Weekend garage sales have moved online with the advent of the internet. Instead of spending an entire day hawking your used goods in front of your house, you can sell used items when it’s convenient for you on websites like Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace lets you buy and sell items in your local area. It’s a free service that just requires a Facebook account to use.
How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook makes it very convenient to sell an item through its Marketplace. You can sell most any good on the platform, from kitchenware to shoes to cars to houses. The only requirement is that you are 18 or older to use the Marketplace feature.
To sell something, take a current photo of the item you want to sell. Make sure to take a photo of how it looks today, not use a picture of how it looked when you first got it. You want to be as transparent as possible when selling on the Facebook marketplace.
The picture is posted with a description of the item for sale. Your description should be as accurate and detailed as possible. It should include any measurements, imperfections and what type of condition the item is in. If something is broken or not working properly, be sure to include that in your description.
You will also need to price the item for sale. If you don’t know how much to sell your item for, you can search similar items and get an idea of what they are selling for. Choose a price that you think people will pay. They are unlikely to pay the full retail price. Think of pricing the item as you would at a garage sale, or that you think you’d pay for the item if purchasing it used.
Once you have all of this information complete, you can post your item on Facebook Marketplace and wait for someone to show interest. People who want to purchase your item will signify so in the comments of your item. You can arrange for the sale and pick up through Facebook, or exchange phone numbers if you feel comfortable doing so.
You can list as many items as you have for sale, but it’s generally good to only post a few at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed managing them all. Once your item is sold, you must mark it as such in the Marketplace so that others know it is no longer available. You can also delete the posting so it no longer shows up on Facebook.
If you do not know the person who is buying your item, you may want to arrange for a neutral location to make the exchange. That way, you don’t have to disclose your home address and will be in a public location when making the sale. Some local police departments allow you to do this at their stations for safety reasons.
Why Sell on Facebook Marketplace?
The convenience of selling items on Facebook Marketplace makes it a desirable venue for many looking to purge their goods. Most people already have Facebook accounts, so there is no need to download another app or set up a new account to sell something. With a smartphone, you can take a picture of your item and upload it along with the description in just a few minutes.
By doing so, you can reach thousands of people in your local area who are looking for items to buy. Facebook Marketplace uses your geographic location to determine in which marketplace to post your item. It posts to people in a range of your location, and it can reach thousands of people in your area.
By selling through Facebook Marketplace, you can communicate with interested buyers directly through Facebook Messenger. If they have the feature set up, buyers can even pay you through Messenger using a debit card or PayPal.
When you post your item in the Marketplace, you also have the option of automatically posting it in any other sale groups you belong to on Facebook. This allows you to reach an even broader audience.
Alternatives to Facebook Marketplace
Of course, Facebook Marketplace isn’t the only way to sell items online. You can use platforms like Craigslist and Nextdoor to post items locally. Posting on those requires you to have accounts, but you also reach a broad local audience.
There are also many apps that act as online marketplaces. These include VarageSale and OfferUp. Both allow you to quickly and easily upload items for sale from your phone and message interested buyers through the app.
And, as always, there are garage sales. Set aside one weekend to clear out your garage, declutter your house and hang out on your lawn while selling used items to your neighbors and others in your local community. You won’t reach as many people, but you may meet some new neighbors.
Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.