Facebook: Your Online Marketplace

When I started a personal Facebook page six years ago it was my thought that I would keep up with out of town family, reunite with old classmates and have an endless source for pictures of my grandkids. Little did I know that I was stepping into an online “marketplace.”
Facebook sale groups combine the price point of a yard sale with the convenience of online shopping. No need to drag all of your unwanted items out to the yard and spend your Saturday trying to sell them to the neighbors. It is a simple as snap a picture, place a listing and VOILA! Instant cash! If this is something you have been considering but are not quite certain how to start, here is what you need to know.
There are several types of sale groups to choose from, so take your time and check out what is available. Some cover only your immediate area (determined by zip code), others are citywide or in some cases cover several counties. Personally I prefer to sell to my neighbors, so I use the sites set up for my specific area. Having had experience with eBay since 1998 and Craig’s List since 2012, I find there are fewer problems and better turn around time if I keep it local. There is also the added bonus of meeting your neighbors, and building a group of return customers.
Once you have selected a group, start by reading the rules of the page. Most pages will have a short list of guidelines listed. Included here will be zip code boundaries, items that are not allowed to be sold, and procedures for listing and selling. The rules should also include information on how to contact the page administrator should you have any questions. Take careful note of the no-no’s for the page. Improper listings or other misuse of the page can result in removal.
Take a nice clear picture of the items you are selling. In some cases you may want to use more than one picture to show the details of your items, but keep this to a minimum. Prospective buyers tend to scan these pages rather quickly and if you overdo it with photos, your items may get passed over.
Include a brief, accurate description of your items including dimensions of furniture, sizes for clothing, etc. In the case of antiques and collectibles give any information you have, including age. Also list the asking price, the location for pick up and with heavy items let the buyer know if you are willing to help load.
Proper pricing is very important. The sales will pile up quickly if you offer desirable items at a fair price. This is not Nordstroms! This is a yard sale venue, so be reasonable with your asking price. Items should be clean and in a good state of repair. If you should decide to list a piece with minimal wear or damage, make certain to mention the condition issues in the description and allow for the damage in your pricing.
While you can list 24/7, there are certain times of higher viewer volume. Early morning and early evening are both good times.
These pages are in many ways like little communities. As such, there are certain courtesies that you will want to observe. This is a shared space, so limit your listings to two or three items at a time. Monitor your listings on a regular basis so you can answer questions in a timely manner, keep track of the order in which prospective buyers respond and remove your items promptly when they sell.
This is a great way to thin down the closets, make a little cash and when you are done selling on Facebook….you can try your luck at buying! Until next time…Linda

Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-258-7835 or lkennett@indy.rr.com