You see it all the time these days: Facebook statuses claiming that the user has something for sale. It’s a great concept, but occasionally, it seems like most of our Facebook friends just aren’t doing it right. My comrades, it’s a new era for consumers-turned-merchants, and we must adapt to this world rather than venturing out blindly, unaware of the trials before us.
With Facebook, we can take to the Internet, raise our For Sale signs high, and proclaim “Yes! I do want your money for this toaster with an unpredictable short in the cord!”
Before you decide to go selling on Facebook, check out these tips below. Here on MakeUseOf, we really do have everything you need to know for selling stuff on Facebook.
When Selling on Facebook – Research Your Prices
There’s nothing worse than selling something on Facebook for $5 and finding out you could have sold it for $50. That wooden music box may seem like a piece of junk to you (and it probably is), but there’s a chance that one of your friends is a collector. Don’t be the subject of this story: “Yeah, so I bought this from some idiot for a dollar. I played dumb, though. He thought it was worthless.”
I’d suggest browsing the typical buyer/seller routes for your research. eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and other online auction alternatives are usually good places to find out pricing information, but make sure to compare the new price with the old. You may be able to mark things up just a bit because of the perk of local availability.
If you’re selling on Facebook, there’s a high chance you’re selling to people who you know or people who know who you know. While your item may cost $25 on eBay and $40 new, you may be able to bump things up to $30 just because the buyer doesn’t want to wait or pay for shipping. Dolla dolla bill, y’all. Ridin’ that Benjamobile all the way to the bank, son.
Don’t take advantage of someone simply because they don’t know how to use the Internet, though. Those people are out there. If you know that they could buy a similarly used item cheaper on Amazon, and you also know that they are tech-illiterate, try to be a good Samaritan. Besides, whatever they pay you is more than what you had before, right? Holla for a dolla.
Snap Some Proper Pics
Look, the pictures of your well-worn blue jeans hanging off the side of the couch aren’t going to cut it. Nobody’s going to buy something if it looks ugly. Model those trousers, man! Flaunt ‘em like a supermodel or something. The goal is to sell them – not to make them look like something you don’t want. Make sure you take decent pictures of the items that you are putting up.
Here’s an idea. Since you’re effectively hosting a virtual yard sale, you’re not going to be wasting time dragging everything out and trying to jury-rig a few broken tables to hold it all. Instead, use your extra time for a photo-shoot. Take pride in your ugly sweaters that you desperately want to get rid of!
Get the kids to help you and have them model off some of the used-to-be-latest fashions (that is, if they still fit). While you have them around, take some shots of toys being played with. Are you trying to get of your weed-eater? Grab the hubs and have him take care of the bushes while making a profit. In short, don’t take normal pictures. Instead, take pictures that sell.
Decide Your Vessel
There are a variety of methods for selling on Facebook, and I’ve nailed them down to about three main markets.
First, you have the obvious one: your own friends and friends of those friends. I’ve written about this before, but my mother once actually held a virtual garage sale using a photo album in which all of the up-for-sale items were posted. Prices were listed in the description, and if an item was sold, she would then remove it. For some items, the comment section served as a bit of a bidding zone, but if you would prefer that all price negotiations are handled privately, you can make this clear in your photo caption as well.
Secondly, there are several local groups and pages scattered here and there with names like “[Town Name] Buy, Trade, and Sell”. Use Facebook’s Graph Search to see if you can find any in your area – there are bound to be a few. Join up and list your available items, and while you’re at it, you may find a few things that you’d like to sell as well. It’s as simple as that.
Lastly, there’s the proper form of Facebook buying and selling: The Marketplace. Surprisingly, at least in my area, I don’t see it used that often. As a joint development with Oodle, the Facebook Marketplace allows you to buy, sell, and trade within the social networking site itself. Items are separated and categorized much like anything you would find on Craiglist, and even better, you can look up the background of the person you are buying from or selling to. You can even see if you have any mutual connections. This provides for a safer experience when selling stuff on Facebook.
That’s it, my friends. What other tips do you have for selling on Facebook? Have you ever had any successful sales on Facebook?