We all go through it when it comes to furniture. You want to downsize but you wrestle with the idea that it may be a very time consuming process to sell online so we call someone instead to haul it away. In other cases, you have downsized at a rapid rate and now you are in need of stuff (again). It is a vicious cycle. I know. My family has been there time and time again!
Facebook Market is a tool that you could use to assist you with this vicious cycle. Disclaimer, you have to have a Facebook account. If you have an account, it is a great feature to sell or give items away, especially if you are moving. It is also a great Facebook feature to buy new, slightly used, or good condition items, especially furniture! You can buy and sell almost anything in your local area using Facebook Market!
I have used some of the other online websites to buy and sell furniture. I am still torn on whether I really like them enough to recommend them to family and friends.
However, I have no doubt about the utility of Facebook Market. The site makes it super easy to buy and sell as well as negotiate using Facebook Messenger. There are some simple tips to follow when buying or selling items that can make the whole experience easy for everyone.
I will start with tips for selling furniture using Facebook Market so your inbox will be filled with inquiries from only real potential buyers.
Throughout this ReCreative Souls article, I have uploaded pictures of actual items that I have bought on Facebook Market and pictures of the items in our home. Keep in mind, when you are selling an item on Facebook Market, you may or may not get the entire amount of money you paid for it regardless if it is still brand new.
Before you list your item, compare it to “like” items that are also being sold in your area so you know how to price it within reason.
As a seller, you should be prepared to negotiate on price with potential buyers. If you are not willing to negotiate on your list price, ensure you include “firm price” on the description but expect people to negotiate anyways especially if the item has been listed for more than a week. Also, take as many pictures from different angles. Be honest with any issues. This saves everyone time!
More importantly, if your item is priced right or you list it as free, expect a lot of instant messages.
Take time to measure furniture and include the dimensions in your description. The more detailed, the better for the buyer and your sanity. Your Facebook Messenger won’t be filled with the exact same questions.
As a seller, you should include tags like free, the condition of the item, smoker or smoke free, pet or pet free, and a detailed description. Again, the less you write, the more you will have to repeat yourself in individual messages sent to you in Facebook Messenger.
Also remember to include multiple tags for items like a sofa. For example, some buyers will search for a couch and not a sofa so try to include both in your description for these types of items. If it is free include free in the title.
Most people will not buy your item if you list your item for an insane amount of money. I will restate this tip again. Just because you paid that amount, you cannot expect someone else to do the same.
Ask yourself, if you find yourself falling into this category, “why should a buyer buy from me instead of going directly to the store to buy it brand new?” Hopefully, this tip gives you some type of expectation management prior to listing your item.
Also, pricing your item for an insane amount of money may grab someone’s attention but it also could also backfire if someone uses the range pricing feature to query for specific items.
Also, never be cold to potential buyers. You never know if your sale will fall through with one buyer and now, the only other person interested, you were a major jerk. Always be kind. No deal is complete until the money is in your hand. Once you sell your item, be courteous to other potential buyers by changing your item to SOLD immediately. It saves everyone time.
If you are only willing to accept cash, make sure you state this upfront as the seller during negotiations. You can use various methods of payment like PayPal, Facebook, and others payment online services if you want a deposit beforehand as assurance.
Beware, if you do not have your bank account linked to Facebook and the buyer sends you money through Facebook, the seller has to reject the payment by right clicking the confirmation notice of payment and click reject payment.
In your post, you should be upfront on your ability to deliver or if they need to pick up the item. If all possible, try to show item assembled, and ask if they want the item dissembled prior to the pick up date.
If you dissemble items and do not have the instructions, ensure either the seller or buyer takes a lot of pictures beforehand. If it has a lot of screws, ensure you take pictures of the type of screw and where the screw belonged before you start removing screws especially if it is somewhat complicated. Most are not so this tip will only apply to a few items.
For larger items, be clear on how many people the buyer should bring with him or her or if you will be available to assist.
I have had some great sellers help me because it was just Maxwell and me. Your buyer should ask beforehand. However, make it a point to volunteer the information.
Also, let a buyer know which floor level the item is located. I had a seller say the furniture would be located on the first level on the day of pick up only to arrive to have to move it from the second level and she honestly expected my husband and me to move it while she just watched.
It was not a fun day for any of us. If something changed, let the buyer know prior to pickup. Trust me, buyers don’t care about your walls or floors when having to move it from multiple levels when not told about it beforehand.
Also, offer several time blocks on when you are available. I get turned off, along with many other buyers, when a seller demands to meet within a 10 minute impossible window.
Remember, you rate each other on the experience. Make it a good experience for both buyer and seller.
You can sell almost anything on Facebook Market from a house to taquitos.
Tips for the seller can also be applied to the buyer. I am more of a buyer than seller on Facebook Market. In our case, we had to divide our household items between a two bedroom apartment in DC and a three bedroom house in Williamsburg due to my husband relocating for a job. Where we live in DC and Williamsburg makes it very difficult to sell but living in these areas makes it easier to buy.
First and foremost, no one has room in DC and people are constantly coming and going so buying new items at a great price is usually the case for buyers in this area.
Most issues for sellers in DC and in the Williamsburg area, new or slightly used furniture are the wrong dimensions or people are simply bored and want to buy something new. Again, you can buy almost anything on Facebook Market!
Since we are not ballers with tons of cash, we found a lot of the items we needed for our home in Williamsburg on Facebook Market. As a buyer, keep in mind sellers will list items as free or in the million dollar range so you will view the listing. It is a technique for sellers especially if they are selling a lot of times. Also, local companies also use Facebook Market.
If you finally find the item you are looking for especially with furniture, before you agree on a method of payment and price, make sure you ask if they have pets or smoked if the seller does not list it in the description. This changes the condition of fabric furniture; therefore, some sellers intentionally omit this information.
Always try to negotiate even if it says firm price. Once the price is agreed upon, don’t show up and bring less cash and expect the seller to still sell you the item. I have sold items on Craig’s List and this has happened to me a few times. It is extremely annoying.
Buyers save items you love because it will be difficult to find the next day on Facebook Market because people are constantly uploading new items for sale. This will save you a lot of time.
If you still have not found what you are looking for, adjust the radius. You might find better items alittle further out.
If you don’t own or know someone that owns a truck, local truck rentals could assist you. Remember, the goal is to save money not spend more because now you have to spend an additional 99 cents a mile.
If you love something immediately but cannot pick it up right away, let the seller know you want to buy it but need to pick it up within a reasonable amount of time. They will determine if they want to sell it to you and if it is possible to hold onto the item. For sellers that are moving, chances are they want it gone.
For buyers and sellers, always have someone with you and always let someone know the address of where you are going. Facebook Market allows you to verify someone’s profile but you still want to make sure you are safe.
I think the concept of Facebook Market is awesome. We have bought a lot of items and thank all the sellers, the formers Facebook families in the pictures. In summary, both sides require flexibility and patience.
You may not break the vicious cycle but you don’t have to go broke!
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