14 rules to follow to help you find the best deals on Facebook Marketplace to finish your home or flip furniture for resale for a profit.
When I started shopping my local classifieds to find the best deals on Facebook Marketplace 8 years ago when this blog first started, I had no idea I’d be opening up an entire world of possibilities for furnishing our home.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
In fact, I don’t think it was even officially named “Marketplace” back then. I just joined tons of local classifieds postings groups and scoured them for hours in the evenings watching Netflix with Robert after work to find the perfect dresser or dining table or whatever.
It became my hobby. It furnished our totally empty first house because we had absolutely no extra money to buy anything new except a mattress.
Shopping Facebook classifieds even paid for our groceries for about a year when I flipped furniture to sell as a side gig during my stay-at-home-mom era.
Facebook Marketplace is still the first place I shop when I need furnishings for a room.
It’s where I found our new-to-us marble top cabinet that we just placed in our newly reconstructed foyer!
The shaded chandelier in our dining room was one of our luckiest FB Marketplace finds ever.
And there are plenty of others sprinkled around here like this writing desk, most of our gym equipment, dining room buffet, breakfast nook dining chairs, guest bedroom cane headboard… I’ve lost track of the rest, but it’s a lot.
We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two… bum ba bum bum bum ba bum.
Here’s what I’ve learned to score the best home deals.
How to Find the Best Deals on Facebook Marketplace
Searching for the Best Deals
1. Make a list of items you need and keep it in your phone.
(Jot down a range of measurements of the items you need for places in your home as well. You’ll be more prepared to pounce when the perfect piece comes along.)
2. Search daily.
Search especially on weekends and bank holidays when people are more likely to declutter.
3. Use specific keywords and vary them.
- Type an adjective (rustic, mahogany, farmhouse, antique, brass, chinoiserie, rattan, floral, plaid, vintage, Persian, etc.)
- Followed by the noun you’re looking for (rug, desk, armchair, vase)
If you live in an urban area with a larger population, you might be able to search more specific terms than that like brand names, but that doesn’t always work well when you live in the country or in a small town.
A Glass of Bovino published a really helpful post with detailed Facebook Marketplace search terms you can try.
4. Look for the diamond in the rough.
Don’t get too hung up on the color of an accent table or fabric on a dining chair seat. Pay attention more to size and shape. A little can go a long way if you’re willing to repaint, reupholster, or refinish a piece of furniture. “If the bones are good, the rest don’t matter.”
Sometimes though it comes down to just bad photography and bad lighting. Look past that.
After You Have Found the Perfect Item
1. Don’t hesitate!
If you’re even slightly interested, message the seller immediately to ask if the item is available so that you’re first in line to get it. The best deals are often snatched up within minutes.
2. Be polite.
Greet the seller by saying, “Hi [insert name]!”
Just that personal touch makes you seem like a real person and not a scammer and the seller will be more willing to sell to you. Don’t make the seller wait for your responses. When I’m selling on Marketplace, I favor buyers who are polite and quick to respond.
3. Sweeten the deal.
Be willing to offer a few bucks more than asking price if it’s worth it and if the item is really important to you.
Also be willing to pick up immediately! Buyers want to get rid of things ASAP.
4. Ask the necessary questions (dimensions/condition)
But don’t pester the seller with too many. Some sellers might get annoyed and will move onto the next buyer if you seem hard to work with.
5. Consider Venmo or PayPal.
Offer to send a deposit via Venmo or PayPal to “hold” the item so they can’t sell it before you arrive. I prefer PayPal because their policies protect better against scammers.
6. Know when to negotiate.
It’s hardly ever worth it to me to offer anything less than 20% off the original price, especially if it’s a new posting. That is unless you just know the item is priced way too high in comparison to retail value.
Use the “Make an Offer” button for your negotiation rather than in conversation form.
Do your homework using some searching in the Google Shopping tab. Often offering less than 20% off the price is insulting to the seller.
When You’re Ready to Pick Up
1. Arrive on time
And bring the correct amount of cash without expecting the seller to make change. Ask if they prefer Venmo or PayPal beforehand.
2. Do unto others.
Be the buyer you’d want to sell to, and be sensitive to the situation.
Sometimes a seller is getting rid of his mother’s belongings because she recently passed way. Sometimes a mother is selling her baby’s crib because she never got to bring her sweet babe home from the hospital. We just never know. Be a good human.
3. Don’t feel pressured.
Once you arrive to pick up the item and it’s not what you thought it would be, just explain politely that it doesn’t look like it will work out.
4. Stay safe.
Many neighborhoods and communities now have Safe Zones posted around town or you can meet at the local police station.
“Creep” on the seller’s Facebook profile beforehand to make sure they’re a “real person” with friends, comments, photos of themselves, etc.
If you need to drive to the person’s house to load larger items, never go by yourself.
The Number One Rules for Finding the Best Deals
- Be consistent.
- Be patient.
- Be willing to go the distance (travel an hour+) for more inventory.
Searching Facebook Marketplace after a while becomes a habit, but it’s a great habit to get into since it really does save so much money in the long run while also keeping stuff out of landfills and allowing you to create a home that is completely unique.
No store could ever replicate it when your home is furnished by Marketplace. The thrill of the hunt isn’t too shabby either. 😉
Do you have any other FB Marketplace tips to add to the mix? Drop them in the comments below.