How to Buy and Sell on Facebook Marketplace
After sharing about cleaning out and selling our parents house, which ended up being a very popular post to read, someone asked me to share about buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace, so I’m sharing that today. If you’ve never bought or sold on Facebook Marketplace, it’s a great way to get rid of things you no longer want to keep, from furniture to decorative accessories. I’ve sold both on there with much success.
It may not bring top dollar, but from my experience it’s better than selling furniture at a yardsale. Yardsales are great for decluttering, but they don’t always bring top dollar. Once you decide to declutter and get rid of furniture and accessories, Facebook Marketplace works great.
I’m not an expert, but I have bought and sold on Facebook Marketplace many times, so I’ll share my experience in this post. This will mostly be about selling, but I’ll also mention buying.
I’m sharing screenshots of many of the items we sold out of our parents house. It really helped to start the clean out process by listing anything of value on Facebook Marketplace. I got rid of a lot of furniture over a period of a month or so by listing and then going over to meet people when it was time to pick up.
List for a Fair Price
If you’re on Facebook, you can set up an account with Facebook Marketplace in your area. There is a Marketplace on the sidebar that you can click which will bring up items and Groups in your area. There are also Groups in your area that you can apply to join and that gives you a larger audience when you’re selling. Be sure to click those when they come up so you can get your items seen by a bigger group of people. The more groups the better. When you list, be careful because it doesn’t always show up to click all the boxes for each group, so sometimes I have to look for that area and click all the boxes so my items show up in all of them. Someone has to approve you to join each Group, but that happens fast from my experience.
When you’re listing, keep in mind what you think a fair price would be. We tried to figure out what retail cost would be and then list for 1/2 or less. I’m pretty good about pricing, since I’ve done so many yardsales and been to so many, so I have a good idea of what something will sell for. Plus, if you price things too high you’ll sit on it for awhile. I’ve had to list things and then wait a few days, slash the prices down until it sold.
Also, if you list something and get a flurry of activity in the first couple of hours, you may have priced it too low. I’ve had that happen too.
I would also say that when people are coming to your home, try to have someone at home with you. I never had any problems meeting people at my parents house, but some of the time I was alone, which probably wasn’t a good idea.
You’ll also get lots of people asking if something is still available and never hear back. You’ll also have people say they want it, plan a time to come to get the item and never show up. I had several no shows. That’s really aggravating too. I had one guy who was buying a big armoire. He told me he was coming to get it and the day before, I sent him a message just to be sure and have someone who could help him move it, as I didn’t have anyone to help. He got mad and told me that he thought I would have someone to help him move it. That was a ridiculous assumption on his part and I told him so. I would never assume that when picking up! People can really be aggravating on the platform, but that’s part of the process. You have to keep your patience.
If something doesn’t sell right away, just relist and drop the price. You can relist several times, which bumps it back to the top. Eventually you’ll sell it, that’s been my experience. You might not get the price you wanted, but you’ll do better than a yardsale.
Those are some of the things you’ll run into. Also, don’t give anyone your phone number. People immediately tell you to send them your phone number and it’s some sort of scamming. I’m not sure what they try to do, but don’t do that. There is no need to give anyone your phone number. You can correspond on Facebook messenger for all your transactions.
Here’s a list of many of the things we sold at mom and dads house. All of this adds up so it’s nice to sell things that have value this way. The rest of the miscellaneous things that were left, we had a big moving sale one day and then a free day as I mentioned in that post above. Cleaning out a house occupied for 50 years is no small feat!
These are examples of things we sold at mom and dad’s house. We even sold their 2008 Nissan Altima. I listed it for $9K, dropped the price to $8700 and then finally sold it after a week or so to a young man in the military for $8K. We looked up prices on cars to make sure we were on target. The car only had 40K miles and was in great shape so it went for more than most. I held out and didn’t lower the price too much and we were happy with the final sales price. I went higher knowing that I could lower the price.
I also sold my 2006 Toyota Solara last year on Facebook Marketplace. It had about 150K miles on it. I ended up selling it for $3k, which I was happy with. It was still in good shape and the lady that bought it was very happy.
The piano finally went for $150 after being listed for a few weeks. I was glad to get that moved and she hired a moving company to come and get it.
This mid-century bedroom set probably could have gone for more. It was the bed, dresser and chest of drawers and all in good shape. Mom and dad had this set of furniture for as long as I can remember. Lots of people wanted it!
