The Big Declutter - Selling on Facebook Marketplace
Selling your unwanted stuff via Amazon or eBay, does mean that you have the hassle of shipping your items. If you want to sell locally to avoid the time and cost of shipping, then Facebook Marketplace may be a great option for you.
Love or hate Facebook, if you want to sell some stuff then Facebook Marketplace does get you access to a large group of potential buyers. Just consider these statistics:
Worldwide there are 2.2 billion monthly active users on Facebook, an 11% increase from 2017.
On average, people log on to Facebook 8 times per day, compared to Instagram 6, Twitter 5 and Facebook Messenger 3 times.
That’s a lot of people active on Facebook and, more importantly, on Facebook Marketplace. Now let’s take a look at whether selling on Facebook Marketplace is worthwhile.
If you already have a Facebook account, then all you need to do is click on the Marketplace link on your Home page to start selling.
Listing an item for sale
Listing an item is very easy, just follow these simple steps:
Click on the Sell Something button
When asked “What are you selling?”, choose Item for Sale
Then complete the following details:
Select a category for your item from the Category drop-down
Add a brief but informative description of your item in the “What are your selling?” field.
Add your price
The location should already be added (from your profile) but you can change this if you want.
Add a good description of item. This is optional, but the more details you have about the item and its condition, the more you increase your chances of selling.
Upload your photos. Make sure that the first picture is your best one as this is the main photo that potential buyers will see as they browse the Marketplace.
Click the “Next” button and then select your audience. For me, the only choice I get is “Marketplace”.
Lastly, click the Post button and your listing should be live.
Ease of Communication
All communication is through Facebook Messenger so is very simple and private – you don’t need to share your email or phone number. The potential buyer starts a Messenger chat where you can discuss the item’s availability, negotiate a price or set-up how and where you’ll make the sale.
The biggest problem I have found is the number of people who contact to ask if the item is still available and then, after I confirm, never follow up. As mentioned in my selling tips post, I have found that responding to their question with another question (e.g. “Is it available. Would you like to buy it?”), did increase my response rate a little!
It takes me about 15 minutes to list an item on Facebook Marketplace, but this includes taking some photos and deciding what to write for the item’s description.
If I already have the photo and description (usually because I’ve listed the item on multiple sites), then creating the Facebook Marketplace listing itself takes less than 5 minutes.
Number of Items Posted/Sold
Since August 31, 2018, we’ve sold about 53% of the items listed:
Number of items listed = 47
Number of items sold = 25
Nothing! There are no fees and, because you are selling locally, there are no shipping costs.
You need to take care of this yourself when you meet with the buyer.
Here are a few tips:
Meet in a safe, public location like a coffee shop where there are other people present. I have arranged to meet many buyers in a busy parking lot of a local grocery store, during daylight hours.
If your arranged meeting is not on the same day, send a quick reminder on the actual day to make sure they are still coming.
Before you go, make sure you tell friends or family who you are meeting, where and when. Even better, don’t go alone, bring a friend or family member.
Also, bring a cell phone with you. This is also useful if the buyer is running late as you can message them.
If you are selling something for a lot of money, instead of cash think about using a person-to-person payment method, such as PayPal. Don’t accept checks!
If you are accepting cash, then bring change. I was selling one item for $30 and the buyer showed up with $27 in small notes and a $100 note. Luckily, I had change for the $100 on me as I had just sold something else earlier in the afternoon!
Lastly, get payment before handing over your item.
Anything else I should know?
If your item does not sell after 7 days, you can renew your listing. Just go to the item you want to renew and click the “Renew Post” button.
According to Facebook, you can renew your listing every week with a maximum of 5 times per item.
Also, when selling via Facebook Marketplace you can check up on your potential buyer as they have to have a Facebook profile. While you should still be cautious, especially when meeting them to make the sales, this feature does make it better than Craigslist, where you know nothing about the seller until you meet.
Personally, I have found Facebook Marketplace a great way to sell stuff. This is particularly true for bigger items like the chair and desk that I sold - selling locally meant that I didn’t have to worry about cost or hassle of shipping them.
Another positive is the lack of fees. The buyer agrees to pay $X so you’ll walk away with $X. You don’t have to pay fees, as you do with Amazon or eBay, or shipping.
There are a couple of potential issues with selling via Facebook Marketplace. The first is the issue of arranging to meet the buyer. Finding a convenient time and place can be time-consuming and frustrating, plus there could be an issue if the buyer is a no-show. I know that a number of people who have used Facebook Marketplace have complained about buyers not showing up, but that only happened once to me. After I contacted the buyer she did apologize, and we met the next day to complete the purchase.
Despite these downsides, I would say that, from my experience, Facebook Marketplace deserves a 5-pig grading. It’s easy to list your items, there are plenty of potential buyers out there and communication with them is simple, plus you don’t have to pay any fees. If you have stuff to sell, I would definitely recommend trying Facebook Marketplace.
If you’ve used Facebook Marketplace, what are your thoughts?