6 Easy Tips for Selling Items on Facebook Marketplace, According to a Top Seller

published Apr 24, 2024
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Throw pillows on bed with fabric headboard in sage bedroom with matching curtains.
Credit: Alisa Bovino

Whether you’re having a moving sale or need to part with a chair to make way for something new, don’t underestimate Facebook Marketplace. The site’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to connect with local buyers (essentially, your neighbors) to list anything from coffee tables to office supplies in just a few steps. Best of all, it’s completely free, unlike other resale platforms like Kaiyo or AptDeco, which take a cut of your asking price.

There are some handy tips and tricks, though, to help you sell furniture and home goods quickly (and safely). I spoke with blogger and content creator Alisa Bovino — who’s furnished the majority of her home with pieces from the e-commerce platform — on how to use Facebook Marketplace, from what to write in the description to how to take the best photos.

How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace

First, you have to post the item you plan to sell. To start, go to the Marketplace section on your Facebook homepage — either via desktop or mobile — and click “create new listing.” This prompts you to choose the listing type (and you can also build multiples at once here), then redirects to a page for uploading photos and filling out the title, price, category, condition, and product description. Take a clear, well-styled photo of the item to display as the listing preview and upload a few alternate angles (including evidence of any damages or flaws with close-up shots).

Next, add your city or neighborhood — and don’t worry, your exact location won’t be revealed. When you’re ready to publish, the listing will immediately populate publicly in the Marketplace feed, and you can even add it to any Facebook groups you’re a member of for extra visibility (totally optional, though!). Interested buyers will reach out via Facebook Messenger, where you can coordinate payment details and a pickup plan, or delivery for smaller items. 

Credit: Alisa Bovino

Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace

All Facebook Marketplace listings aren’t created equally. With these tips, you can give yours a competitive edge over other sellers.

Use Well-Lit Photos

The cover image can make or break your listing — no one wants to click on a blurry, unfocused, or dark photo that doesn’t do the item you’re selling justice. That said, if your home lacks natural light or you’re photographing a large, non-movable piece of furniture that’s in a dim area, Bovino says it’s “as simple as just increasing the brightness in the photo app” after you’ve taken a picture on your smartphone. 

She also advises using your own real photos versus stock images of the product, not only to capture the way it’s currently styled, but also for added authenticity. “I want to see the condition of it,” she explains. “Is it the same color that you’re sharing the stock photo of on the website? You’d be surprised how many people share stock photos and I’m like, ‘Oh, here’s a picture of the actual item, and it’s actually not the same thing.’” Ultimately, you can eliminate potential back-and-forth with a prospective buyer by overdelivering with the visuals upfront in this way. 

Add a Video

Facebook offers an option to include a video in your listing, which Bovino wholeheartedly recommends — in fact, she’ll often ask someone she’s buying from to upload one if it’s not initially included. “Once you see the item, then you kind of want to dive more into what it looks like via video,” she says. Save this for the carousel within the listing post, though — Bovino considers it best to lead with a static image. 

Set Fair Prices

If you’re not having any luck getting rid of a sofa or chair, the price might be to blame. Bovino notes that it’s especially tough to sell upholstered furniture, which she likens to driving a new car off the lot — as soon as it gets delivered to your home, the value depreciates, even if it’s brand-new.

 “Unless it’s an item that’s in high demand, has sold out [from the original retailer], or it’s custom and takes weeks to arrive and someone else just happened to want that specific item, you’re probably not going to get as much as what you paid for it,” Bovino admits. 

Set your asking price accordingly, factoring in the condition and status of the piece. If you’re not sure where to begin, Bovino suggests looking for the exact item on eBay, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace, or doing a reverse Google Image search to compare similar products and their worth. Note that you can also lower the price or accept offers from potential buyers at any time. Be upfront about your preferred payment method, too, whether it’s Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, cash, or a check. 

As for vintage or antique pieces, Bovino often finds that Facebook sellers will go to sites like Chairish or 1stDibs for a cost analysis, both of which cater to a much more high-end clientele than Marketplace. “If I’m going to price my coffee table because I see it’s worth $2,000 on 1stDibs and then I’m going to list it for $2,000 on Marketplace, it likely won’t sell,” says Bovino. “It’s probably worth closer [to] $400 [or] $500.”

Be Specific (and Honest!) in the Description 

When you write the listing description, include details like the brand name, the type of product (sofa, loveseat, etc.), and — most importantly, in Bovino’s book — the dimensions. “You can eliminate all of those back-and-forth questions with someone who might not be actually interested in it if you were just very clear in the description,” she says.

It may be helpful to include a link to the piece you’re selling if it’s still available, but Bovino advises against pulling product copy directly from the retailer website to make your description stand out and feel more personalized. 

List condition specifics, too, like “brand new, no flaws, no marks, no tears,” she adds. On the flip side, be completely transparent about any damage or imperfections, and include close-up photos for reference (i.e., “See photo #4 for a small stain.”). Yes, it’s unpleasant to admit, but this helps save time and effort in the long run — because the last thing you want is for someone to come pick it up, only to back out after seeing a surprise dent or scratch IRL.

Use Keywords

To help boost your listing in the Marketplace feed, Bovino encourages sprinkling positive adjectives like “beautiful” or “elegant” into the item summary, or even one in the title. “I’m personally more inclined to click on a listing that has a nice descriptor word in there like, ‘gorgeous drapes,’” she says.

Depending on what you’re selling, you can also incorporate relevant search phrases. For example, say someone’s looking for an Eames chair replica on Facebook — you might not own this exact piece, but adding “mid-century modern chair” to the description of a similar style could direct more shoppers to your listing. “I do notice that when I’m searching for something, those types of posts that have those lump sum keywords in the description are more likely to show up in my feed,” says Bovino.

Stay Safe

It’s obviously risky sending an online stranger your address, so Bovino suggests coordinating the pickup in a local public place — like outside a police station or fire department — instead of having buyers come to your home. For added peace of mind, though, you can view anyone’s commerce profile and ratings to make sure they seem legitimate. 

Also, to potentially avoid scammers, don’t exchange phone numbers (if at all) until after you’ve officially scheduled a date and time to meet. It’s best to keep communication within Facebook Messenger, but Bovino likes the convenience of being reachable over text or a phone call. It goes without saying, too, but never disclose any personal or bank account information, either.

Credit: Alisa Bovino

What to Do If Your Listing Isn’t Selling

Maybe you listed a stylish name-brand sectional, but months go by and no one bites (it’s me, hi, this happened). First, try styling it in a different way and take new photos. “Maybe people looking at it are like, ‘Oh, this kind of looks nice, but I can’t really tell,’ and it is probably because of the photo itself,” says Bovino. Alternatively, she has also encountered items that don’t seem worth the asking price, but they’ve caught her eye anyway “because they’re styled really well or they’re taken in like natural lighting.”

Next, it pains me to say this, but lower the price. I know, I know — you want to get as close to your original spend as possible, but Marketplace shoppers are often looking to score a deal. For a big-ticket piece in larger cities, some buyers without cars may also have to budget for movers or transportation. Try decreasing the cost in small increments to start — especially if you’re under pressure to sell something by a specific move-out date or to make space for another piece getting delivered.

If all else fails, Facebook does allow you to repromote an item for sale every seven days, but Bovino says to try deleting and re-listing the posting altogether. “Chances are the old one probably isn’t showing up in people’s feeds that much anymore, but a new item is more likely to,” she adds.