A lot of people who don’t know, wonder if Facebook Marketplace is free. Yes, it is. You do have to have a Facebook account, though, in order to use it. You will need the Facebook Messenger app in order to access inquiries from buyers. Once you are in, the process is easy and simple.
Craigslist vs. Facebook Marketplace
That being said, let me get to how you can sell your belongings quickly when you are ready to take the leap and downsize for whatever your personal reasons are.
I have been an avid Craigslist buyer and seller for the past 9 years. Only recently have I expanded my horizons to the Facebook Marketplace (it is highly addictive). The reason being, when you make that first post to sell something, not only is posting highly efficient compared to Craigslist, but the response time is rapid-fire! I was completely floored with the momentum and number of people who were ready to make a purchase. It doesn’t matter how worn or small the item is. If it’s in demand it will sell on the Marketplace.
Craigslist I Will Always Love You, But…
Sure it took me a little time to wean myself off of Craigslist. I tried to sell something on Craigslist recently that I had on Marketplace. Usually, by the time I finished filling out the pages on Craigslist, I was already getting messages from a buyer on Marketplace.
The marketplace has been a great tool for us to really start off-loading copious amounts of furniture and belongings prior to moving out. We are trying to get our house staged and ready, but couldn’t with too many personal effects and objects. Our house has truly cleared out.
Garage Sales Take A Backseat
We tried garage sales in the beginning, but we made very little money and it took a lot of effort to gather everything, label items, waking-up at the crack of dawn to set up, haggling with buyers, dragging it back in hours later, and then driving left-overs to the Goodwill.
*Hot Tips for Using The Marketplace*
1. Skip the appointments!
Originally I would schedule times for buyers. I know I’ve been bragging about how great the MP is, but I did get burned by people that would schedule a pick-up at night or in the morning and just not show up. Or message an hour before to say they changed their mind. Meanwhile, I’ve turned down the 5 other people that wanted to come right over and purchase it. The best advice, tell them it's first come first serve. If they can’t make it till they get off of work or the next day, they will just have to message at that time and see if the item is still available. I find the following message quite useful: “It’s first come first serve, message me when you are ready to pick up and I will send you my address at that time.”
2. If you make a promise follow through!
You don’t owe anybody anything, right? Well, my feeling is if you told Cindy you would hold it for her for the next few hours, and Joe messages you and says, “I can meet you right now, is it available?” Let Joe know there is a pending sale and you can get back to him if it falls through. Selling things out from under someone is considered low and you will get a negative rating because of it (I know this from experience). Plus, it’s just bad ju-ju. That being said, I quit accepting holds or pre-pays because I had a lot of no-shows when I would hold an item, and folks that pre-pay often wouldn’t come and pick up items until a week later.
3. Don’t get bullied!
Negotiation is a part of the used sales business, I get it. But don’t let someone low-ball you out of what is fair. My personal feeling is they need to be in the same ballpark. If I’m offering something for $20 and they’re haggling me to make it $10, that is a 50% discount off an item that is already being sold cheaply. For me, that is an immediate no-no, unless you are just looking to off-load an item. That will be your call. I, also, will often negotiate with “I will meet you in the middle.” If an item is $20, they offer $10, I will counter with “I will meet you in the middle at $15,” or “I’m willing to accept $17.” Remember it doesn’t always have to be a hefty discount.
Sometimes if you have multiples of an item like folding chairs, they may try to barter for a group discount if they buy all of them. Again, I don’t mind making a deal, but if I’m asking $10 per chair and you offer me $15 for all 3, I am going to give that a thumbs down, (always in a nice way, of course, ie: there is a pending sale or my price is firm at this time). Let’s be in the same ballpark people!
4. Know your limits, Mark As Pending!
If you are getting so many hits on an item (or what I call “viral”), and you have a whole inbox of messages, it is a blessing, but can be overwhelming. Best to pick one (preferably the one offering to pay your asking price and “Mark As Pending.” This sends a message to the entire group on that item that it is pending pickup and will clear your inbox-whew. It is a great tool when you haven’t the time nor the patience to message a dozen people, especially when that notification ping is dinging off the hook.
5. Price To Sell!
The MP is a great place to unburden yourself of unwanted items that you want quickly removed. Vincent’s bicycle had a completely bent rim, worn hand grips, messed-up chain, etc. I had it in my front yard with a free sign for 2 weekends and no one took it. I listed it on MP for free and had so many people show up to take it, I couldn’t believe it. Another item I had was an old bookshelf that nobody would take, I listed it for $5 and within an hour someone came by to buy it. Before you decide to call for a garbage pick-up, try selling it cheap or even free on MP.
6. Creating Your “Sell Item” Title One final tidbit I’d like to add. In the title of your post, list as much detail as you possibly can or you will be fielding questions till the cows come home. For example, if you are selling a bookcase. Don’t just put in your title 5 Tier Bookshelf. Even if you have every detail in the description, most people do NOT read it. Why I don’t know. I find if you list it in the title you make the process 100% easier for yourself. New title: 5 Tier Bookshelf, 60″x15″x8,” great condition, Cash/Pickup only, in L.A. near Melrose Ave. Ready To Sell
With that advice in mind, you are ready to get selling. Start with what you really don’t use often or items that have little sentimental value. Once you get momentum, it will get easier. It is surprising how many things you find you really don’t need.
I started putting the money I made in a mason jar and called it the “kitty.” My husband thought that was a really weird name. That’s what we called the pile of fake cash in board games when I was a kid.
Anyway, you will be surprised how quickly that money adds up. Plus, it just feels good to off-load all that stuff you’ve got collecting dust in the corner.