCEPTION, not the rule, and I wouldn’t recommend buying extra soap to try to make some bucks this way.
Fundamental #3: Buying on marketplace takes more effort than buying in a store. You have to message a stranger, go back and forth, make sure they aren’t a serial killer, plan a time and place to meet, and possibly have exact cash ready.
For this reason, if you are selling something for the exact same price as the Walmart a mile away from your house–guess who is going to get that sale? It ain’t you.
So let’s have a pop quiz.
You need new shampoo. Do you look on Facebook marketplace?
Okay, you passed question number 1. Number 2:
You splurged and come home with a brand new $3,000 iMac with every possible accessory. Now your wife is fuming. Should you:
a) Apologize kindly and return it for a full refund
b) Try to make a profit on Facebook marketplace
c) Keep it and risk your sanity
YOU BETTER NOT HAVE PICKED C, YALL.
….It’s A, guys. The answer is A. Come on now.
While an iMac is absolutely a great item to sell on FB marketplace, you probably won’t receive full market value for it. Because of Facebook marketplace fundamental #1–these people are looking for DEALS.
But here’s why selling your Apple products and other tech stuff is still a great option.
The Best Products to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
Here are just a few examples of products that tend to sell well on Facebook:
- Newly painted or refurbished furniture: Many people do this as a business! Your girl Kaylee might even take a stab at this in the near future…
- Used, old, or worn furniture: Yep, you read that right. Old furniture–even ugly furniture that needs repairs–sells really well on marketplace if it’s listed for a fair price. You won’t make $150 on a bookshelf you’ve had for 20 years, but you might be able to get $25.
- TVs, laptops, other electronics: This is another example of items that do extremely well if they’re listed at a fair price. You won’t get top dollar here, but you make sales quickly.
- Character toys: Paw Patrol, PJ masks, Blippi, Doc McStuffins etc… a lot of parents are looking out for these things.
- High-ticket toys: Things like doll houses and bicycles have a great market here.
- Baby products: Honestly, I would have LIVED on Facebook marketplace if it had been around when I was pregnant.
- Sets of maternity clothes: When I was looking for maternity clothes, I joined a “Baby and kids” buy and sell group in my area and I was on a WATCH for maternity clothes.
- Pet supplies: Kennels, crates, food bowls, NEW toys, etc.
- Home decor: Interestingly, when I first published this article, I included this in the next section. But I’ve seen a shift on FB marketplace over the last year, and I’ve sold home decor a lot more successfully. This may have to do with Facebook’s new shipping capabilities.
- Custom-built signs, furniture, and home decor: This usually applies to people who already have a business making or buying things. But utilizing Facebook marketplace can be extremely effective!
- Storage cabinets: This one took me by surprise when I was starting out. I listed a plastic storage cabinet that had been sitting in my garage for $20, and I got 90 messages over the next 3 hours. NINETY. I obviously should have listed this for a higher price.
- Tools: As long as their CLEAN and the descriptions are clear, these sell really well. I currently have an alert to check for miter saws that are listed–just PLEASE clean them and take a decent picture.
Difficult Products to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
- Highly specific electronics: Note the difference from above–you DEFINITELY can sell electronics on FB marketplace, but you won’t get the max value. Ebay is probably the best market to maximize electronics because people are searching for specific things and it fosters competition.
- Kitchen Utensils: I mean, do you want to take extra time to spend money on someone’s used wooden spoons? No. Yuck.
- Board games: Unless it’s a really trendy game in perfect condition, this usually isn’t a very interesting product.
- Lots of random craft supplies: I’ll admit it–I tried to sell random craft supplies on marketplace! But it isn’t usually successful because of fundamental #3.
- Medicine: Okay, I’ve never actually seen this, but I feel like it should be mentioned. Just don’t.
- Toiletries: I don’t shop for deoderant on marketplace. You shouldn’t either.
- Most things under $5: Remember that it has to be worth it for a buyer to take extra time to talk to you and pick up an item! If they can get the same thing online or at Walmart for $2 more, it won’t be worth it.
Should I Sell This on Facebook Marketplace?
After reading all that, remember that there are always exceptions. Remember a few important things when you’re deciding whether to list an item or not.
1. It never hurts to try.
It was actually difficult to write a list of difficult products to sell on marketplace, because I’ve seen a lot of exceptions. In fact, I’ve sold board games, electronics, and lots of items for $5!
However–the items I listed for $5 were worth much more. Giving people a great deal made it worth it for them to spend the extra time and effort buying from me.
2. Stick to your priorities
Are you selling items to make money? Or are you selling them to free up space in your home?
