Facebook Marketplace

Buying and Selling on Facebook Marketplace: Strategies and Safety

House & Home

Y’all, I just came across an awesome find on Facebook Marketplace – a vintage buffet that we’re going to use as a TV console in our basement! And guys, look at it! We’d been looking for a piece like this at furniture stores and online retailers. Our budget for a white TV console that was at least 50″ long and had storage was $300, but everything I found in our style and that fit the bill was over $600. This buffet was ours for $75, which of course we are going to paint (can’t stop, won’t stop)!

Buffet TV Console

In comes today’s topic! I’ve found a few things for our home through Facebook Marketplace (at an exceptional price, I might add). So I thought it might be helpful to share my strategies with you on both the buying and selling sides!


When it comes to browsing on Facebook, there are some options! Before there was Facebook Marketplace, there were private groups you could (and still can) join to buy and sell. Our friend actually started one called “Our City Motherhood Market,” which rocks because it’s local.

  • The best place to find these is to just search “buy and sell groups near me” in your Facebook app or browser. Most will require you to request to join and be sure to check out the rules of the group.

Buy & Sell Groups Near Me

  • Once you’ve been accepted into the group, you can edit your notification preferences. The default is to get notified every time something is listed, which can be a looooot!
  • Search within the group or just watch the feed for items you’re looking to buy: everything from indoor to outdoor furniture, decor, light fixtures, and all the things.

The other option of buying is Facebook Marketplace!

  • Where do you find it? On your phone’s Facebook app, access Marketplace at the bottom of the screen (the middle icon that looks like a storefront). On your browser, access it on the top left side of the screen.
  • First, you’ll see “Today’s Picks” near your city.

FBMP Top Picks

  • You can also search by category. My favorite? The furniture category, of course! 🙂

    • For wood or painted items, look at the bones of the item and if it can be transformed with paint.
    • Avoid buying items with fabric unless it can be washed.
    • If it’s electric, ask for a photo of the item powered on.
When you’re interested or ready to buy:
  • In Facebook groups, it’s all about that “first come, first served!” So if you’re interested in an item or want more information, comment “interested” or “next in line” if you’re not the first to get there!

    • You can also make an offer by messaging the seller. Something like, “Hello! I’m interested in this item. Would you take $15 for it instead of $20?”
    • If an item says cross-posted or CP, it means the item has been listed in multiple groups.
  • If you’re the first to comment, you can ask questions, pass, or message the seller for details about payment and pick up.

    • I tend to ask a lot of questions, like dimensions, more photos, history of the item, etc.
    • Say “not interested” if you’re passing so you don’t leave them hanging.

FBMP Asking if Available

  • On Facebook Marketplace, you’ll message the seller directly to ask “is this still available” or any other questions you might have. They might say “pending pickup” (just because someone claims an item doesn’t mean the deal will go through). Or they’ll say it’s available and you can ask for more photos or say you’re ready to buy!
Arranging the pick-up and safety:
  • Most items listed will be a pick-up at the seller’s home. Think of it like a yard sale. Depending on how comfortable you feel, you may want to bring someone with you.
  • Before driving to their home, look at their profile to see if they’re a legit account.
  • I’ve never had an issue, but it’s always best to be aware of your surroundings and if going alone, let someone know where you’re picking up your item.
  • FBMP Pick-up Arrangement

  • In some cases, sellers might include Porch Pick-Up or PPU in their description of the item. That means they’ll leave the item they’re selling and you’ll leave your payment in the mailbox or somewhere else they disclose. (Or you may pay via PayPal or Venmo).
  • Bring cash or pay via PayPal or Venmo. You can do this at the time of arrival.
  • If you arrive and the item is of lower quality or different from what the seller described, you can say, “This looks a little different than what I was expecting. Can you give me a discounted price?”
  • Load the item in your car and enjoy! (And if you’re like me, it will stay in your trunk for another week! Haha).


Just as Facebook Marketplace is a great place to find items, it’s an equally great place to purge the items in your home, closet, or garage! I’ve sold everything from winter coats to unwanted furniture; old decor items to purses.

