How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace Successfully

Making money using Facebook Marketplace is easier than you might think. One crafter shares her secrets.

Selling on Facebook Marketplace woman painting furniture
Photo: Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

Selling your homemade product on Facebook Marketplace may sound like an intimidating prospect. But in just over a year, crafter Olivia Kayley made $7,500 from selling 170 items on the e-commerce platform.

If you're interested in selling on Facebook Marketplace, either to get rid of some old possessions or make a bit of side money by selling items online, following Kayley's tips may make the process a little easier—and earn you a bigger profit.

How She Got Started

Earnings came naturally to Kayley, who's "always loved crafting, painting, calligraphy, and drawing."

At first, Kayley started buying items on Facebook Marketplace to furnish her own home. She quickly figured out that she could make relatively easy money by selling items. She likes to use Facebook Marketplace because it's tied to her social media (great for quick background checks) and an app people check hourly. On other buying and selling apps, she found she sometimes missed opportunities because she wasn't checking them as often.

"I realized I could turn this into a business opportunity by finding items people no longer wanted, giving them some TLC, and selling them for a profit," she says. Kayley refurbishes old pieces of furniture (that she either purchases or receives for free) by painting, staining, adding new knobs and fixtures, and/or staging them nicely and then selling them on Facebook Marketplace.

Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you list your items, poke around Facebook Marketplace and see what people near you are selling and what prices they're asking for. Look at your competition and determine the demand, then do what you can to differentiate yourself and your product.

Step 2: Price It Right

Pay careful attention to the prices of items similar to yours and charge competitively. You need to find the right balance, though: "If you price items too low, you can get too many people messaging you, which means you could have priced your item $10 to $20 higher and would still have interest," Kayley says. "On the other hand, if your price is too high, you won't get as much interest."

Step 3: Don’t Get Attached

"It's common for people to ask for discounts, so don't be offended when someone wants to negotiate," Kayley says. Remember that your goal is to part with the item. Focusing on making any profit, rather than getting the biggest profit possible, can increase your sales.

Kayley gets her items for free or close to free. This way, she can focus on flipping her items quickly rather than worrying about making a large profit on something she didn't spend significant money on in the first place.

Step 4: Make Your Work Look Good in Photos

Obviously, you put time, effort, and maybe a little bit of money into your craft, but if that's not highlighted in your listing photos, it doesn't matter.

"Good photography is very important," Kayley says. "Your goal is to make sure your picture stands out from all the rest. You want people to stop on your photo as they're scrolling through Marketplace. This is the best way to draw your customer in."

Kayley recommends staging your item by placing it in front of a brick wall, a background full of greenery, or another scenic spot. "These touches not only make your item stand out, but they also show potential buyers that you are professional, that you take care of your items, and that you mean business!"

Photo quality also matters. Kayley says taking her listing photos during the golden hour (the hour right before sunset) greatly improves the look of the item. She uses a new iPhone, but you can also use a regular camera. Avoid over-editing and filtering your item—you want potential buyers to see the product clearly, so there are no surprises down the road.

Step 5: Spread the Word

Kayley has an Instagram where she advertises her products. Promoting your side hustle in places other than Facebook means more eyes are on your listings, and you may draw in more buyers.

Also, establish a distinctive brand and style for your products and listing images. "My staging look has become known in my local area because I stick to a signature vintage look," Kayley says. If buyers recognize your style and know you offer quality products, they'll be more willing to become repeat customers and easily find your listings.

Step 6: Be Willing to Negotiate

This one loops back to tip #3: Don't get too attached to your products. People will want to negotiate, and Kayley says showing you're flexible (within reason) on price means you and the buyer will have a more pleasant transaction. That's helpful, especially if you want returning buyers.

Kayley recommends pricing up slightly, knowing that you will negotiate. (She says almost every customer asks for some kind of discount off the listed price.) "For example, if you want to get $15 for a wall clock, list the item for $18—this will give you a $3 leg up," she says. "If someone offers you $10, you can counter at $15 and get the price you really wanted."

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