There’s a saying that goes, “Meet people where they are.” Traditionally, it applies to understanding a person’s values, style, and needs and connecting with them in a way that they can relate to. But it’s equally apropos for Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace (facebook.com/marketplace) is just that—a marketplace on Facebook where individuals and businesses can sell pretty much anything legal, from furniture to clothing to cars to apartment rentals. But it’s different from the ecommerce likes of Craigslist, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay because it has a bunch of unique, useful features that indeed allow shoppers and sellers to meet each other where they are—on Facebook!
What makes it special and how can you use it to make extra cash? Read on!
Table of Contents
- 11 Cool Facebook Marketplace Features
- How To List Items and Sell Them on Facebook Marketplace
- Spread the Word and Strengthen Your Brand
11 Cool Facebook Marketplace Features
Let’s start with what makes Facebook Marketplace an appealing place to buy and sell. Following are just a handful of benefits:
- It shows up in your feed without you having to go to a separate shopping site.
- It showcases items for sale near you from your community and local stores.
- It has Buy & Sell Groups you can create or join if you’re interested in being a part of a specific shopping community based on interest, location, types of items, and more. (Buy Nothing San Francisco, for example, is a community of San Franciscans interested in giving or receiving free items to residents. The city also has neighborhood-specific “Buy Nothing” groups.)
- It allows you to showcase for-sale items in more than one Facebook Group.
- It provides super-easy communication between buyers and sellers (For example, you can simply press “Send” to inquire “Is this still available?”).
- You can share an item, save it, or direct message the seller.
- It shows seller information (name, location, when they joined Facebook) on the product page.
- You can use Facebook Messenger for all your communications, eliminating the need to share personal information like your phone number or email address.
- You can checkout on Facebook even potentially tap into Facebook’s Purchase Protection (available on items that were purchased through Facebook, including shipping; not available for items purchased through third-party sites, Messenger, local pickup, or other services).
- It takes best-practices cues from the big shopping sites, offering search and browse-by-category functionality; filters to narrow location, price, and more; and seller ratings to help you avoid scams.
- It’s addictive, especially since items show up in an easy-to-browse image grid so you can see many at once and easily get lost in the offerings.
As easy as it is for buyers, Facebook Marketplace is even easier for sellers. This is great news for any Facebook user who hasn’t gone Marie Condo and eliminated everything but must-keep items that “spark joy.” Why? Because you probably have hundreds of dollars worth of items collecting dust in your closets and cupboards right now, and it’s more effort to keep dusting them than to put them up for sale on Facebook Marketplace!
Ready to offload unwanted items and make some cash? Let’s go!
Here are best practices for making some quick cash by selling on Facebook Marketplace.
How To List Items and Sell Them on Facebook Marketplace
First, understand how to post your items. Not surprisingly, Facebook makes it simple.
As they explain it:
“When you sell something on Marketplace, you create a public listing that can be seen by anyone on Marketplace and in News Feed, search and other places on or off Facebook. All listings on Marketplace and buy and sell groups must follow our Commerce Policies.
To sell an item on Marketplace:
- From your News Feed, click Marketplace.
- Click + Create New Listing, then click Item for Sale.
- Click Add Photos to upload a photo of your item from your computer.
- Enter the info about your item. To mark an item as Free, you can enter 0 as the price.
- Click Next. If Next is grayed out, make sure you’ve entered the information that’s required.
- Click Publish to post your Marketplace listing.”
There you have it!
Those are the mechanics of creating a Facebook Marketplace listing. But unless you’re offering a pure gold bar for $1, it’ll likely take a wee bit more effort than a simple posting to get your item sold fast at the best price.
To make the most of your post (and make the most money), take an extra few minutes and follow these smart marketing steps:
Take Great Photos
Images give potential buyers instant information about what the product is and whether it’s something they’re interested in. Make sure your photos capture the best of your for-sale item, as if you were merchandising it in a catalog.
Offer a variety of perspectives of your product, if important. Include images of defects or flaws so you don’t waste your potential buyers’ time.
“Stage” your products so they look well-cared-for and declutter their surroundings (i.e., drag the couch out of the corner of the garage, away from the hockey sticks, and set it up somewhere that it can shine without distraction).
Don’t use product images that you didn’t take (i.e., manufacturer images). They can be perceived as fraudulent. You can use an iPhone or Android phone camera as long as it takes clear, good-quality photos.
Describe Your Item Accurately
This is not a dating profile; don’t fib age, quality, looks, or the size of the fish your product caught (wink, wink). Share the critical details about your product: the brand, the age, size, flaws, warranty information, and anything else that will help familiarize potential buyers with your product.
Price Your Item Competitively
A quick Facebook Marketplace search will give you an idea of what similar items are going for. Compare your item in terms of quality, availability, condition, and any special features and price. Decide whether you want to sell locally, regionally, or nationally, and price accordingly.
Consider Offering Shipping and Delivery
As mentioned earlier in this article, you can employ shipping functionality through Facebook Marketplace. You can also offer delivery. These perks take the hassle out of the purchase for the buyer, which can make the difference between a sale and a snub.
Post Your Item in Local Facebook Groups
There’s comfort in knowing an item can be picked up quickly and locally, both for the seller and the buyer. Local items move fast, especially when you market them in niche groups, so join a few groups. If your item is special enough (a vintage roadster or rare horror-film memorabilia, perhaps), you may want to join regional or national groups, too.
Spruce Up Your Commerce Profile
If you’re selling on Facebook, you will have a commerce profile, which is like a regular Facebook profile, but focused on your Facebook ecommerce offerings. It includes a profile image, cover photo, badges (recognition of reaching various selling achievements), seller ratings, an About section, and all of your active listings.
It’s easy and worthwhile to invest a little effort in this page, as it’s your virtual storefront. Do it right and you will create a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness.
To enhance your page, design a logo for free and upload it or include your profile photo. This lets shoppers know there’s a real person or brand behind your Facebook Marketplace offerings.
Then add a well-designed cover photo. This is your banner ad and the biggest visual introduction to your brand/shopping page, so make it look pro. You can learn about the 8 basic principles of design then create a free cover photo.
Spread the Word and Strengthen Your Brand
If you begin selling on Facebook Marketplace with any regularity, you’re a brand! Think of yourself as a store. If you actually are a store already, smart move using Facebook Marketplace as one more selling channel.
Promote yourself through social media by using free social media graphics templates to create awesome designs and promotions.
Need inspiration? All yours:
Sample Promotional Facebook Banner
Use Adobe Spark’s free Facebook Post template to make your own.
Sample Promotional Instagram Post Image
Use Adobe Spark’s free Instagram post template to make your own.
Sample Promotional Pinterest Post Image
Pay attention to what sells, who your customers are, and what their interests are, then hone in on those types of items so you become known as a reliable source. If you continue to find and sell items that appeal to your customers, your brand and revenue will grow. (Learn about how to create brand guidelines here.) That’s more extra cash in your bank account!
Ready to start selling? Post your first listing here.