If you’re looking to sell a few things on Facebook Marketplace, there are some things you can do to minimize the likelihood of spiraling into a depressive state. Selling things online always seems like a good idea – it’s easy, right? For reasons I do not entirely understand, Facebook Marketplace seems to attract super flaky people who have no issue ghosting you, or generally causing you to lose all faith in humanity.
That said, sometimes you just want to get rid of that cabinet or snowblower and hauling it to the dump doesn’t feel like the best option. So, let’s talk strategy!
My number one tip for selling on Marketplace is to provide parameters for how you are going to do business. This is going to instantly weed out the flaky people who don’t read. Flaky people who don’t read are not going to reply back to you and they probably aren’t going to come when they claim they will, so let’s not even go there. All of my Marketplace listings have something to this effect: “Please reply with a pick up date and time.” It’s simple, but key to dealing with Facebook’s infuriating “Is This Available” feature. Look, I know it’s super dumb, but MANY people will click this button on your listing, and then never respond to you when you say “yes, it is available.” This is what I mean by losing all faith in humanity. Who is sitting around scrolling Marketplace, clicking that button, even though they have zero intention of buying it? I’m getting upset just thinking about it, so do yourself a favor and put some instructions to follow in your post. Then you can completely ignore the auto-reply people and just deal with the higher-caliber buyers who read the description. You can’t 100% avoid no-shows, but this will help.
Next, include measurements if you’re selling furniture. This is online selling 101 – don’t skip this step unless you’re trying to attract buyers who aren’t serious. It takes a minute to measure something and you’ll avoid people showing up without adequate vehicle space.
For the love of Pete, take decent photos. We all have these pretty amazing cameras in our back pockets. Don’t take photos of something you want to sell in a dark basement or after 6 at night, and if you take a blurry photo, delete it and take another one. Lighting is the probably the biggest issue I observe on Marketplace – if you can, take the item outside during the day and take photos. If what you’re selling is too large to do that, at least try to take pictures when you have the most bright indoor daylight. Barring that, turn on some lamps so you have half-decent lighting. There are filters on your phone that can correct yellow and blue light (most of us have warmer yellow lighting in our homes). You can upload up to 10 photos for each listing on Marketplace. Use them! Photos provide information to good buyers. They won’t need to ask you a ton of questions and you’ll look like a more professional person to deal with.
For my fellow people pleasers out there, this is key: don’t feel like you need to reply to everyone. You’ve done the work of including instructions, your listing has all the details and photos anyone could want. Yet you’re still getting “is this available?” queries, and my personal favorite, questions that could be answered if they read the description. Just move on with your day. You are under no obligation to reply, and truly, the likelihood of one of these inquiries turning into a purchase is slim at best. Don’t waste your time here.
This isn’t a tip per se, but more of a general PSA. Some buyers will try to haggle with you when they arrive to pick up an item. This is a big pet peeve of mine. If they don’t like the price, the time to talk about that is prior to showing up to pick up an item. Unless you’re really keen to get rid of an item or it has been sitting forever, you can politely tell them you don’t do price negotiations at pick up, and of course it’s no problem if they’ve changed their mind – you’re in no rush to sell. This puts the ball back in their court. Most of the time the person grudgingly pays the price, because they do want it. Similarly, don’t feel like you need to work with the low ballers. (See above, don’t feel like you need to reply to everyone.)
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