Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade groups are a great way to make a little extra cash. The great thing about them is that almost everything sells. It never ceases to amaze me that people will meet up to exchange an item for $2 but hey, a few bucks is a few bucks and it gets it out of your house!
Join ALL the Groups
Most areas have multiple buy/sell/trade groups. Make sure you join all of the applicable groups near you. If you’re selling a car, or an item worth traveling for, check out nearby buy/sell/trade groups, and consider posting there as well. Most groups are closed with an approval process, to keep out spammers. If you’re planning on purging soon, join the group in advance so that you’ll be added by the time your things are ready to sell.
Cross-Posting in Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Groups
If you’re in multiple groups, you don’t have to pick one to list your item. You can “cross-post” which means that you’ve listed the item in multiple groups.
Pro Tip: it’s a good idea to note in the description that the item has been cross-posted. If it sells quickly, you may get interest from multiple groups and this is just a courteous way of letting everyone know that even if they are the first to call dibs within that group, there may have been someone else in another group that claimed it first. Sometimes you’ll see where people say “x-posted’ - it means the same thing.
Creating a Good Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Listing
Facebook groups tend to have less information in the posts and the images tend to do most of the talking. For that reason, it’s really important to have clear images of the pictures that you’re selling. If there are any nicks, scratches or cosmetic issues, be sure to capture that in the pictures.
As far as the description goes, keep it short and sweet. Make sure you either put a description with each image or that your description indicates which image you’re talking about. A common mistake is that people provide several images and then pricing with vague descriptions which confuses buyers as to which item is selling at which price. That’s frustrating for buyers but also for sellers because sellers spend more time clarifying and answering questions to people that may not be serious buyers.
Manage Your Selling Reputation
Since the buying process isn’t anonymous on Facebook, other group members will be able to identify you. It’s important not to be the group bad guy (hopefully that goes without saying). In order to reap the rewards of the group, you have to play by the rules.
The general rule of thumb is first come, first serve. If multiple people show interest, you should field their inquiries in chronological order – letting the first that showed interest have first dibs. If they don’t want it for the price you’re asking, then you’re free to explore other options before considering a compromise.
Most groups have rules that are either in the group description or a pinned post at the top. Read them, know them, follow them.
Most groups have rules against spammy posts.
Most groups tend to be strictly buy/sell/trade and typically don’t include direct sales products unless they are secondhand (like jewelry or clothes).
Don’t be a jerk. If you don’t have nothin’ nice to say, don’t say nothin’ at all. This is actually a good life rule, in general. You’re welcome.
If you make a bad reputation for yourself in the group, people will remember and it will limit your pool of buyers. Worse, it could even get you banned.
Know the Value of Your Item
To validate the value of your item, you should look around and get a feel for what it sells for. You can do that by looking at other items that have sold in the group, checking out your local Craigslist posts or by using this really neat tool called cldata.io that gives you the market value of nearly any item you can think of, including cars. Kelly Blue Book is sort of the standard for checking a vehicle’s value so most likely no matter what source you use to determine your pricing, that’s where your buyers will be looking to determine if it is a good deal or not.
If you’re selling several low-priced items, bundling can be a good option because it makes it more worth your while to schedule a meetup. You can bundle things together by size, by function (kitchen appliances vs. bath décor). Bundling is generally incentivized by offering a few bucks off if a buyer will take the lot.
Rethink Public Negotiation
If someone shows interest in your item and wants to negotiate price, send a direct message (DM). That way, even if you are willing to negotiate, you don’t have to let everyone else know. If the person that is negotiating with you decides not to buy it, then you probably don’t really want everyone else to know how little you’re really willing to accept.
Since you have the ability to scope the buyer out before you meet up with them, do it! The Facebook marketplace is unique in the fact that you know who you are meeting and you can do a little research. You can even see if you have any mutual friends. Make sure that you meet in a safe place. Many police departments are happy to host these types of meetups. You can also meet up in a parking lot. If you do that, park near the front where there are lots of people coming in and out of the store. It’s a good idea to take someone along and, since you know the name of the person you are meeting with you can let another friend know when, where, and whom you’re meeting. If you’re new to the area or traveling to meet someone in an area that you’re not familiar with, check out Safe Deal Zone and Safe Trade Stations to find a safe spot to meet.
For additional buying/selling benefits, check out Trusted.Sale!