Since I learned how to use Facebook Marketplace, I’ve had a great additional avenue for selling household clutter and things I no longer need. I’ve produced these Facebook Marketplace tips to help you make the most out of the service.
So, let’s start with the basics:
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace is a feature of Facebook’s mobile app that makes it easy to list items to sell to Facebook users in your local area. It’s a simpler way of selling items via Facebook than using local “sale or swap” groups. While these can be effective, they’re often “cliquey” places with no shortage of time-wasters!
At the time of writing, Facebook Marketplace is only available in certain countries, namely the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. More countries are being added all the time.
Please see the image below, where I’ve highlighted the Marketplace icon – if you have this icon on your Facebook mobile app, you have access to Facebook Marketplace.
How to use Facebook Marketplace
Using Facebook Marketplace is simplicity itself. After taking pictures of your item(s), you list them for sale using the mobile app.
All you need is an item description, price and category. You can also select whether or not you’re willing to offer local delivery for the item.
Once the item is listed, it appears on the Marketplace section of the Facebook app for people in your local area. You also have the option of sharing your listed item(s) with your Facebook friends, in case any of them would like to buy what you have on sale.
In theory, once you’ve listed your item all you need to do is sit back and wait for the offers to roll in via Facebook Messenger – and that, in a nutshell, is how to use Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace Tips: What Sells?
If you’ve read any of my previous articles on the site, you’ll know that I’m quite a fan of keeping my home free of clutter by selling items I no longer need. My wife and I have maintained an eBay side hustle for several years.
Facebook Marketplace fills a useful gap for selling items in situations where using eBay isn’t particularly feasible, for example:
- Large bulky items (I’ve recently sold a bike and a gas barbecue – these would have been far too big to send by post!)
- Items that people may wish to come and look at before making a decision (including big items like cars and boats).
- Smaller items such as items of clothing or small toys, where delivery charges would make an eBay deal impractical.
Once you learn how to use Facebook Marketplace, you open up a local shopfront for any personal items you want to sell. This means dealing with buyers face-to-face when they collect their purchases. However, it also means not dealing with feedback, processing PayPal payments, and losing a proportion of your income to various fees. In many cases, selling via Facebook Marketplace is a more appealing prospect than using eBay.
Essential Facebook Marketplace Tips
Prepare your Items and Take Good Pictures
Of all my Facebook Marketplace tips, this is probably the most important:
Facebook Marketplace is a very visual platform for selling your items, and because it’s on mobile devices, potential buyers can easily “pinch to zoom” to have a really good look at what you’re offering them.
For the same reason, it’s worth taking the time to clean up your items for sale, as they’ll look far more appealing. I recently sold a bike using Facebook Marketplace, and it was well worth the ten minutes it took to give it a good wipe down and pump the tyres up.
Similarly, if you’re selling clothing – and it does seem to sell – you’ll want to iron it before photographing it.
It doesn’t take long to take a few extra pictures of your item(s) to provide people with extra detail – so it’s well worth doing this – it will cut back on additional queries too.
Respond Quickly to Buyer Queries
Most people spend their lives in proximity to their smartphones nowadays(!) so there’s no excuse not to reply quickly when people ask questions about your Facebook Marketplace items or make you offers.
Staying in prompt and regular contact is good manners, and it’s not unreasonable to expect the same of those enquiring about your items. Sadly there are time-wasters on the platform, but not too many in my experience so far.
Start With a Price you Want
It’s best to initially list your items at the price you want (unless you’re in a big hurry), as you can always reduce your price later. An essential part of working out how to use Facebook Marketplace is getting an idea of what items tend to sell for.
If everything you post goes in minutes, the chances are you’re selling things too cheaply – whereas if everything hangs around for days with no enquiries, it may be that you’re being too ambitious with your pricing.
Decide what to do About Offers
Facebook Marketplace is somewhere where people will make offers cheaper than your asking price. As this will typically happen via instant messaging, or maybe even face-to-face, you can end up feeling pressured to make a decision.
This is easily avoided by deciding up front what minimum price you’re willing to accept for your items. So long as you’re not desperate for the money, you can always wait for someone else to come along.
Also regarding offers, it’s well worth clearly stating if your price is non-negotiable, to save you having to deal with people making offers you’re not going to accept.
If you’re often on the move around your local area, it’s worth thinking about whether to offer to deliver items. This may encourage more people to purchase your items on impulse – and if you’re getting in the car anyway, it may not be much hassle to drop something off.
How to use Facebook Marketplace: Conclusion
Facebook Marketplace is a great platform for selling off household clutter. It’s completely free, so you don’t have to budget for eBay and PayPal fees, and the local nature of it means it’s feasible to sell items that would be impractical to list on eBay.
eBay undoubtedly provides you with a much larger, global market for the items you’re selling, whereas Facebook Marketplace concentrates on your local area. As such, it’s probably not the place for collectables, and items you want to offer to the widest possible audience.
However, next time you’re having a clear-out, it’s definitely worth thinking about each item you want rid of on a case by case basis – as some will be more suited to Facebook Marketplace than to other avenues.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.