How to Find the Best Deals on Facebook Marketplace

Simple steps to follow to help you find the best deals on Facebook Marketplace to furnish your home or flip furniture for resell for a profit. 

Facebook Marketplace is like the wild west of thrift shopping when it comes to searching for furniture and decor for your home. There are no rules, sometimes a few “bad guys” to watch out for, but it’s full of promise. (There’s gold in them there hills, y’all.) 

Once you learn the tricks of the trade, however, you’ll discover what a wonderful world it is for scoring high end furniture and vintage home decor for a steal. 

how to find deals on facebook marketplace

Furnishing Your Home Using Facebook Marketplace

Believe it or not, along with buying, you can make money from Facebook (legitimately) by using their local listings. A thorough house decluttering and selling unwanted items can fund your next room makeover.

When I started shopping my local classifieds to find the best deals on Facebook Marketplace several years ago, I had no idea I’d be opening up an entire world of possibilities for furnishing our home.

I’ve been hooked ever since. 

It became my hobby. It furnished our totally empty first house because we had absolutely no extra money to buy anything. 

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. 

It is still the first place I shop when I need furnishings for a room. 

credenza from facebook marketplace

How to Find the Best Furniture & Decor Deals on FB Marketplace

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.

midcentury modern nightstand found  on facebook marketplace

​2. How to Filter Facebook Marketplace 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to filter Facebook Marketplace for furniture.

  1. Open Facebook: Start by opening the Facebook app on your mobile device or navigate to the Facebook website on your computer.
  2. Access Marketplace: Click on the ‘Marketplace’ icon. This is usually found in the main menu of the app or on the left-hand side of the Facebook homepage on a web browser.
  3. Search for Furniture: In the search bar at the top of the Marketplace page, type in “furniture” or a specific type of furniture you are looking for, such as “sofa” or “bookshelf.”
  4. Apply Location Filter: To set your location, click on the location tab. You can choose your current location or enter a specific city or zip code. Additionally, you can set a radius around your chosen location to expand or limit the search area.
  5. Set a Price Range: If you have a budget in mind, adjust the price range. There will be minimum and maximum price fields where you can enter your desired price range.
  6. Choose Item Condition: If you have a preference for new or used items, select the appropriate option in the ‘Condition’ filter.
  7. Additional Filters (if available): Depending on your search, there may be additional filters available, such as color, material, or style. Use these to further narrow down your search results. (However, you have more choices if you leave these blank since not all sellers provide this information.) 
  8. Browse Listings: Once all filters are applied, browse through the listings. The results will now be tailored to your specified criteria.
  9. Adjust Filters as Needed: If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can adjust your filters (e.g., expanding the location radius or price range) and search again.
  10. Contact Sellers: When you find an item of interest, you can contact the seller directly through Facebook Marketplace to ask questions, negotiate the price, or arrange a viewing or pickup.

Remember, the availability of certain filters may vary based on your location and the specifics of what you are searching for.

writing desk

3. Search daily

Search especially on weekends and bank holidays when people are more likely to declutter.

4. 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 items 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

secondhand chandelier from Facebook Marketplace

5. 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. 

nesting end tables in a living room between white couches

6. Train the algorithm

To train the algorithm to show furniture that matches your style on Facebook Marketplace, actively engage with furniture listings that appeal to you.

This involves clicking on, viewing, and tapping the heart button “save” for posts of furniture that you like. Save an item that is your style, even if you don’t plan on buying it.

Over time, the algorithm learns from these interactions and will start showing more listings similar in style to those you’ve shown interest in.

Regularly search for specific styles or types of furniture you prefer, as this further informs the algorithm of your most relevant listings.

After training the algorithm with your browsing history, Facebook will begin to show new listings that are your style to you so that you can be the first in line to buy it. The more you get in the habit of that, the easier shopping on FB Marketplace will become! 

vintage bentwood chairs found on Facebook Marketplace

What To Do After You Have Found the Perfect Item

1. Don’t hesitate

If you’re even slightly interested, reach out to the seller on Facebook Messenger 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.

