Hi all! Today, I am sharing the tips we’ve learned on how to sell quickly on Facebook Marketplace.
First, the back story: When we started preparing for the nursery, we had to move our office furniture out of that room, our smallest room, and into our guest bedroom. Well we immediately noticed, our office furniture wasn’t going to work with the layout. So in a matter of hours, we ended up deciding on the spot to get rid of our desks and purchase new desks that would work better with the room layout.
I remembered I had added some pictures on Pinterest of a desk layout I liked and we immediately ordered some desks on Ikea and headed out… we’re spontaneous like that sometimes. I mean Ikea is only an hour away… LOL.
Even though we ended up arranging our layout differently, we’re so happy with our new desks and filing cabinets! That being said, we ended up selling a couple of pieces of furniture quickly and it reminded me that over the years, we’ve successfully sold many things on Facebook Marketplace so wanted to share what we’ve learned:
How to Sell Quickly on Facebook Marketplace
First with the basics:
1) Pictures matter: In Facebook Marketplace, you have seconds to get people’s attention with your pictures. For the main picture, make sure it’s the best picture of the item, usually from a straight on perspective or a bit of an angle. While the pictures don’t have to be perfect, you want the buyers to get a good idea of how the item looks from the front, side, back, etc and without a lot of clutter on top or in the background.
2) Keep the title and description simple: Something like “White Desk” for the title is actually fine for most items, especially items from Ikea, Target, etc. If your item is from a well known brand, add it to your description, like West Elm candle, Anthropologie curtains, etc. These brands tend to be highly desired, so adding the brand name will make them more desirable and people will feel like they’re getting a nice item for less. For unique or antique pieces, making sure to add some more descriptive words is helpful like vintage or beautiful.
3) Link to the original site: If you can, link to the original site where you bought it. In our case, most of the items we sold were from Ikea, so it was easy to do that. That way they can check out the measurements and other pictures.
4) Add measurements: Add the height, width and depth to the post if you don’t have the link. You’ll save yourself a lot of back and forth questions by just adding them up front.
Now for the more advance strategies:
4) Be smart with pricing: Value is in the eye of the beholder. When pricing an item, there’s a sweet spot where people will feel like it’s a “fair price”. A good strategy is to look for similar items in Marketplace and price higher or lower according to your quality. You can also look on E-Bay or Craigslist to compare prices. But a general rule, if items are 3-4 years old, discount about 30-40% of what you paid, or more depending on the condition. If you bought the item used, discount heavily unless the condition is really good. Of course, if it’s vintage, this rule doesn’t apply.
- That being said, I have actually sold several used items for the same amount or close of what I bought it for. For example, I once bought an Ikea dining set on Craigslist for $50 and successfully resold it for $50 several years later since the condition remained very good. But at the same time, if the condition is not great, consider discounting greatly or even giving it away for Free. We decided to list an Ikea sleeper sectional that we had in our guest bedroom for free even though we initially paid $300 for it second hand. It wasn’t looking great and it was a large item that someone had to take away in pieces. Giving it away for free was the right strategy for us, we got rid of it in a day and someone came in to carry it out for us. Easy!
5) Negotiate but don’t give it away! Hubby was a bit overzealous when someone was interested in an item, he would offer to sell it cheaper even if they didn’t ask or he would immediately agree to take whatever low ball offer he was given. I would be like, “Wait! Don’t give things away!” Depending on the cost of the item, if the buyer offers $5-$10 less, it’s OK to agree since some negotiation is expected but if they offer $20-30 less, then I would counter and say, I can give it to you for $15 less.. as an example. We posted the Ikea white desk for $65, got several requests for lower prices but ended up selling it for $60 for the right buyer who was motivated.
- On this topic, be weary of individuals who start off with an aggressive negotiation. It can be a red flag or as hubby likes to call them, they can turn out to be “choosing beggars” LOL. I’ve had people message and say, “can I have it for (much less than the price)” and then never answer again or they become really picky with the time they want to pick it up etc. More on “choosing beggars” below.
5) Offer delivery: For pieces that are larger, offer delivery within a 5 or 10 mile radius. Whatever you prefer. You can offer to deliver it for $5 or $10 depending on the distance. Of course, that person would need to come look at the item first, you’re not going to drive all the way to their place without them checking it out first!
6) Respond quickly: When you get ready to post an item to sell, you’ll start getting a lot of responses like rapid fire. It’s good to pick a day where you’re either home or have time to quickly respond. I’ve found that interactions on Facebook Marketplace go really quickly and it seems like people can also “ghost” – I think this is also our new normal of too much stimulation nowadays, everyone is ADD. Anyways, once we would post the items, over the next few hours, we’ve had dozens of responses coming in and it was a lot to manage. One day, we posted and left for a few hours for an anniversary dinner and I was struggling to catch up with responses and coordinating times. So it’s good to be home if you can or post on a day you have more time to respond.
7) Create urgency: You can either add “first come, first serve” or something like, “must get rid of this by tomorrow”. We hadn’t done this for the first few items and quickly learned our lesson. In fact, if someone is “very interested” but wants to come next week, say “sorry, I have others interested and they can come today” – that might make the person more willing to rush over if they really want it.
- Storytime: Once we listed the items, two items quickly sold. We were home all day on those days so it was easy to coordinate. Then for the desk, someone was “very interested” but couldn’t pick it up until the next Saturday – here was our first mistake. Saturday came and that individual was MIA. We were pretty bummed. Then Carlos spent the next several hours talking to a woman who was “definitely going to come.” But on Sunday morning, she was MIA. Later we heard from her, “sorry I was in church.” WHAT? Did you forget you were going to church? This moment was both annoying and amusing for me because Carlos kept calling her a “choosing beggar” LOL. Anyways, long story short, after several individuals ghosted, we learned to be smarter about reading “between the lines” of people’s responses.
8) Read “between the lines” of the responses:
Pay attention to the language people use in responses. We had over 50 responses for some of the items and many were simply, “Is this still available?”. I prioritized the ones that added something like “I can come today or tomorrow,” or that said “I love this” or “I’m really interested!” because it showed more enthusiasm and commitment to actually picking it up. And I stayed away from individuals who were wanting to bring down the price right away as I noticed when I responded to those, they weren’t actually that interested, just wanted a “steal” and might not really be as motivated to come and pick up. Once I had someone committed to picking up, I replied to a few others with “Pending Pick Up”. For those that said, “OK let me know if they don’t pick up”, I kept those in mind. This actually helped create urgency for those that were really interested.
9) Be prepared for pick up: Make it easy for people to pick up the items quickly. It’s up to you whether you would like individuals to come inside or whether you will take it out for them. But if you do invite them in, clear a space so they can easily examine the item they are buying. At least that’s my approach, I want them to feel good about what they’re buying. If it’s a large item, you can ask them in advance if they want us to take it apart for easy transport. But I’ve found that most people want to see the item first whole, and then want to take it apart, which we normally help them with. In fact, Carlos had to take apart the TV stand we sold and play Tetris to fit it in the tiny car of the buyer and then she decided she also wanted to take his desk chair, which also had to be shoved in. They made it work somehow and she replied hours later with a big THANK YOU.
10) Be safe: Normally, we don’t give out the address until someone has agreed to pick up that day. If they will pick up tomorrow, I’ll give them the address tomorrow because they might change their mind and we don’t want them to have our address if they’re not coming. Also, we only give them the street name, not the house number. I let them know to park in visitor parking when they arrive and I go out to greet them. Or if it’s a large item, I give them the house number when they arrive on my street so they can park out front.
It is satisfying to get rid of items we no longer need. Not only is it cash back in our pocket but the items get a new home!