Top 10 tips for selling on Facebook Marketplace

Learn how to sell on Facebook Marketplace with these ten tips.

Facebook Marketplace is available in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, UK and the USA. Thanks to Facebook’s large user base, it’s one of the few real rivals to the local classified sites like GumTree, Craigslist, Kijiji and even the established online auction sites like eBay and TradeMe. 

It’s accessible to all Facebook users in your area, it’s fast to create a listing, and there are no fees. 

But unlike selling on auctions sites, classified listing require a slightly different approach. The basics are the same.

1. Use the RRP as a price anchor. Facebook automatically calculates and displays the discount between your listing price and the retail price to entice buyers. 

2. Take good photos. Try to avoid photos taken at night with your cellphone that end up super grainy. Take your photos during the day with lots of natural light. Avoid placing your items in direct sunlight. Make a space around the items so it’s clear what is for sale.

3. Use emotive and technical language in your descriptions to connect with different buyer personalities. Emotive can be as simple as a couple of key words thrown in like beautiful, stunning, reliable. Technical can be as simple as the objects dimensions, colour, appropriate ages, model number. Don’t go overboard with listing every spec. Just what is relevant for today’s buyer.

4. Be realistic about what you own is worth. Search for similar items on Facebook market place and auction sites to understand both the asking prices and sale prices. Understand retail shops typically run 100% markup, so if what your selling is new expect no more than the wholesale price (50% of retail). If it’s used but in good condition expect 25%. If it’s used, but imperfect 10-15%. 

Now onto the differences​. With classified listings you have to be more hands on with negotiating the price and closing the deal.

5. Understand buyers on Facebook Marketplace are looking for a bargain. Nearly all buyers will attempt to negotiate on the price. A negotiation should be win win for both the buyer and seller. Adjust your listing price up by 20% so you have room to negotiate to a lower price and still get to a “win win” solution. 

6. When negotiating with a potential buyer, close the deal by seeking confirmation from the potential buyer.

Hi. Yes I can do $80 pickup for the kids table and chairs. Please confirm you will be buying them and I’ll send through my address details.

7.  Keep in touch with other buyers who expressed interest. Once you have received confirmation from the first buyer let the other interested buyers know it’s on hold. 

Hi. I have someone buying it tomorrow morning. If they don’t show, I’ll let you know. Thanks.

This is to ensure you have a good relationship with the other buyers encase the deal falls through.

8. Be patient. Unlike an online auction there is no deadline for the sale. If there’s no interest after three weeks consider dropping the price, or trying to sell elsewhere. 

9. Don’t inconvenience yourself when arranging pickup times. You will get no shows. There’s no point getting mad about it, just move on to the next buyer. One way to combat no shows is to offer to deliver the goods. 

10. Be a good marketplace citizen and mark the item as sold once you have the money in your hands.

Is there anything special you do when selling on Facebook market place? Let us know in the comments. 

Top 10 TradeMe selling tips

There’s many ways you can approach selling on TradeMe. The ten tips below intend to guarantee your items get sold, while also getting the best price by attracting as many buyers as possible.

1. Use a price anchor. Either have a high buy now price, or state the retail price.

2. Create buyer urgency by generating competing bids. The easiest way to achieve this is to run a $1 reserve the auction. This may seem risky, but if the item your selling is in demand and you follow the rest of the tips below, you’ll get the market price. Everyone bidding knows it will be sold, it will be gone, and they may not get the opportunity again.

3. Pay to promote your auction. I always pay the $0.55 gallery listing, and for goods I believe will sell for over $50, I pay the $3.95 combo. Attracting impulse buyers is a great way to get extra bids in to help drive up the price. Don’t be a cheap in the hope of saving a few cents.

4. End the auction at a sensible time. 11 pm on a Friday, or midday Saturday are not good times. I normally target 8-9 pm on Monday or Thursday. If you are not normally home at these times to start the auction, pay the $0.25 so you can pick the exact closing time. Run the auction for a at least week, to ensure you get exposure to as many buyers as possible.

5. Take good photos. Try to avoid photos taken at night with your cellphone that end up super grainy. Take your photos on the weekend, during the day with lots of natural light. Avoid placing your items in direct sunlight. Make a space around the items so it’s clear what is for sale.

6. Use emotive and technical language in your descriptions to connect with different buyer personalities. Emotive can be as simple as a couple of key words thrown in like beautiful, stunning, reliable. Technical can be as simple as the objects dimensions, colour, appropriate ages. Don’t go overboard with listing every spec. Just what is relevant for today’s buyer.

7. Put a shipping price on it. www.passtheparcel.co.nz is great for calculating shipping costs and avoiding unnecessary errands to the post office. For furniture and bulky items charge a reasonable rate, but restrict delivery to you own city. Often the eventual buyer wants to pickup anyway, but it’s getting the buyers who can’t interested and bidding up the price. And if I do end up delivering $30 is well worth an hour of my time.

8. When selling lots of items for pickup, email the auction winners a one hour time slot to pickup on the weekend say 10-11 am Saturday, and then be open to other times by arrangement. My best result was having six people turn up within that slot. This can save you a lot of time.

9. Sell items individually. Just because you liked having a bookcase that matches the coffee table, doesn’t mean other people will. When it comes time to sell you limit the number of willing buyers by bundling both into one auction.

10. Be realistic about what you own is worth. Add similar items to your watchlist, and see what they actually sell for. Understand retail shops typically run 100% markup, so if what your selling is new expect no more than the wholesale price (50% of retail). If it’s used but in good condition expect 25%. If it’s used, but imperfect 10-15%. Ultimately all I’m interested in is getting the market price, and following the tips above seems to get me there.

Got your own tips for selling on TradeMe? Share them in the comments.