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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.