Written by Tina Bousu, Orginal Article Published @Eclectictwist.com
The thrift store game in our area has been pretty weaksauce this last year and all of my good finds have been on Facebook marketplace. I actively both buy and sell on there so I thought it would be fun to share my tips to success! First up I’ll share the things I do as a seller and some tips to navigate the shit “buyers”.
1. Price it reasonably.
I always price compare like items to what I’m looking to list. What are others in the area selling it for? What’s their items condition vs mine? Rule of thumb for me is at least 50% less than retail, if it’s a newer item in perfect condition, and less if it’s not in perfect condition or comparables are lower. You want to be competitive or it won’t sell. Vintage is a bit trickier but same applies, look for comparable items and what they are selling for.
2. Take great photos for your Facebook Marketplace Listing
The better the photos of your item are the more likely it will sell. Folks want to see it clearly, get an accurate color representation, any damage (if any) should be clearly depicted in the photos. Also consider multiple angles of the item showing sides and back. The more they know upfront the more likely they will buy when they come to check it out.
3. Be honest in your Facebook Marketplace listing info section.
If there’s a tear, mention it. If there’s a watermark, mention it. Include anything related to condition from “in perfect condition” meaning like brand new to “has a small paperclip size tear on the right bottom corner.” And make sure to include measurements, again the more they know up front the better.
4. Always be sure to include search tags.
At the bottom of every listing form there is a tag box. Here you want to put anything in that someone might type in the search box to find your listing. If it’s a dining table I would put “dining” “table” “wood” etc. Include vintage if it’s vintage, any other aspects of your item. This really helps to get it seen by folks looking for something like it and ups your chances of selling and selling quickly.
5. If you have a pickup, it’s a larger item and you don’t mind doing it, offer up local delivery as an option.
I have sold many furniture pieces that buyers wanted but didn’t have a way to transport. We have a pickup and my hubs and son are so used to hauling furniture for me anyway, they don’t mind delivering things to folks in our local area. This helps to sell things quicker as they don’t have to figure out the transportation part and it comes right to their door.
6. Respond to interested parties quickly.
If folks are sending you a message inquiring don’t make them wait for a response. I find buyers are much more likely to move on to something else if they have to wait for more information.
7. Approach negotiations in good faith.
Decide what your bottom dollar is on an item and be a little flexible. I usually will price my items a smidge higher than I know my bottom dollar is so I can go 15% less or more. I always expect someone to make an offer (it happens 95% of the time) so I’m happy to negotiate unless they are super rude.
8. Don’t be afraid to say no to a Facebook Marketplace buyer.
This chair is the perfect example of #7. I listed it on Saturday with the title “Vintage Pink Scalloped Asymmetrical Shell Back Chair” and 2 good photos. The listing information included measurements, wear condition and noted the unusual circular shape.
I began receiving messages right away. One was super interested, I dm’d her 2 more close up shots and she ended up Venmo’ing me half with the rest paid the next morning at pickup. I marked it “Pending” immediately.
It exploded. I received another 23 messages after this (with 868 listing views )through to the next morning when the buyer was supposed to pick it up. She arrived 2 1/2 hours late along with her parents.
The buyer herself wasn’t too bad, she was relatively polite asked some questions to which I answered honestly. The mother though got out of the car and said “I wouldn’t even pay half for that”. It got worse from there where she insinuated I hadn’t been honest in the listing and the images were somehow false. Of course I corrected her.
She proceeded on to things like “You (daughter) you have plenty of money you don’t need to buy other people’s used furniture.” You get the idea, this lady was so beyond rude, expected me to sell it for less than half of the agreed amount and continued to insult me during the 15 minutes (that felt like an hour) she was here. She implied I should sell it for significantly less because they came so far (45 min) and it wasn’t in new condition. (I never said it was new or in new condition) Then she finished off with more of the rude comments regarding vintage being junk while she hopped in her car to wait.
Long story short, I had 23 other people wanting this piece and I wasn’t about to be bullied or insulted into selling it to them. I said no, happily refunded the deposit and sold it for full price WITH pickup less than 20 minutes later to a gal that literally jumped out of the vehicle from excitement.
Even if I didn’t have that list of 23 people I still would have said no. As a seller you have control over what price you sell for and who buys your item. If they are rude, aggressive, confrontational and entitled say no. There will be another buyer.
9. Facebook Marketplace Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated.
For some reason there seems to be a good amount of folks out there who apparently never learned this. My approach is always be polite, be friendly, be negotiable, be honest. If you do that most will be receptive and respond in kind. But if they don’t or are rude right out of the gate, see #7.
Also if you have multiple people interested in an item and you set up an appt for one to come by don’t sell it out from under them to someone else. Just let the others know you have someone coming but if they no show or pass you will get back to them right away. This gives you backups just in case and gives the first person the opportunity, I always look at it as if I’m the first buyer.
10. Be realistic and understand some items take time.
Even if you do everything right some items take awhile to sell. You just need the right person looking at the right time who is THE buyer for your item. Renew your listings regularly, consider dropping the price after a week or 2, freshen up the photos, change the listing title, adjust your tags, etc, These are all things you can try over time if you don’t sell. I’ve learned that everything sells eventually!
Those are my top 10 Useful Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace and for the most part I have had positive experiences. There will always be some rude folks, no shows and low ballers so just be prepared for that. If you go in expecting it you are able to quickly respond (or not) and it won’t bother you like it would if you weren’t prepared.
Do you sell on FB marketplace? Do you have any tips or tricks for listing your items or how to handle interested parties? I always love to hear from you so hit me up below!