Each time an article is written about my love for buying or selling from sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist I get questions on the particulars of the process.Y’all, some of my very favorite pieces in our house are from these sites. To me, whatever hesitations you may have totally pale in comparison to the awesomeness..
|cabinet: Craigslist $40|
In case you’re a little apprehensive about decorating this way, I thought I’d post some questions I’ve received and my answers that might give you the boost to give it a try.
|chairs: FB Marketplace $130|
A: I feel most confident in the heat of the summer when I can leave them
outside to be cooked by the sun but I won’t pass something up if I love
it. I will say I’m more comfortable buying from a person as opposed to a thrift store. I like to walk into someone’s house, take in the surroundings and decide on the furniture that way. Like, do
they have a bunch of pets, is the house smelly, dirty, smoke filled, etc. When we bought the two chairs for the reading room they were great but had a little pet hair on them. We kept them in the garage where I
vacuumed them well then mixed a mixture of water, alcohol and dawn soap
to scrub it all down. After it dried I sprinkled baking soda on it, let
it sit and then vacuumed it again. I haven’t had a problem so far but I
know if I did my attitude and willingness would probably change.
|sofa: Craigslist $500|
Q: I have never wanted to buy from Craigslist because you never know who you are dealing with. Do you have a way of dealing with that?
A: When I find something on Craigslist I just make sure my
husband or someone comes with me. If it’s something small you can ask
them to meet you somewhere public. Or leave it on the porch. Trust your intuition though, if you get to a place and don’t feel comfortable, then leave.
|loveseat: Craigslist $200|
Q: When you did all your sales on Marketplace, how did you do so and feel safe? I’ve got a ton of small and large items that I’d like to sell but I’m not sure about having all these strangers knowing where I live.A: For cheaper stuff I just put it on the porch. I’m cool with people knowing my address but I don’t necessarily want to open the door to them. On bigger stuff that’s worth more money, I schedule an evening pickup so my husband is home or you could have a meeting spot like the Target parking lot. Somewhere with a lot of people.
When I picked up the mirror for our bathroom, I asked a friend to come with me.
|mirror: marketplace $6|
I met someone for a drop off once and she had someone on her speaker in her car the entire time. That’s a good way to add a level of protection.
On Facebook Marketplace you can see the persons profile if you’re working together on a potential sale. You can see if you have any common friends and their buyer and seller rating. To me, Marketplace makes it feel like there are less unknowns.
|antique door: Marketplace $60|
Q: Is it safe? I tried selling something the other day and my account got hacked.
A: I’ve never had this happen. Make sure and change your password and let Facebook know about it.
Q: How do you haul big furniture? Is your husband super helpful or does a friend go? A: My husband is so helpful and willing to pick things up in #trucknamedHarold. I try to do things on my own if I can. I can fit a lot in my van but he’s so happy to help when something is bigger, I need a bodyguard or it’s something I want his opinion on.
For the table on our back porch, I asked the seller if they were willing to deliver it. To me, the extra $20 was worth it.
|table: marketplace $100|
Q: How do you deal with 30 messages interested? Do you reply to everyone who inquiries?
A: I usually reply to the first response and go down the line. I like to get rid of things I list quickly so I’ll copy and paste something like, “It’s available but there are others interested. First come first served.” This way the most motivated person can tell me when they’re free to pick it up and I can go down the list again if that doesn’t work out for some reason. When I get a ton of responses, marketplace lets you switch a listing to “pending pickup” and everyone that dm’s you can see it and when it changes to “sold”.
Refrigerators go quickly. We sold 2 that were here when we moved in. I totally under-priced them and got a ton of responses…
Q: How do you keep your listing from getting lost?
A: On marketplace you can renew your listing every week I believe. You can also lower the price if it’s not selling quick enough. I find the best day to list things is Saturday..
Q: Do you haggle or just pay the price listed?
A: It depends on how bad I want the piece. If I feel like it’s a fair price, I wont ask for any less and I’ll rush to get there ASAP. Sometimes I’ll ask once we’re there and have seen the item. Yes, it puts them on the spot but they can tell me no if they want. (I just always make sure I can pay that exact amount and don’t ask them to make change right after they gave me a better deal.)
Q: How do you kindly say you don’t want to haggle before you meet up?
A: You can always post that the price is FIRM. Also you can always just say ‘no thanks’ to their offer. They might pass but if it’s that important to you, it’s no big deal to wait longer.
Q: How do you determine price to make an item sell like a hotcake?
A: I like to search what similar items are going for. It also depends on how fast I want it gone. And how much value I associate with it. I listed our piano for a pretty low price. Some people told me I could have gotten more but to me, I was happy to be paid to have someone move it out of the way. To me the value of that sale was having that corner free.
|piano: sold on marketplace $200|
I’ve made money on some stuff because I found it secondhand and paid very little. Score!
I feel like you need to be realistic and price it for an amount that will make you happy. If it goes super fast, don’t be bummed that you priced it too low, just be glad it’s out of your house.
|table and chairs: Craigslist $80, sold it on a fb garage sale group for more|
Q: How can you tell if you’re getting a good deal?
A: I think it’s all a matter of opinion. If you’re looking for a desk and you find one that’s solid wood for $200 and you can’t get anything like it brand new, then it’s worth it. I really only buy if I love something and if I love it and it seems like a fair deal to me, then that’s all that matters.
|desk: craigslist $200, basket plant stand: bought for $6 sold on marketplace for $20|
One more thing about pricing. You can’t price based on what you paid for them or your sentiments toward them. Just remember that you got to enjoy whatever it is, for how ever long. Don’t be bitter. Let it go and if you don’t want to loose money, buy used next time.: )
Q: Do you have them Venmo or PayPal you first for the stuff you leave out?
A: Sometimes they’ll offer that. I never ask. If I’m making less than $10 for it I just put it out there. They get rated afterward so if for some reason they don’t pay you can rate them bad and let Facebook know. Most of the time I’m happy to get rid of it so there’s no risk. I’ve had something taken once… It was frustrating but I would have donated the piece so….
|tv cabinet: Marketplace $60|
Q: You just assume they will leave the money out there or in the mailbox?
A: Yes. I try to be super specific so that there is no question. I tell them ‘you can leave the $8 under the mat’. Feels like it leaves less open to interpretation.
You can read my tips and tricks on finding secondhand furniture here.
Ok, I think that’s pretty much it for Craigslist and Marketplace FAQ’s. Let me know if you’ve wondered something else that I missed.