My Best Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace
Last month, I sold a few items from my mom’s bedroom on Facebook Marketplace and I shared that with all of you. Many of you chimed in that you wanted some tips for selling on Facebook Marketplace, so here we are.
In the past, I used Craigslist, pretty often, to sell old furniture or home decor pieces. I’m not sure Craigslist is really used that often anymore, or at least, we don’t use it. Instead, Facebook Marketplace is all the rage these days!
Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace
First, I’m not a pro by any means, but I’ve probably sold at least a dozen items on Facebook Marketplace in the last two years. Most of the items have gone really quickly, with multiple inquiries, so I have to think that I’m doing something right. I also must note that it may be easier for me to sell items, since I live in Chicago. If you’re in a remote location, it might be a tad trickier. Either way, these tips should help your listings stand out from the rest.
Take Good Photos
A listing with good, well-lit photos will stand out from the rest. Think of yourself as a buyer. Would you want to buy a table that you can barely see in fuzzy, dark photos? Probably not. You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take good photos. Your phone will do the trick! Move your item near a window and take pics during the day. Try your best to take photos of the piece without other random items distracting from it in the background.
Be sure to get a wide shot, side view, back view, and multiple close-up shots of the details on the piece. If there is any damage, take photos to include in your listing. I edit photos on my phone using the VSCO app. I bump up the exposure and the saturation and tweak a few other details until it’s light and bright. This post shares more details on editing photos on your phone.
Before I figure out the price, I’ll often do a quick search on Facebook Marketplace to get a sense of how much other similar items are listed for, so I can price accordingly. I usually list my item about 50% off the retail price of the item if it’s still in good condition. If it’s used or has any damage, I’ll lower the price even further.
I think the pricing also depends on the item. I sold our old gray headboard for $100. Since it’s a generic piece from a big-box store, I wasn’t expecting much more than that. However, I sold our two vintage campaign-style nightstands for $750. They’re one-of-a-kind and were professionally painted. I wasn’t willing to part with them for a low price and I was able to find the right buyer who appreciated them as much as I did.
Write a Detailed Description
It’s good to include a lot of keywords in your title and description for your item. Again, think like a buyer. What might they be looking for? Include the color, style, material…anything that someone might search for when buying a piece for their home.
If the item is currently for sale at a retailer, you can link to the exact item so they can see more photos and details there, and notice what a good deal they’re getting, buying from you. And be honest with the condition. If there’s damage, explain exactly what it is so buyers have all of the details they need. Think through any possible question a buyer might have and include it in your description. Trust me, it will save on a lot of back and forth conversations later on!
Oh, and one other thing you may want to include, the reason you’re selling the piece! We’re moving, getting a larger bed, no longer have room for it… These explanations tell the buyer that the item still has value, but it just doesn’t work for your current situation any longer.
The most important, and often forgotten, part of the description are the dimensions! People are going to ask and it’s a pain to have to whip out your tape measure later on. Include every detail in the description, so you’re not wasting time answering questions with potential buyers. Lay it all out there from the start!
Once I list an item, I make sure I have enough time that day to respond to inquiries quickly. People often want to know if an item is still available, a general idea of where you live, and if your price is firm, which is something you can include in the description too. I find that I usually get lots of messages right after posting, so be ready to respond to find a buyer!
Keep Your Options Open
I do first-come, first-serve when interacting with buyers. This is probably the trickiest part of the entire selling process. I don’t want to put an item on hold for a pickup for too long, just in case that person doesn’t actually show up, which has definitely happened. If my item is on hold and I’m waiting for a pickup, I’ll tell the other people who inquire that the sale is pending and I’ll reach out if it falls through. If the buyer is a no-show, I reach out to the other people in my messages.
For the most part, I’ve always sold items within a day or two. If not, I’d probably drop the price, adjust my tags and description, and maybe take another look at the photos to ensure they’re letting the item shine!
Plan a Safe Pickup
I’ve sold some items from our house and my mom’s and we do pick-up only. Again, this is something you can include in your listing description. My mom has a lobby in her building, so she meets people there in the community space or right outside her building’s door. Here, at our home, I usually have Finn move the item to the garage so no one ever has to enter our home. Or, you can even leave the item on your front porch for a contactless pickup.
In terms of money, some people pay cash and others use Venmo. If someone wants to show they’re really interested in an item, they will sometimes Venmo a portion ahead of time to ensure that I don’t sell it to someone else.
If the item is large, make sure you tell them to bring some muscle to help with loading and to measure their vehicle to ensure that it fits. I can’t tell you the number of times people just show up with a tiny car and no one to help when buying a large item. It’s wild! Luckily, Finn is always with me when we’re selling something big, but be sure to talk this through with your buyer.
Now here’s the crazy thing, while I’ve sold lots of items on Facebook Marketplace, I’ve never purchased anything from there! For the next big room that I have to furnish and decorate, I’ll have to scour it to see if I can find any deals. Do you shop on FB marketplace? Any other tips for selling on Facebook Marketplace? I’d love to know in the comments.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.