How Does Facebook Marketplace Work?

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Whether you have one item or multiple things to sell or wish to buy, Facebook Marketplace is an ideal platform on which to connect with plenty of other buyers and sellers. Small-scale marketers might even use such buy-and-sell sites to grow their businesses. Even a little passive income can go a long way. It really doesn't matter if you're selling a hamster cage, handmade quilts or a house. Listing your used, handcrafted or new goods with this trendy buy-and-sell community can help you reach a local crowd.

So, How Does Facebook Marketplace Work?

If you're not already a Facebook member, you'll need to join in order to use their Marketplace site. As a member, access the buy-and-sell page, using the Marketplace icon found in the sidebar of your Facebook Newsfeed page or from the bottom or top of the mobile app, depending on the device you're using. Then, get familiar with the site by scrolling down the page where you'll see pictures of assorted items currently for sale, their prices and when they were posted. To buy something, click or tap the picture, and then message the seller. Conversations between the seller and potential buyers are not visible to other members.

Ready to sell something? Click the +Sell Something button. In the popup screen, you can post your item for sale, after listing its description, selecting an appropriate category, adding a price and uploading a photo. A handy feature of Facebook Marketplace is the ability to track every item you buy or sell, using the Buying and Selling links.

How to Successfully Sell on Facebook Marketplace

When you scroll through the items listed on Facebook Marketplace or any similar buy-and-sell site, you'll often notice a few low-quality photos that are too dark, upside down or set against a hodgepodge of other items. Poor images are a no-no if you want successful sales. So, take a picture of your product from the best angle using proper lighting to avoid shadows and a clean backdrop or well-staged setting for attractiveness.

If your item is in new or like-new condition or comes from a non-smoking or pet-free home, note that in the description. If it's a "handyman special," be honest. To develop a good name as a regular seller, follow the Facebook Marketplace policies, clean your wares, be polite, be willing to negotiate and, if a buyer would prefer to meet you in a mutually convenient public area rather than come to your home to collect her item, try to be flexible and on time.

Alternatives to Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace competitors include Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and Oodles Marketplace, for starters. Basically, each alternative site offers similar features, but some, such as Amazon and eBay, also offer return policies and possibly a wider audience. Read the fine print found in their rules-and-policies pages for terms such as money-back guarantees, member behavior, selling policies and prohibited-and-restricted items.

Whether you're growing an e-commerce presence or looking for a used coffee pot, there are plenty of free sites ready to help you connect with folks, near or far. Why limit yourself to just one?

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About the Author

Lorna Hordos is a home-improvement business owner and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of conversational business articles for WordPress.com, Bizfluent, AZ Central and Global Post.