Move over Craigslist! I’ve found a better place to score my vintage furniture: Facebook Marketplace aka The Land of The Hidden Gems. With less spam and an easier way to communicate (Messaging > E-mailing), I don’t know why I didn’t make it Facebook Official sooner. Search Google for “Facebook Marketplace Tips and Tricks” and you’ll stumble across a wide variety of articles on how to sell your used crap. I mean, gently used items. (Let’s be honest, it’s crap!) What you won’t find is HOW TO BUY, and that my friends, is an art in itself. So buckle up while I teach you how to navigate the FM (that stands for Facebook Marketplace but sounds way cooler) like a boss.
Broaden Your Search
Facebook pinpoints your location and automatically sets your search to a 25-mile radius. WIDEN THAT CIRCLE! I can’t be the only lunatic willing to drive over 2 hours for the perfect mid-century credenza. (Or am I?) The broader your search the better your chances are of finding that one-of-a-kind piece. Trust me, the commute will be worth it once you’ve got that baby sitting pretty in your home!
Save Your Searches
Facebook allows you to save your searches so that they are the first thing you see when you visit the Marketplace. (I’m pretty sure they also send notifications to your phone but I think I shut those off.) Instead of having to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of dressers that you’ve already viewed, Facebook shows you how many NEW dresser listings there are. This is the best way to ensure that you are discovering the newest listings right away.
It’s a known fact that people price their items high with the expectation that buyers will try to haggle. (Or at least that’s what I do!) I listed my dining room set at $600, hoping to sell it for $500. How much did my $30 upcycled dining table sell for? FIVE HUNDRED BUCKAROOS. Don’t be afraid to talk the seller down to a price that you think is reasonable. However, don’t low ball them either because chances are they won’t respond or they’ll move onto the next interested buyer. With that being said if you find the perfect piece and are willing to pay what it’s listed at, DON’T DELAY and that leads me to my next tip…
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Remember that time I bought a $300 Wardian Case/Terrarium for $30? I only got it because I negotiated. (And probably because I said “me begonias” and she felt bad for my illiterate ass!) Most sellers want their items gone ASAP. Offer to pick up the same or next day and you might just jump to the front of the line. The early bird gets the worm, so if you find a piece that you love at the right price, don’t hesitate. My latest regret?
This Danish “Cavalier” credenza listed at $145 slipped through my fingers last week when I just didn’t have the time to drive an hour and a half to pick it up. MAJORRRR REGRETSSSSSS!!!!!
Search by Brand
For those not necessarily looking for vintage items but just plain ol’ good deals, search by brand. For example, Restoration Hardware is a store I could never afford but you can find some amazing pieces (and prices) on the Marketplace! And remember, haggle for those babies – especially if you notice they’ve been listed for a long time. Like that $150 Velvet Chair. SWOON! It’s been on the site for over a week. At this point, the seller is definitely willing to take less for it.
Develop An Eye
This takes practice. There are some people that can’t tell the difference between a bookshelf from Walmart or West Elm. (And that’s okay!) First and foremost, make sure you see a real picture of the item and not just a stock photo. If information isn’t listed in the description, the best thing to do is ask the seller questions. What are the dimensions? Is this real wood? Where did you purchase this? Also, if you arrange to pick up a piece and it’s not what you wanted, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY IT! Know when to walk away. This can be difficult when you’re in the moment (and in person) but you don’t want to end up with something you regret and then have to try to resell later on.
If you can’t meet in a public place (this is great for small items like rugs and lamps) then bring someone with you. While I’ve never had any issues with “creepers” on Facebook Marketplace, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. HAVE TO GO ALONE? I’ve done it. Make sure that someone knows the address of where you’re going. They also have free apps like SafeTrek for instances such as these.
Pin It For Later
There you have it, my top tips for Navigating Facebook Marketplace! So go forth and find those under priced mid-century pieces. (Do those actually exist?) And if you’re still reading, comment below with the best item you’ve ever found on the FM!