Buying & Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Tips for Buying on FBM

  • Set a search radius that you’re willing to travel to buy items. Nothing is worse than finding something great out of your geographical reach. Once that’s set, make sure you’re looking under “Local.”
  • In the Marketplace page, you can search for specific key words or general categories, like Home & Kitchen or Women’s Clothing. If you just want to browse, I recommend looking for the “Newly Listed” category. Use the FB algorithm to your advantage – click on things similar to what you’re interested in and it’ll show you more like it 😉
  • Read descriptions thoroughly and confirm the pick up location of anything you’re seriously interested in. Once in a while, people will be sneaky and list things in a more popular/central location, then tell you to pick up somewhere completely different.
  • Personalize you messages and ask questions upfront. I try to at least personalize the default message by adding the seller’s name and either adding a question I have about the item or mentioning a few options of when I’m available to come pick it up. That shows them you’re a more promising customer.
  • Negotiating is fine, unless they’ve said “price is firm” or something similar in the description. You catch more flies with honey, so my approach is to be polite and not seem forceful. “I was wondering if you’d be willing to be a bit flexible on the price. Would you take $X?”
  • Confirm what payment type they’ll accept.
  • If you’ve agreed to make a purchase, communicate frequently about when you’ll pick up. “I’ll be there Thursday around 7 pm, but I’ll let you know when I’m about 10 minutes away.”
  • Rate your sellers!

Tips for Selling on FBM

  • List items separately, unless they’re specifically related. People are less likely to scroll through a post called “Stuff for Sale” that contains multiple items in one post. They’re more likely to be drawn in by a specific photo.
  • Make the listing title descriptive, yet concise. You don’t need to include the word “selling,” we all know what you’re doing. For example, “White 8-Drawer Wayfair Dresser.” If something is brand new, make sure to say that!
  • Take multiple clear photos of your item and point out any damage. People are usually open as long as you’re upfront and honest about the condition of the item. They are buying secondhand, after all. You’re also less likely to get a lower rating from a buyer if they know what they’re getting into.
  • Add a useful item description. Include sizes, dimensions, colors, whatever is relevant. Include your general location (in [X town/city] near [Y landmark]) and your accepted forms of payment (cash, venmo, etc.).
  • If you’re open to price negotiations, mention that in the description. I usually say “Open to reasonable offers.”
  • If FBM asks you to add tags, add as many as you can think of. If you were selling a toaster oven, you might tag “toaster oven,” “toaster,” “oven,” “[Brand Name],” “appliance,” “kitchen,” you get the idea…
  • People will be annoying and ask if your item is available and never respond after you say “yes it is,” or make a plan to pick it up and then not show. 85% of the people I’ve interacted with through FBM are reasonable, regular people trying to buy cheap or make a buck, but there are inconsiderate people out there. Be patient and keep going!
  • Rate your buyers!

FBM Glossary

  • EUC = Excellent Used Condition
  • ISO = In Search Of
  • NIB = New In Box
  • NWOT = New Without Tags
  • NWT = New With Tags
  • OBO = Or Best Offer
  • PPU = Porch Pick Up or Pending Pick Up