An Expert’s Guide to Facebook Marketplace

Sep 26, 2023 / Laura Bolt

In the world of selling and reselling, Facebook Marketplace has become a valuable tool for both buyers and sellers.

If you’re unfamiliar, Facebook Marketplace is a location-based service that utilizes your Facebook profile to find and list available items.

Think of it as a virtual garage sale, where there are no fees and communication is conducted via Facebook Messenger. You can pick up locally, or offer shipping. It’s that easy!

As the owner of interior design studio Billie Bloom, Tatiana von Slomski has become an expert user of Facebook Marketplace to score steals for her clients (and herself). She loves Facebook Marketplace.

“You can literally sell anything!”; she says. “From a car to a couch, it’s an easy and relatively safe way to make money, and a sustainable way to change your style in your home or office without major regret.”;

Whether you’re looking to make a little extra cash after a decluttering session or hoping to find that treasured piece you’ve been wishing for, read on for von Slomski’s guide to mastering the art of Facebook Marketplace.

Selling on Facebook Marketplace

If you find yourself with stuff that needs to go, selling on Facebook Marketplace can be a great tool to unload your extra items, and make some cash while you’re at it.

First off, selecting the Marketplace icon on your phone or desktop. Select the “Sell”; tab and create a listing. The art of the description can make or break your success on the platform. This applies to both words you use and the images you take.

To help boost your item, use accurate and compelling keywords (including brand names if possible) in both your title and description.

Detail and accuracy are also important. List height, width, length and diameter—and throw in a note about why you’re selling the item in the first place.

Take multiple photos so potential buyers can see all the angles, and be sure to document any marks or flaws on the item.

Von Slomski recommends taking photos in natural light, which may mean taking the item outdoors.

“Use what you’ve got to stage the item,” she advises. “Keep it simple—but books, a candle or flowers nearby can paint a picture of the item’s potential.”

When it comes to staging, von Slomski notes that, “if you make anything look like it’s well loved and well put together, you can probably sell anything!”

As for the tricky business of pricing, von Slomski says to ask yourself these questions to nail down an accurate number:

  • How much did I pay for it (if purchased new/retail)?
  • Is this in good condition, any major flaws?
  • How much do I think this is worth?
  • How much are similar items going for?
  • Is the item vintage or antique? Check Chairish for research and comparison.

If it isn’t selling, it can be worthwhile to wait a bit and repost the item before dropping the price.

When you get an offer, good communication can make all the difference to ensure both parties have a successful transaction. Be straightforward and clear about other offers, and respond quickly to a buyer’s questions.

With positive interactions and accurate descriptions, you can cultivate a 5-star rating, which von Slomski says can encourage people to spend more money on your items since they’ll have the comfort of knowing they’re going to get an easy experience.

Buying on Facebook Marketplace

Buying on Facebook Marketplace requires some minor adjustments to your settings. To start browsing, make sure you set your buying radius within an area that you’re willing and able to pick up in, so that “you don’t find something you love, only to realize it’s 100 miles away.”

When you find something that catches your eye, be enthusiastic about reaching out to sellers!

Von Slomski recommends “skipping the pleasantries and getting right to business to show you’re serious. Give the seller date and time options for picking up and paying for the item to signal that you’re ready to make the transaction.”

When it comes to negotiating, von Slomski says to “be assertive—know your limit and stick to it.” Asking “what’s the best you can do?”; is a quick way to get on the same page with the seller without wasting too much time.

To demonstrate you’re serious about the purchase—especially if you may need to arrange a pick up or the item has other people interested—von Slomski says try offering to put a small amount for down payment on Venmo.

“Show the seller you respect their time, because the buyer is more willing to purchase after investing a little.”

Then the seller can mark the item as “pending,” so someone else doesn’t snatch it up.

As another pro tip, von Slomski recommends that you save items that you’re interested in, even if you’re not sure you want to pull the trigger. By spend 5 to 15 minutes a day scrolling through the listings and liking items, she notes “you’ll get out of it what you put into it.”

The more you save and like, the more the algorithm will work to suggest similar items to you, increasing your chances of getting exactly what you want. After all, the more you love an item, the more likely you are to make sure you have a place for it in the future.

Buying and Selling Safely on Facebook Marketplace

Remember, whether you’re buying or selling, safety always comes first. Have a friend or partner with you for the in-person transaction. Tell someone you know where you’re meeting if no one is accompanying you. Or better yet, von Slomski recommends having a friend on FaceTime during the meeting.

When she sells online, she never gives her address until there has been a confirmed date and time for the transaction. If possible, you can also suggest meeting at a neutral location.

With a little savvy and cooperation, Facebook Marketplace can be a great tool to give once-loved items a new home. With the tips above, you’re sure to be a Facebook Marketplace success story. Happy shopping!

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