I could have sold this propane cooker many times over and probably for more $. There were a lot of inquiries on it.
Dad’s older Troybilt tiller took awhile to sell, but it finally sold for $400. It was probably worth more, but at the time we couldn’t get it started, but I knew it would start and it was a good deal at $400. It had been used last spring in the garden and if we had waited til spring could probably have gotten more.
Even things like this scrap metal that you might not think is worth anything sold fast. I had a lot of people interested in both of these rolls of metal. I could have sold them several times, but it was great to get them out of there and not have to haul them off.
This is a good example of things we sold at their house. I’ve also sold a lot myself on Facebook Marketplace.
It took me awhile to sell this china cabinet from my old house. I just didn’t have room for it, so I posted it. I thought it would go right away but it took awhile. I think I ended up selling it for $50 since I had to get my house cleaned out. These vintage wood pieces don’t bring that much anymore.
This Ikea expedit piece was very popular and I could have sold it several times too.
I didn’t have any problem selling my old antique mirror. I listed that it was from a Chattanooga bar and someone who was from there bought it. I sold it for the same price I paid for it 25+ years ago. Some things hold value and some do not.
I paid $75 for this vintage pie crust table at a yardsale years ago, but I couldn’t sell it for that. Someone got a good deal on it.
This was a piece I picked up from Homegoods. It was a cute piece, but I just didn’t have room to use it anywhere. I think I didn’t pay much more for this new.
As you can see, I marked things down as they didn’t sell but I finally sold them all. You can relist things several times and it will bump them back up in the listings to be seen again. Facebook will even alert you when it’s time to relist.
I thought this Target trestle desk would sell fast, but I had to mark it down a couple of times for it to go.
This is a console table I bought at Homegoods for about $150. I listed it for $75 and got a flurry of messages. I had mentioned what I paid for it new and someone messaged me and said she would pay $150, so of course I jumped on that and got my money back on it. It was in perfect condition and she was thrilled to get it.
This king sleigh bed from Haverty’s was in my guest room when I got the new Tommy Bahama bed so I sold it on Facebook and got $150 for it.
This bookcase that was in my office, I found it at a yardsale years ago and I think I paid $25 or $50 for it, so I got my money back on it. I had several people interested in it, but they kept dropping out one by one, but someone finally came through and picked it up.
As you can see, I’ve sold way more than I’ve bought and that’s because I have so much stuff, I don’t have room for more. I did spot that rattan armoire on there one day and I jumped on it even though I didn’t really know where it was going to go. It ended up in my newly redone office/guest room and I love it. I paid full price and didn’t try to negotiate. I sent him payment by Venmo or Paypal so that he would hold it for me. That’s what you have to do if you really want something on there.
Buying on Facebook Marketplace
If you really want something, offer to go ahead and pay (Venmo & Paypal are good options) and that will secure your purchase, then figure out a time to pick it up. I had to hire movers to get this piece home and I was going to have it moved right upstairs, but as I mentioned it wouldn’t go through the door so it stayed in the basement until I got to that room project. Mark had to take off the crown molding and then I paid the son-in-law and his brother to come over and move it for us. Money well spent! It’s now in place and will have to stay there for as long as we live here.
You can certainly get some great deals on Facebook Marketplace if you’re looking for furniture. It’s a great place to browse for those things on your wish list that you can wait for. You never know what will pop up.
There’s a gal on Instagram who has gotten some beautiful things on Facebook Marketplace and she’s shared her tips on her blog, A Glass of Bovino. She has the same taste in furniture that I do and I love so many of the things she’s found:
She’s a real expert on buying, but basically it’s just a matter of stalking Facebook Marketplace and watching what comes up everyday. You can definitely score some deals and as you know, older vintage furniture is way better made than the current furniture out there unless you buy upscale brands. I bought most of my vintage pieces way before Facebook was a thing, by scouring antique stores and yardsales and thriftstores, but if I was looking now I would certainly stalk Facebook for good things. Putting in key words and name brands will bring up the better items when you’re looking and if you’re patient you can definitely score.
Those are my tips for selling and buying on Facebook Marketplace. Let me know if you’ve used it before and how it’s worked for you. It’s a great tool to use and a great way to unload things you don’t need anymore or to find one of a kind vintage items for a much better price than new would be. You know I love the vintage things so much and still cherish my finds that I’ve had for many years!
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