Selling Stuff On Facebook: Everything You Need To Know

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selling on facebookYou 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

selling on facebook
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.

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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

how to sell on facebook

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

selling on facebook

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?

Image Credits: 401(K) 2012, Paul Reynolds, Valerie Everett

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Comments (6)
  • Sharon Valentine Rex

    Ok, I WAS an ebay seller but now I am selling on local buy, sell and trade sites, some of them allow “bumping” up something that has not sold once a day, some once a week, and some even thought they “say” once a day, I have heard get an admin bitching about bumping too much, even withing their “once a day” rule. Oh well, I am dealing, but it’s kind of a bitch to remember which page I am on so I follow the darn rules…but here’s the problem I had tonight. I listed several items on two different pages. On really busy pages, I notice when I search for items to bump up, only about 10 of them are showing up in the list, when I just put my name in the search field, so I have to put in some search words in the item description to bring an item up, at bumping time. Strangely, one that I tried to search within an hour or two wouldn’t come up. I had to scroll through to find it. So I got more specific with the search words, still it couldn’t find it. Then I added some words in the description by editing, still I couldn’t search it and bring it up quick! Holy crap, worries me I am gonna have to scroll for the darn thing every time it’s time to bump it! Is there a simpler why to bring up all my items than that? I also notice when I get quite a few items up, like say 50 or so, that is when these problems start to arise, and again on pages that have alot of action. Just worries me that something is gonna get lost in there, where I can’t find the darn thing to bump it up! Any advice for that? Thanks, so far so good, except for the occasional flake who wants something, and doesn’t show up to get it! Or keeps postponing the the buy meeting!! Grrrrrr. If they flake, I just mark it available again, I am not gonna wait for more than a day or two. If they don’t contact me….it’s back to available. I am also trying to encourage other sellers to do the same, so these folks get the hint. I am looking at that $ sing on the PM, which I usually use to give them my phone number as I don’t want it to be too public. I am thinking that $ on PM could be very useful. I did like how ebay would let us know when they had paid, so it was time to ship. But this tying stuff up while I wait for a buyer to execute is annoying as heck! I blocked one buyer, because she just kept goofing on me….Advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I want to sell a house in Belize

  • Jonathan Beck

    Check out PayStand. PayStand lets buyers purchase directly from their Facebook Stream, where they see the product for the first time. Digital payments get streamlined with a one-page checkout system that can is linked from web, email and all your social media sites, allowing you to sell everywhere, all at once, and from one place.

  • James

    F-commerce is getting the spot light nowadays not only because of its massive user base but because it offers an unique way (fan page) to help small biz build up brand awareness. There are a few apps offering features to let merchants sell right on their fan page but most of them are costly and also not letting merchants control payment accounts when sales occurs. There is a free app which offers pretty much the same features and most importantly that sellers are controlling the whole purchasing process through sellers’ PayPal accounts. If you are looking for solutions like this, go check out yourself then.

    http://likepaid.com

  • Drummergirl Rollins

    I was just wondering if and how to put up affiliate links on FB. I can’t seem to…uh..make use of them on my page.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.