Selling on Facebook Marketplace can be a great way to bring in some extra cash – if you do it right. If you’re not experienced with selling on Marketplace, there are also a lot of pitfalls that can cause you to actually lose time and money. Over the years, we’ve sold thousands of dollars’ worth of items on Marketplace, so we’re going to share some of the tips we’ve learned for how to sell on Facebook Marketplace and not waste time (or money!) in the process!
12 tips for how to sell on Facebook Marketplace
If you use it right, Marketplace is an excellent way to clean out your house, flip items you find at thrift stores or garage sales (or even on Marketplace itself), and bring in some extra cash – all from your own home.
Facebook Marketplace has both saved and earned us a lot of money over the years. However, all of those sales didn’t come without some learning experiences and mistakes! Those mistakes and successes are what we want to share with you so that you can make the best of your Marketplace experience and earn some good money along the way.
1. Some items just aren’t worth selling
First of all, choose what you sell wisely. If you don’t have unlimited time to spend taking pictures, posting items, and messaging and meeting with potential buyers, stick to items that have some value and have a decent likelihood of selling.
Smaller, $5-$10 items will usually end up costing you more time to list than they’re actually worth. If you’re in it to make some cash rather than simply cleaning out the extra bedroom, stick to items that are worth $20+. Furniture, collectables, vehicles, lawn equipment, electronics, kids’ items, and musical instruments are some potentially profitable categories to consider.
2. Choose the right price
Before deciding on a price for your item, do a little research. Search similar items on Facebook Marketplace and other relatable sites. Take into consideration how available or unavailable that specific item is in your area. Decide whether you’re willing to ship and how much that will cost. If you want your item to sell quickly, pricing it competitively is obviously important.
On the other hand, if you have a less common item to sell and you don’t need it out of your house right away, don’t be afraid to mark it a little higher and wait for the right buyer to come along.
3. Renew your posts
If your item isn’t selling after a couple of weeks or so, try renewing the listing. If you go to your listings, you can simply click on the renew button to do so.
Because of the Facebook algorithm, sometimes items may not be seen for awhile. Then, the algorithm changes and 20 people might message you in one day after having no action on your item for weeks. We’ve had this happen multiple times. Renewing your listing will help it to be seen by the algorithm.
To move your item faster, hit the button to lower the price (rather than simply editing the post) so that it displays the slashed price and lets people know that your motivated to sell.
4. Provide detailed descriptions
If you want to save time, be sure to add all of the necessary information to your post. This might include measurements or size, features, year (on equipment), etc.
If you don’t add these details, inevitably, someone is going to ask you about them and you’ll just have to find them anyway, so you may as well add them right away to save you time and get more interest in your item.
5. Take the time to take good pictures
Good lighting, good angles, and a variety of needed pictures is one of the best ways to generate interest in your item. The goal is to make the searcher feel as if they’re right there with the item and that they know what to expect. Good pictures can often be the deciding factor for whether or not you’ll make money on Marketplace.
You don’t have to be a professional in order to take better pictures of your items. Start by simply taking the time to wipe down or clean up the item. Put it in an open space clear of junk and clutter. Use natural lighting if at all possible. Simple photography techniques make a huge difference in both price and how quickly it will sell.
Lastly, be sure to add pictures of anything that’s not up to par, such as scratches, dents, broken pieces, etc. You want people to feel comfortable with their purchase, and being honest about its condition is one of the best ways to help them out in this area.
In addition, keep in mind that Marketplace offers the opportunity for buyers to rate sellers, and honesty is an important factor in receiving good ratings and ultimately increasing all of your Marketplace sales.
6. Mention any necessary pickup details
In order to make sure that your potential buyers are thoroughly prepared to purchase your item, be sure to mention any special pickup details. If the item is heavy or large and they’ll need another person to help lift it or a truck to transport it, you may want to consider putting this in the description. If not, you’ll probably want to at least mention it via private message when talking with your buyer.
It may seem obvious, but you don’t want to take the chance of having a buyer come unprepared to take your item home.
7. Respond quickly
Quick responses are one of the best ways to keep potential buyers interested in your item and let them know that you’re on top of things. If it takes you a day to respond, often times, they’ve already moved on or found another similar product somewhere else.
8. Be wary of scammers
Unfortunately, there are no shortage of scammers on Facebook Marketplace. On the bright side, if you’re aware of their tactics, you can easily avoid them.
