Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
4 minute read
29 Dec 2021
6:15 pm

Tips for using Facebook Marketplace

Kaunda Selisho

Start off your new year by using Facebook Marketplace to get rid of items you don't need or adding some much-needed stuff to your life.

Picture: iStock

The end of the year isn’t just for reflection, it’s also the beginning of a fresh start for some and part of that involves getting rid of a few things.

If you’re not going to be donating items you may no longer want, you might want to consider using Facebook Marketplace to sell your items as this is a great way to put a little extra money into your pocket while clearing up your space. 

Even if you’re not in the market to sell items, you may want to score some great finds to add to your home or work life from Facebook Marketplace. Either way, The Citizen has compiled this guide to improve your Facebook Marketplace experience in 2022. 

As a seller: 

Beware of scammers

While most transactions go off with a hitch, it is advisable to remain vigilant about people who may be looking to get an item in exchange for nothing.

It is advisable to do in-person exchanges and not get too excited by electronic transfers which might be faked or reversed. Even with in-person exchanges, do check money for counterfeit notes. 

Try to take clear pictures of your items from as many angles as possible

Since people can’t physically see items when shopping online, how the images are photographed plays a big part in swaying potential buyers on Facebook Marketplace

Try to avoid using stock images of products that may look different to what you’re selling

Images of something similar to the product may put off potential buyers or leave them feeling duped once they come to see what you’re selling in person.

Watermark your pictures

Find a way to watermark your pictures to prevent scammers from trying to use your images to swindle others out of money on Facebook Marketplace.

Sometimes, people even use most of your details to make the sale seem legit leaving your name top of mind when a victim of a scam may want to find justice or get their money back.

South Africa online stores
Clothing and footwear expenditure increased by a whopping 22.2%, with furnishings, household equipment and maintenance surging by 8.9%. Picture for illustration: iStock

Check prices of similar first and second-hand items similar to yours

Fair pricing is also another big part of selling items on Facebook Marketplace. You don’t want to put off potential buyers by pricing too high and you don’t want to disadvantage yourself by pricing too low. Doing your research allows you to understand the market so that you can find that pricing sweet spot.

Have someone else around for in-person pick-ups

If people are picking things up from your home, safety is always a concern so make sure to have someone who can be around during at-home pickups. Alternatively, you can arrange to meet people in public places like malls or coffee shops to feel safe during hand-offs.

Take note of your selected location to help buyers find you

People often look for items near them so marking your location clearly helps the Facebook Marketplace algorithm show your item to the relevant audience.

ALSO READ: Know your rights when buying on Facebook

As a buyer:

Beware of scammers

Scammers are just a concern for sellers. Buyers also need to be wary of people who may either take you money for nothing in return or people who wish to sell you items that do not work like the  American woman in the following YouTube video. 

She bought a fridge that wasn’t working. After her ordeal, she advised other buyers not to trust everyone on Facebook Marketplace and to do their research.

Avoid handing over money for items you haven’t seen or inspected

The point above this one ties into the point in an effort to ensure you’re happy with whatever you buy on Facebook Marketplace. 

Check the seller’s profile

Since launching the platform, Facebook has introduced a number of tools that rank sellers and buyers on their Marketplace profiles, almost like the way ride-sharing services do to create a track record for the owner of the profile using crowd-sourced feedback. 

Take someone with you for in-person pick-ups

Safety for the buyer is just as important as that of the seller and having an extra person around to keep an eye on things usually helps.

Take note of your selected location and radius

This helps determine what items you are shown and how far away they are.