When you’re selling something that you used or loved, it’s easy to think it’s worth a certain amount. It’s also easy to list something on marketplace, put it in a corner of your basement or garage and tell yourself, “It’s out of the way, so I’ll just leave it there until someone comes to buy it.”
…Then somehow, 3 months later, that corner of your garage is covered in a new pile of things that you technically “decluttered.”
To avoid this, a good rule of thumb is to reevaluate each item you list after the first week. If you’ve gotten absolutely no interest in that time, then you need to decrease the price, or just donate the item.
If you’re selling something to make money on it, then you can give it extra time before you decrease the price. But if you’re decluttering–then you need to get items out of your house quickly.
Facebook Marketplace Etiquette
After selling well over 115 items on FB marketplace, I figured out how to make the whole exchange as easy as possible for everyone.
How to Make a Successful Facebook Marketplace Listing
Think of this like a business owner would, and make it as easy as possible for someone to buy your stuff.
- Write in full sentences and be kind–this makes people feel more comfortable messaging you.
- USE PICTURES. I mean, it blows my mind when I see listings with no pictures, or dark and blurry pictures. Make sure your pictures are clear and show everything.
- Be honest and descriptive. If there is a mark or a dent on something, include a picture and mention it! It makes people trust you more than it scares them away.
- Be specific about your location without giving your address. Use a cross-street to describe where you are, like, “Near the Walmart in ___,” or “near Main St. and 23rd.”
- Be specific about pickup. Do you want the buyer to pick up from your house no matter what, or are you willing to meet them? When we were moving and I didn’t have extra time to travel, I would say, “Must pickup.” Otherwise, I prefer to meet people, so I’ll say, “Meet near South Norman.”
- Be specific about your price flexibility. You can either say “price is firm,” or use OBO for “or best offer.”
- Use Facebook groups to your advantage. Almost every area has different “buy and sell” groups, which help more of the RIGHT see your stuff. You can join groups that list baby items, furniture, electronics, and even real estate.
- Don’t make too many listings at once. Trust me on this one–planning times for 7 different people to come for different items gets overwhelming real fast! There were multiple times that my doorbell rang and I realized I was supposed to have something ready. Whoops. Thankfully, since I was always open and honest with buyers, they were always respectful and understanding.
By writing clear listing descriptions and being clear and honest, your items will attract real buyers and minimize creeps and no-shows.
FB Marketplace Messaging Etiquette
1. Protect your address!
I haven’t had any safety issues with marketplace, but I mean, this is the internet, so I prefer to meet people in public.
If that’s not possible, give them a cross-street near your house, and wait until they are on their way to give them your address.
2. Set a Specific Time
Don’t leave a time open for the buyer to come “whenever.” Of course, I’m flexible when I’m selling to a mom of a newborn and she’s running late. However, leaving buyers with too much flexibility will make it really easy for them to no-show.
3. Don’t Make Guarantees
You’re selling an item, not making a blood covenant. It’s okay to talk to multiple people about the same item, and it’s possible to do that and not be a jerk. You don’t have to be sneaky or be afraid of screwing someone over!
Just be completely open with all buyers. Tell them the item is still available, but you have someone else (or multiple people) interested as well.
Until a buyer sets a date and time or even sends you the money electronically, the item is up for grabs for the highest bidder–or the quickest to pick up.
Facebook used to have a tool where you could mark an item as “pending sale,” but they got rid of that. Even so, if someone messages you before the first buyer picks up, I tell them it’s pending sale but I will let them know if it falls through. This has come in handy many times!
How I Made $1,800 in Two Months on Facebook Marketplace
What I sold on Facebook marketplace was not brand new, exciting stuff. I had a few good items… but most of it was old and not all that well taken care of (I was a mom of two kids under two, so standards were low).
Honestly, I’ve had success with marketplace for these very simple reasons:
- Offering good deals for items
- Descriptive descriptions (Yes, it’s it’s ironic)
- Good quality photos
- Clear and polite communication with buyers
- Setting boundaries and staying safe
You would probably be so surprised at how many amazing, kind people I met through marketplace! It is by far my favorite platform to buy and sell items.
In fact, there was one woman who hugged me in my driveway after I gave her some spray paint. There was another woman who knocked on my door AFTER I had given her a bag of baby clothes and said, “You gave me too much! I only gave you $5! Do you want more?” (No, I definitely did not.)
There were also multiple people who sent me pictures of how they used my items, which absolutely made my day.
So yeah–I might be the world’s biggest Facebook marketplace fan.
Have you used Facebook marketplace to buy or sell? Drop your questions in the comments below!