If someone messages you and seems strange or off, start by taking a look at their profile. If they have just a few friends (or no friends), minimal pictures, or strange information on their profile, be wary. In some cases, it may be totally fine (perhaps they just don’t use Facebook much), but in other cases, this can be a sign of a scammer account.
If they ask to send you money, this can also be a sign of a scam. Additionally, many scammers will ask for your phone number to try to take the conversation out of the platform.
Additionally, be wary of people who want you to deliver, especially if the item is smaller and doesn’t need any special equipment, such as a truck, to move. Even if the person is completely honest, you also run the risk of spending gas and drive time and having them not show up or having them reject the item. There are some cases in which delivering works well (for an extra fee, of course), but take caution if you decide to go this route.
As a note, there are cases in which any one of these issues may arise and the person is actually totally honest. Much of it comes down to using common sense judgement. If something seems off, or if you notice multiple red flags, take precautions. Keep the conversation within the platform, don’t give them any unneeded information about yourself, and if you do decide to meet, consider meeting in a safe, public place.
Here are 7 tips to avoid scams on Facebook Marketplace as a buyer.
9. Include PPU, POOS, and FCFS
Including these clarifying details (if applicable) in your item’s description is extremely beneficial for not wasting time and for not dealing with Marketplace drama (it’s real!). If you’re not familiar, here’s what they mean:
- PPU – porch pickup (as opposed to meetups)
- POOS – posted on other sites (use this is you’ve posted your item for sale in Facebook groups or in other places altogether)
- FCFS – first come, first serve
Marketplace can get tricky when you have multiple people wanting your item and you’re not sure who to give it to. As a general rule, the first person to message you should usually get the item. However, if they can’t come today or tomorrow, it’s totally fair to move to the next person. If you’re not willing to hold the item for someone, be clear that it’s first come, first serve (as in, if you can come first, you can have it).
In general, if someone can’t give us a time today or tomorrow that they can come, we tell them to message us when they can come, and if it’s still available, they can have it.
It gets even trickier when you tell someone it’s available, but before they respond, someone else messages you wanting to pick it up. If the honest thing to do is to give it to the first person who messages, what do you do? Just wait for them to respond?
It works well to give that first person a timeframe in which to let you know if they can come get the item. For example, let them know that you now have other people interested and to please message you within the hour if they still want it.
10. Withhold your address for as long as you can
Selling on Marketplace usually requires giving out your address, but you don’t have to do this unnecessarily. In fact, it’s best to wait as long as you can before letting buyers know where you live.
It usually works well to wait until the day that they’re set to come; perhaps even just an hour or two before they arrive. Also, don’t give your address until you are fairly confident that someone is coming. Being interested isn’t enough. And please, for safety’s sake, don’t give them your address and then tell them that you won’t be home until 5:00.
If they need to know where you’re located in order to determine their drive time, you can give them general directions, such as “5 minutes south of town”. You could also send the address of a public place, such as a store or gas station, and tell them that you’re near that place.
11. Mark it “pending” as soon as you have someone coming
If someone tells you that they’re coming for your item and you schedule a time, mark your item as “pending” right away. This will keep you from receiving dozens more messages, especially if you have a lot of interest. It will also help people to feel that they’re being treated fairly. If the item is not marked “pending” and someone doesn’t get a chance to purchase the item, they may feel as if you let someone else jump in front of them.
12. Don’t burn bridges
Lastly, here’s a bonus tip. Don’t burn bridges. Many times on Marketplace, you’ll get lower offers for your item. If you’ve just recently posted it and aren’t willing to decrease the price yet, don’t just say, “no”. Instead, keep your options open. Let them know that you just posted the item and don’t want to decrease the price yet, but that you’ll keep their offer in mind.
If your item doesn’t sell for awhile, it’s better to have options. If you give those people a flat out “no” right away, it will be pretty embarrassing to go crawling back to them when your item still hasn’t sold and you’re ready to accept their offer.
Make some extra cash with Facebook Marketplace
One of the best ways to succeed on Marketplace is simply to be fair and honest with people. Sometimes you might find yourself in a sticky situation, but try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and just be kind and fair.
If you get good at selling on Marketplace, it can be a really great way to make some extra cash. Start keeping your eye out for products that you can flip. Sometimes you can even purchase items on Marketplace itself, clean them up, fix them, take better pictures, and make a good profit. (Read about our favorite Marketplace deal – a free John Deere 325!)
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