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Free up cash with Facebook Marketplace

Domestic goods that you could sell on social media marketplaces
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Selling unwanted gifts on social media marketplaces

Social media is a powerful force, so use it to your advantage when it comes to selling second-hand or nearly-new items.

What is peer-to-peer selling?

Selling unwanted goods and gifts on social media is a simple way of raising a bit of cash while making extra space. There are quite a few selling platforms, formal and informal. eBay is the most famous formal example. Informal social media selling platforms include: Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Next Door and your local paper. We have written in the past about saleable items you might have at home. – everything from collectibles to baby gear to cosmetics.

Why is Gumtree better than eBay?

Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Next Door have one big advantage over eBay: they’re free. And there is less concern about negative feedback, too, unlike eBay, which encourages everyone to rate their experience. In theory, lots of feedback should be a good thing, but some people have strange ideas about what constitutes good and bad sales service.

How do I sell on Facebook Marketplace?

Selling on social media is very quick and easy. Take a couple of well-lit photos of the item on your smartphone. Give accurate measurements and honest information about any defects. Say whether you are willing to post, or whether the buyer has to arrange collection. When pricing up items to sell on social media, take a look at other ads for similar items, including those on eBay. Make a note of the search terms you use, as they’ll be handy for the next step.

Some platforms want you to write a little headline and a brief description for your ad. Others will construct an ad from the details you supply. We recommend keeping it simple. Remember those search terms? Include those words and phrases in your ad, as this will help your potential buyer to find your ad. Brands and specifications will catch people searching by eye, so it’s worth including them if you have room.

The instructions for posting ads on social media vary from platform to platform:

The platform will usually step you through the process and it should be easy enough if you have your pictures, your details and your wording ready.

Can I post a for-sale ad in more than one place?

Most for-sale platforms don’t mind if your ad is posted elsewhere. Posting your for-sale advert on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Next Door will increase the number of people who will see it. When you post on Gumtree, you can then share the ad to your Facebook and Twitter feed so that your friends and followers will see it. You can even share your ad in your local WhatsApp group.

Avoid spamming interest groups with multiple postings, though, as this is likely to annoy people and may get you banned.

Is it okay to sell high-value items on social media?

In the main, we’d advise against using social media to sell a high-value item like a mobile phone. eBay offers better protection to both the buyer and the seller.

How do I sell safely on social media?

Remember that when you buy and sell on social media, you do not know for sure who you are dealing with; and you won’t be able to pursue a complaint against them if something goes wrong.

It’s probably safe to assume that most of the people who reply to your ad are genuinely looking for a new wardrobe and not out to scam you. But there are always a few bad apples. If something feels off about their profile – for example, it’s brand new and the picture is the default placeholder – then you can pass that person over. Skim other ads to see if they are a regular seller, and if they comment on other people’s ads. You can also tell a lot from someone’s interactions. For example, are they polite, and do they ask reasonable questions? Or are they abrupt and do other users seem irritated by them?

Rather than giving your buyer your home address, meet them in a public place with the item, assuming it’s small enough to be easily transportable. Another option might be to ask them to come to your storage unit during business hours. This also has the advantage of getting the unwanted item quickly out of your living space, rather than waiting for a sale. When you insure stored goods with Store and Insure you can pay for coverage by the day while you wait for the right buyer to come along.

Make cash while you declutter

You could have hundreds of pounds hiding in your home that you can easily free up to spend on whatever you like by selling on social media marketplaces.