Since I have a few things I need to sell, I thought it might be fun to show you a real example.

Here are some general tips for selling on FBMP:

  • Clean your items the best you can and place them in a clutter-free area for photos.
  • Take photos in well-lit areas with multiple angles, both of the entire item and detail shots if needed (especially for higher priced items).
  • Watch out for reflections and glares so you’re not showing them a shot of you in your pajamas – haha. Almost happened to me today!

Fireplace Grid

  • In my experience, you can sell items for more than you would at a yard sale, but be aware that most items will not sell for what you originally paid for them.
  • Search for similar items to determine a reasonable price for your listing.

Electric Fireplace FB Search

    • If you really want your item gone, consider pricing it to sell. People love feeling like they got a steal!

      • Based on our search, I decided to list ours for $50. And guys, look how many offers I had in the first 5 minutes. Perhaps I listed too low, but for us, we just want it gone. So we were very pleased!
      • Also, it doesn’t typically happen that quickly for us. (Just wanted to add that so you don’t get discouraged if it takes a few weeks to sell your item).
      • Fireplace FB Offers

        • FREE? We actually just got rid of our play set by posting it on Facebook Marketplace for free. It wasn’t in the best shape, but we had 12 people interested in the first 3 minutes of posting. It was free, but the “buyer” had to pick it up themselves. It was gone within 16 hours and saved us a ton of time deconstructing it ourselves! Plus, a new owner got to enjoy it with their family!
      • What to include in your listing:

        • A general description of the item
        • Size & dimensions
        • The honest condition of the item (let the price reflect that)
        • Photos of any damage or wear & tear so buyers know what they’re getting
        • General town/city of pick-up
        • Specify if they need to haul it away themselves (we specified they had to pick something up from a basement)

      Fireplace FB Listing 1

      Fireplace FB Listing 2

      • Abbreviations you can include in your description:

        • SF: Smoke-free home
        • BF: Bug-free home
        • PPU: Porch pick-up
        • CP: Cross-posted
        • Firm: Price is firm (no negotiations)
      • If you’re selling online, the best practice is “first come, first served.”
      • Once you have someone scheduled to meet up to purchase, mark your listing as “pending.”

      Electric Fireplace Pending

      • Lower the price if the item isn’t selling.
      • Check out the interested buyer’s “Facebook Marketplace Profile” to see their history (you can rate buyers or sellers after the transaction is complete).
      • My policy is to wait to give out our home address until the day of pick-up.
      • Specify if you prefer cash before they arrive to pick up your item or tell them if you will accept PayPal or Venmo
      • Get paid before you give them the product.

      Selling Convo 1

      Selling Convo 2

      Selling Convo 3

      • If you feel more comfortable, have someone else home.
      • If it’s a light item, I try to have it ready by the door when they arrive.
      • In my experience, it’s best to set a specific time. I’ve waited around for people too many times, so now we just come up with a time.
      • Mark your item as “sold” and rate the buyer.
      • Enjoy the extra space in your home and extra cash in your pocket! 🙂

      Have you ever bought or sold on Facebook Marketplace? If not, I hope this post has been helpful and a good resource for you! What questions do you have? Happy buying and selling!

4 thoughts on “Buying and Selling on Facebook Marketplace: Strategies and Safety”

  1. Hi Kristen,

    Very helpful selling advice. I’m reaching out to see if you know how to change the seller’s message that’s prepopulated in the ad from “Is this still available” to something more relevant. I’ve scoured the web and asked the question in FB support but can’t find the answer anywhere.

    I’m hoping an experienced buyer/seller knows.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.


    1. Hi Karen! My apologies for the delayed response! Wow, that would be an awesome feature – however I don’t see the ability to change the pre-populated messages. Good luck!!

    1. Hmmm I’m not sure but I’d imagine because you’re the one selling it, you wouldn’t see that view. Only the buyer would. But that’s just a guess – Facebook can be tricky!!

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