Making money by selling on Facebook Marketplace is easier than you might think, especially with these expert tips.

By Lauren Phillips
July 30, 2018
Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

Selling on Facebook Marketplace may sound like an intimidating prospect, but it can be simple, especially if you have a skill or hobby you can use to your benefit. That’s exactly what crafter Olivia Kayley did, and she’s slowly racking up the sales—in the year and change since she started selling her products on Facebook Marketplace, she’s made $7,500 from selling 170 items.

“I’ve always loved crafting, painting, calligraphy, and drawing—all things DIY—so this came naturally to me,” Kayley says.

Kayley started buying items to furnish her home and quickly figured out that she could make quick, relatively easy money selling on Facebook Marketplace, which she likes to use because it’s tied to her social media (great for quick background checks) and it’s 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.

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

1. Do Your Research

Before you start listing 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, especially if there are several other, similar items for sale.

2. Price It Right

During your research, pay careful attention to what people are charging for items similar to yours and price your items to stay competitive. 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.”

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 the number of sales you make.

Kayley gets her items for free, or close to free, and refurbishes them herself to sell for a low price, even if they look like they could earn more. This way, she can focus on flipping her items quickly, rather than worrying about making a profit on something she spent significant money on in the first place.

4. Make Your Work Look Good

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. “Adding these touches not only makes 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 camera if your phone camera isn’t that great. Avoid over-editing and filtering your item—you want potential buyers to see the product clearly, so there are no surprises down the road.

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 try to 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 find your listings more easily.

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: Helpful, especially if you want returning buyers.

For pricing with the knowledge that you will negotiate (she says almost every customer asks for some kind of discount off the listed price), Kayley recommends pricing up slightly. “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, then you can counter at $15 and get the price you really wanted.”

If you’re ready to start earning money by selling on Facebook Marketplace, go to facebook.com/marketplace to post your first listing.

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