Selling on Facebook Marketplace Graphic

Selling on Facebook Marketplace

By Erin Huffstetler | 08/01/2018 | 7 Comments

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Last month, our friends asked us for help selling their Kubota RTV. I’d been hearing good things about Facebook Marketplace, so I decided to try listing it there.

If you aren’t familiar with Facebook Marketplace, it’s completely different than the Facebook Groups that a lot of people use to sell stuff. With Facebook Groups, you have to go through the hassle of finding local buying/selling groups in your area and the further hassle of asking to join. With Facebook Marketplace, you just put a free classified listing together, and send it live. Easy!

How Selling on Facebook Marketplace Works

Facebook Menu Bar

To create a listing on Facebook Marketplace, just click on the little Marketplace icon in the Facebook app or on the left-hand side of the web page. It kind of looks like a little lemonade stand or shop.

Facebook Sell Something Button

Then, click on the “Sell Something” button.

It’ll ask you to choose whether you want to sell an item, a vehicle or list a home for rent. Once you’ve selected the appropriate option, just fill in all the required fields.

How to List an Item on Facebook Marketplace

It’s pretty much the stuff you’d expect – title, description, price and location (It just needs your city, not your street address). Then, upload photos of the item you’re selling (you can add up to 10), and hit “post.” Facebook Marketplace is completely free to use, so you won’t have to pay any sort of listing or selling fee. Pretty sweet!

Pro Tip: Take pictures of the item from several angles, so buyers can accurately access condition. Don’t use the manufacturer’s promotional photos. Buyers won’t like it, and it’s copyright infringement.

As soon as the Facebook powers that be check your listing for spam or inappropriate content, they’ll send it live.

It’ll be viewable to anyone within 100 miles of you, and will only show the information that you’ve chosen to make public in your Facebook profile. People will NOT be able to see your address or phone number, unless you’ve put those things in your profile (don’t do that).

If someone is interested in your listing, they can message you through Facebook to ask questions or make you an offer.

Where to View Items You're Selling on Facebook

Just click on “selling” to see how many people have viewed your listing(s), or to read any messages you’ve received from potential buyers. All communications will remain on Facebook, unless you choose to take the conversation elsewhere.

Why Facebook Marketplace is Better Than Craigslist

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are similar in that they both offer free online classifieds. However, I like Facebook Marketplace better for a couple reasons. First, since all the communications stay on Facebook, you don’t have to deal with a bunch of spammy e-mails in your inbox. And second: since buyers have to be Facebook members to message you, you can look at their profiles to get an idea of whom you’re dealing with (and whether you might have friends in common). This helps to weed out the scammers and weirdos.

My Experience Selling on Facebook Marketplace

I had our friends send me some pictures and information about their RTV, and used that to create a classified listing. Here’s what I posted (minus a few personal details).

Sample Facebook Marketplace Listing

Several people wanted to know if it was two or four-wheel drive, and whether it was gas or diesel-powered. Next time, I would include those details in the description to cut down on the number of questions I had to answer. You can edit your listing at any time, so I probably should have gone back and added those things.

All told, the listing received 178 views, and 12 people reached out to ask questions or make an offer. After 14 days of having the RTV listed, it sold for almost the full asking price. Interestingly, the first person that messaged me is the one who bought it.

Having listed things on Craigslist in the past, my husband and I were super impressed with how different Facebook Marketplace was. I only received messages from interested parties, and no one tried to scam me. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people say they were “definitely coming” to buy something on Craigslist only to pull a no show. We didn’t experience any of that on Facebook Marketplace.

Since you can also list yard sales on Facebook Marketplace, it’s safe to say we’re done with trying to sell things on Craigslist.

How to Stay Safe Selling on Facebook Marketplace (and Avoid Getting Scammed)

  • Check your Facebook profile to see what information is public. Make any necessary adjustments to your privacy settings, before you list your item.
  • Only accept cash for your items. This will help you to stay clear of any check, money order, gift card and PayPal scams. It also doesn’t hurt to get one of those markers that checks for fake bills.
  • Think twice about shipping items to buyers. A popular online scam is to cancel payment, after the item is already in transit.
  • Always check out a potential buyer’s profile before you accept a deal. This can help you determine if they really are local, and even if you have mutual friends.
  • Meet in a public place. We like to meet at our local police station, and always call to let dispatch know we’re coming. Be sure to bring someone with you, and to arrange your meet up during daylight hours.
  • Don’t give out any personal information that isn’t necessary. Buyers don’t need to know where you live, who you live with or anything else about you.

Have You Bought or Sold Anything on Facebook Marketplace?

I’d love to hear about your experience, plus how you think Marketplace compares to other online selling options.

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  1. i used to sell on ebay for a few years and made good money from it,,now the fees are so high that you cant make a profit if your just a regular person buying n selling,,you have to be a business or have plenty of merchandise,,since i started selling on marketplace,,ive seen a great increase in my sales and return customers,,so now i do the online auctions and have a good bit of clientele that i buy for,,so now everything is just about sold before i make a bid,,i would recommend selling on fb marketplace to everyone trying to sell for a living or just for extra money,,nomatter what you are selling it usually will sell,,ive found out the things that dont sell,,just keep notes,,

  2. Hello. I am new to Marketplace and ran into something I didn’t expect. I listed and item for sale and a potential buyer sent me a message on Messenger interested in buying the item. He then created a group with the listing header using a photo from my listing. Why did he do this and should I be concerned?

    • Good question. Facebook automatically creates a group and uses the picture from your listing when someone sends you a message about an item you’re selling. I think it’s really confusing and weird. Hopefully Facebook will change this practice or the wording around it.

  3. Curious if your thoughts on this are different during the pandemic? Would you still follow the same rules or I see a lot of “contactless payments” (would you use a specific method?) and porch pick ups (I would probably first try our neighborhood group, but not sure) or just get everything in order and do a garage sale when herd immunity has been established? Thank you.

    • Funny you should ask … This week I listed 52 clothing lots on Facebook Marketplace. It’s all stuff that I had set aside for the next kids’ consignment sale, but since we’ve now missed two sales due to COVID and won’t be able to have a yard sale for the forseeable future, I decided it was time to find another way to move this stuff out of our house. I’ve been listing everything as contactless porch pick-up only. I stick things out on the porch in a bag with the buyer’s name on it, and there’s a metal box for them to leave the money. I collect the money with gloved hands, and plan to let it quarantine for a week or longer before I touch it with bare hands. So far this is working well.

      Oh, I should also mention that my girls created Instagram closet accounts during quarantine. They’ve basically sold enough stuff to give them the money that they need to support their closet account habit 🙂 Since we can’t thrift store or yard sale right now, this satisfies that itch for them.

      • Yes, my house is bursting too;) Have you had any problems with people NOT paying you what with just using a cash box? Also, when dealing with garage sales, you have the luxury of putting items out for a dime etc, but I don’t anticipate this would be productive, what is the smallest denomination you would try to sell an item using this platform? My son also buys and sells clothing online, so cool;) As usual, thank you so much for your valuable advice.

        • I haven’t had any problems with people not paying, but there are plenty of people who fail to follow through. They’ll say they’re coming for something, then never show. I started with stuff that I had in my consignment sale pile, and have mostly been grouping things into lots to make it worthwhile for someone to pick up/minimize the work of listing. I’m keeping a running total of what I’ve sold. If I glean anything interesting from this experiment, I’ll update this post.

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