AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

How to buy, sell and make money with Facebook Marketplace

Gone are the days (well, mostly) of garage sales and “For Sale” signs in windows. These days, the majority of buying and selling of second-hand items is done online – and with a bit of knowledge, it’s something you can easily partake in.

There are loads of ways to exchange goods online, from eBay, Gumtree and Etsy to any number of online stores. However, in this article we’re going to focus on one in particular: Facebook Marketplace.

We’ve chosen this because a large majority of people already have a Facebook account and are familiar with its software. If you don’t already have a Facebook account and want to buy and sell second-hand items on Marketplace, you can sign up by following the instructions at this link.

What is Marketplace and how can I access it?

Marketplace allows you to buy and sell items with people in your community on Facebook.

To access Marketplace on your phone, open the Facebook app, tap the three-horizontal-line symbol in the bottom right corner, and then click on Marketplace

If you’re on your computer, go to your Facebook Home page, and click on Marketplace in the left-hand column. If you can’t see Marketplace straight away, you may need to click on the See More options drop-down menu. 

Alternatively, you can always access Marketplace by typing into your address bar.

How do I buy something on Marketplace?

Once you’re in Marketplace, locate the “Search Marketplace” search bar and type the name of the item you wish to buy. A list of items will appear along with their prices and locations.

Click on an item you might want to buy and a new page will open with more information about that particular item, including its condition, brand, and a more detailed description.

You can message the seller in two ways – click Message to send a custom message to the seller, or click Send to send a pre-written message that says, “Is this still available?”

From there, you can continue your conversation – and your bartering over price – in Facebook Messenger.

If you and the seller come to an agreement, you can arrange either a pick-up or delivery. Remember, it’s best to only exchange cash once you’ve viewed the item in person; some sellers may wish for you to transfer money online, but this can be risky, particularly if you’re not confident with online transfers.

How do I sell something on Marketplace?

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.

To sell an item on Marketplace, click + Create New Listing on your computer, or click Sell on your phone app. Then click Item for Sale.

Next, click Add Photos to upload one or more photos of your item from your phone or computer.

Good photos are crucial, so take the time to photograph them clearly. Try to place them up against a plain background (such as a wall) if possible to ensure there is as little distraction as possible. Make sure the lighting is good too; a poorly lit photo can hurt your chances of getting a good price.

Once you’ve uploaded some photos, enter the info about your item. Start with a strong title; this will be the first thing that potential buyers see, so make sure it’s concise and to the point.

Then, enter a price and choose a category. The price is a starting point, and buyers will undoubtedly want to barter with you, so it’s generally a good idea to list a higher price than you’re hoping to sell for.

Next, enter a description. If you’re selling a table, for example, you’ll want to list its dimensions, colour, condition, and any other information you think is relevant.

When you’re finished, click Publish; or Next and then Publish if you’re on your phone. If Publish or Next is greyed out, it’s because you haven’t filled out one or more of the fields. Go back and fill these out and then try again.

Once you click Publish, you’ll have to wait a short time for your item to be approved by Facebook, and then it will go live on Marketplace. Sit back and wait for the offers to start rolling in!

A few extra tips

After your listing has been published, you can mark it as Sold, Pending or Available. If you’ve sold an item, marking it Sold will make it invisible to anyone else on Marketplace. All buyers who messaged you about the item will get a message saying the item has been sold.

Pending is what you’d use when you’ve made an agreement to sell the item and are waiting for the buyer to pick it up. New buyers will still be able to see the item, but they’ll know that the sale is pending.

If you're not receiving any offers, there could be many reasons, including:

  • The price is too high
  • The Title doesn't give an accurate enough description
  • The photos are unclear
  • Or, unfortunately, there may just simply be no demand for what you're selling!

Like anything online and in real life, Facebook Marketplace may take some time to get used to, but overall it's a very easy platform to master. And once you do, who knows what great items you may find – or what handy bits of extra cash you could make!