Published on July 7, 2020
If I were to estimate, I’d say about 30% of my home is furnished with Facebook Marketplace finds. It’s my secret to creating a collected look with quality furniture and decor while staying on budget. Plus, I just love the thrill of the hunt. Today, I’m sharing 7 secrets to scoring big on Facebook Marketplace that never fail me. Hopefully they’ll help you score big too.
7 Secrets to Scoring Big on Facebook Marketplace
- Check Facebook Marketplace Often | When I say check often, I mean first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and right before bed…and anytime in between. Yes, that’s how often I check Marketplace, but I’m only on there for a few seconds to minutes at most. You don’t need much time to scroll through the new items listed, and the more often you check, the more likely you’ll score big. The vintage nightstands, duvet cover (brand new, unopened), and metal bed frame in Hannah’s room makeover were all found by checking Marketplace daily. Consistency and frequency are the keys to scoring big on Facebook Marketplace.
- Set and Check Notifications | If you click on the little bell on Marketplace, you can set it to notify you when something you’re looking for comes up, and you can specify what you’re searching for as well as set your price parameters. Check Facebook for notifications often because you could miss a new listing, a seller letting you know the buyer before you passed, or a lower price on an item that was previously out of your budget. Sharing this picture is painful for me. I did NOT score this unbelievable vintage desk for $50 because Noelle was playing on my phone one Sunday afternoon, and I missed the seller’s messages that the buyer before me passed. I’m still kicking myself. It’s the one that got away, and it was a big lesson learned for me. Check notifications like a crazy person.
- Go Beyond “Is This Still Available?” | Right after you send an inquiry of “Is this still available?”, follow it up with “I’m very interested in buying this.” It will make your inquiry stand out to the seller, show that you’re serious about buying, and secure a priority spot for you.
- Respond Quickly and Keep Them on the Line | As soon as the seller responds to your inquiry, either let them know you’re no longer interested (as a courtesy), or ask more questions to keep them on the line. If a buyer goes radio silent for any reason, most sellers will move to the next buyer in line who is active, engaged, and ready to purchase. When I found these incredible faux bamboo and cane chairs for $60 each, I couldn’t pay the seller right away because I was traveling and then helping my sister-in-law with a project. But all day long, I kept reassuring the seller that I would, in fact, pay that day and that was I serious about buying the chairs. I kept her on the line until I could follow through with payment so she wouldn’t pass me up for one of the other buyers. Everrrrrrrrybody wanted those chairs!
- Be Willing to Pay Electronically | If you can arrange to electronically pay the seller as soon as they tell you the item is available, then you’ll score. I’ve purchased items while out of state, on vacation, and unable to pick up for several days. Most sellers are willing to hang onto whatever they’re selling as long as you put your money where your Facebook mouth is and pay up. It’s easier for most buyers and sellers these days to complete a contactless transaction than it is for both parties to arrange a time when they’re both available and the buyer has cash. I purchased this beautiful vintage wood and brass desk while in another state, thanks to the beautiful technology of Venmo.
- Be Prepared to Pick Up or Pass | If the seller is unwilling or unable to accept electronic payment, be prepared to get in your car and pick up or let them know you’ll pass. Sometimes, you’ll just lose out on an item because you physically cannot go pick it up with cash before someone else. There’s not much you can do about that if a seller is unwilling to wait for your availability. Also, it’s a best practice not to lead sellers on and then change your mind after they’ve waited for you to decide. It happens, of course, but as a general rule, be prepared to buy and go get the item right away or pass to the next serious buyer. I randomly found a large roll of genuine grasscloth wallpaper for $25 on FB Marketplace, and the seller did not accept electronic payment. I knew I wouldn’t find this deal again (grasscloth wallpaper is very expensive), so Noelle and I hopped in the car and drove over to pay for it in cash. I wasn’t sure where I would use the paper, but I knew it was a score I had to have. Once I decided to wrap Hannah’s desk in it, it turned into an even bigger score than I could have imagined!
- Train Your Eye to Identify Quality | I have brought home my fair share of junk, especially in the early Craigslist days, but I’ve trained my eye to identify what’s worth buying and what’s not. If I’m unsure of the quality of a piece, I ask the seller about the condition, how it was used, what brand it is (if not listed), and I ask if I can “come take a look at it” before committing to buy. This is usually with items I’m willing to walk away from though. If something is quality, there are other buyers who know that, and they will pounce on the item before you make up your mind. If you can quickly identify quality, you’ll be better able to throw your hat in the ring and score big. When we were searching for a baby grand piano, we looked at so many that were sub-par but still expensive. So, when I spotted this Young Chang satin black baby grand piano for $1,000, I jumped at the chance to look at it in person. After seeing the condition of it (nearly perfect), I did some research and found that this particular piano is worth about $5,000-$15,000. This was my biggest Facebook Marketplace score, and it’s because I waited and watched for quality. Some names to look for when searching for quality furniture and home decor are:
- Pottery Barn
- Ethan Allen
I hope you found these 7 secrets to scoring big on Facebook Marketplace helpful. I’d love to have you join the Wildflower Home community over on Facebook where I share more tips, tricks, and home decor help. Happy hunting everyone!