I share a lot about my finds on Facebook Marketplace. If you follow me on Instagram, than you probably know some of the pieces in my house that I have scored on the Social Market. It’s been one of the best tools that has helped us furnish and decorate our new home. A lot of people are still not aware of the power of this amazing tool that I think is one of the best ideas Facebook has had! I love a good bargain, unique finds, and the hunt! You may or may not appreciate that shopping experience, but I’ll share ways to make it easier for you. I’ve had numerous people over this past year ask me how to use FB marketplace and/or join Facebook just to be able to use it from seeing what I have scored.
This post is not sponsored, but I did have the privileged this past summer to meet the team that runs Facebook Marketplace at their location in NYC. Wow, what an experience to tour the Facebook office and be able to share with reporters from all kinds of publications my experience using it. Now…to share with the rest of you my tips and what the market can really bring in amazing finds to your home and more!
Let’s start on Facebook, I know some people do not know how to find the Marketplace once they are logged into their account. If you scroll to your side board on the left hand side you will see the MP it has a little house symbol next to it. Click that and it will take you to your local Marketplace. This will list items in your area and you can update how far of a distance you want your reach. Depending how far you want to travel for your items you find. -I sell on Marketplace too and I’ve had people travel as far as 5 hours to pick up a piece.
You can click Home and Garden if you are looking specifically for items in the home. Of course there are so many other items you can buy like how we found our Shed on Marketplace last spring. That was such a good find and we were able to get a “Shed moving company” to pick up the items for us and deliver to our house.We saved ourselves a ton of money on it and then gave it an update of course. Click here to see our shed makeover.
A few items that I found throughout the past year:
- A $25 Cabinet that got a makeover for our office
- Vintage fold up chairs for our craft room ($10 a piece)
- A vintage dish rack for our kitchen ($20)
- A vintage cabinet in our dining room ($35)
- A cute end table for my daughters room ($50)
- Artist drawing for the entryway ($20)
Tips for Shopping Marketplace
#1 I love checking out top picks first, you can check this daily or weekly.
#2 Then check your listings by category- this is where I go to Home and Garden.
#3 If you are like me you love antiques, and I love all kinds of antiques, it’s like scrolling through an online vintage shop- with better price tags!
#4 “SEARCH” for specific items ex. if you are looking for a console table you can search this in a few different ways, “console table” “side table” “table” “vintage table” so re-arrange your words for different options. Not everyone would describe the piece you are searching for the way you do, so be crafty with your search words.
#5 If you are searching for something specific you can expand your search distance.
#6 Don’t be afraid to search for unlikely items such as artwork, tabletop, and any vintage goods. Most people think you should find large items but you can find so much more.
Some of these items got a makeover, so here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to look for when making over a piece.
Tips for shopping items that you plan to restore or re-purpose
#1 Good bones and true vintage items. You don’t want to find something that was made in the last 20 years. Furniture is just not made the same today. Unless the item is from a really good dealer like Ethan Allen then its worth the pick up. Of course there are new items you don’t have to make over like items from Restoration Hardware that I’ve come across too. Just remember it’s still used and you don’t want to pay close to sticker price for it if it’s been used or damaged.
#2 Wood is back in, so finding pieces that may be the wrong finish but with a good sand could feel like a great piece again is definitely something to look for. Sanding isn’t fun…but you could find a true treasure this way. If you are thinking Farmhouse search for something that is white oak or pine would be a good piece to sand down to bare and add some white or dark wax too. Anything Cherry-paint!
#3 Simple details- unless you really appreciate a true French Country feel to your piece. I’ve seen endless furniture makeovers of items that were just too ornate to be painted.
#4 Of course a good smelling piece that appears to not have bugs or mold is important.
Safety on Marketplace
When I extended my question box to my IG followers what types of things they would like to learn, a lot of them said safety. I know in this world it can certainly be hard to trust anyone especially when you have money in your pocket. Keep these few things in mind and it should be helpful…
- Bring a buddy
- Check their profile
- If it’s a larger worth more $$$ item possibly meet in a police station parking lot
- Consider paying them first on MP, they have the option where you can pay ahead of time. I would consider a deposit!
- Paypal rather then bring cash
- Always trust your instincts, there is never 100% guarantee the buyer or seller isn’t dangerous.
Selling on Marketplace
Selling is a whole other strategy…fortunately most of my pieces have sold pretty quickly when I list them. What seems to work for me is a good description, a great photo, and a price that feels fair. Keep in mind that your item is used and should not be equal to what the price tag of something similar in store would go for. Most likely if you are listing it, you are trying to just get rid of an unused or wanted item. If you are a shop owner than a fair retail price will satisfy you both. Nothing makes me more crazy than when I see something listed that is just a little bit less than retail value. If you have had the item and lived with it…it’s not NEW than you should put a price tag that is fair for both seller and buyer and leave it at that. I think selling something quicker for a little less is worth it since you’ll deal with less negotiators and requests.
I would recommend always being fair to those that reach out first too, but don’t hold anything. You could definitely lose a sale this way! Be willing to negotiate a bit or write FIRM on your listing.
Multiple photos is always good too and I have had a bad habit of not doing this…but list the size of your item. This will make for less back and forth with those that are interested.
Some Negatives to FB Marketplace
I will say, I really love Marketplace, but there is a short list of things that I wish could be different. That would be the ads that pop up in between. Sometimes they can throw you off when scrolling ( but I know this all very well as my blog has ads and it’s part of how I make an income from my website) and the fact that you get more “interested” buyers then you would on other sites and aps. I think this has to do with how easy it is to just send a quick comment to someone and inquire about something. It’s not like you have to send them an entire email or text about it. Sometimes that could be a little hard when you are selling something and you get multiple messages before someone finally decides to buy.
Overall Marketplace is one of the best places I see working for retailers, spring cleaning, and a good online thrifty thrill. It truly has made browsing for used items easier than ever and a place I really love to go to, to find items for my home. Keep in mind safety and be willing to negotiate and be fair to your buyer or as a seller. I also love that you could share your listing to groups so if you belong to some local groups such as yard sales or mom’s on a budget this is a great way to promote your products even more. Update your search daily or weekly to keep on top of items that you don’t want to miss out on, and be sure to play around with your search words for when finding an item. I like convenience so for me I like to just check into what’s in my area unless of course I am on the hunt for something specific (still looking for a cheap-ish Mora clock). Oh and don’t forget to SAVE, you can save items that interest you so you can go back. This would be the best way to go if you like something but don’t want to bug the seller right away.
If there are any questions that I could help answer please leave in comments below and I will expand on this post. Consistency helps and having a good eye for a great find and bargain! -I’ve had my fair share of some bad buys too.