I scored the most gorgeous vintage marble top coffee table in our living room because I offered a little extra cash and offered to pick it up the same day.

vintage marble coffee table with vase of pink roses

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.

(A seller should never ask you for your email address or a verification code when using Venmo. The only reason a legitimate seller would need additional information is to confirm your Venmo account using the last 4 digits of your phone number.)  

We got a crazy good deal on this breakfast nook banquette because I reserved it by paying the seller through PayPal ahead of time.

banquette in a breakfast nook with striped cushions

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. 

aqua bedside table in a little girl's bedroom

How to Spot a Facebook Marketplace Scammer

These days, scammers are rampant on Marketplace who take advantage of unsuspecting potential buyers in different ways.

Here is a list with additional tips of what to look for to make sure the Facebook users you’re talking to are legitimate. 

  • Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices: If the price of an item is significantly lower than its market value, it could be a scam.
  • Vague or Stock Photos: Scammers often use stock images or provide vague, non-detailed photos of the item. Ask for specific, recent photos of the item.
  • Urgency in Communication: If the seller is pushing for a quick sale or immediate payment, especially without allowing time for proper inspection, be cautious.
  • Request for Unusual Payment Methods: Be wary if the seller insists on payment methods that are untraceable or irreversible, like wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies.
  • No In-Person Meetings or Cash Payments: Scammers often avoid in-person meetings. Insist on seeing the item in person and paying with cash when possible.
  • Shipping Only Offers: Be cautious if the seller only offers shipping, especially for local listings, and refuses pickup or meeting in person.
  • Lack of Communication: If the seller is not forthcoming with information about the item, its condition, or its history, it’s a red flag.
  • Overseas Sellers or Out-of-Area Locations: Scammers may claim they are out of the country or in a different location and cannot meet in person for local pickup.
  • Pressure to Leave the Platform: If they want to communicate or make transactions outside of Facebook Marketplace, such as through personal email or another site, be cautious.
  • Poor Grammar and Spelling: Often, scam messages contain poor grammar and spelling errors.
  • Too Many Excuses: Be skeptical if the seller has an excuse for every query or concern, especially about the item’s condition or ownership.
  • Poor Seller Ratings: Facebook now has a 5-star rating system. If a seller is below 4 stars, avoid them.
  • No Public Facebook Profile: Click on the Facebook Marketplace sellers profile. If their personal account is set to private, tread carefully. 
  • No Friends List: Click on the seller’s profile to see if you have friends or even mutual friends to you. If they have no friends at all and it doesn’t look like an active Facebook account, they’re probably a scammer.
  • New Accounts: If the seller’s profile is less than a year old, it’s probably a fake account. 

Remember, always trust your instincts. If a deal feels off or too good to be true, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

thrifted buffet makeover

What To Do 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.

If you don’t have the strength or appropriate vehicle to move a piece of furniture, you can hire UShip or Dolly to pick it up and deliver it to your home for you instead.

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 the best way to stay safe is to meet at the local police station. 

If you need to drive to the person’s house to load larger items, never go by yourself.

burl dressers listed on facebook marketplace
burl dresser from facebook marketplace

The Number One Rules for Finding the Best Deals

  1. Be consistent.
  2. Be patient.
  3. Be willing to go the distance (travel an hour+) for more inventory.
  4. Be safe.

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.

Common Questions

How do I change my Marketplace location search settings on Facebook?

Go to your home screen.
Click “Settings.”
Click “Apps.”
Select Facebook.
Click “Permissions.”
Click “Locations.”
Turn Locations on.

How do I get Facebook Marketplace to stop showing certain items?

From your Feed, in the left menu, click Marketplace.
Click a listing that you want to hide.
Click the button with three dots (…)
Click Hide listing.
Follow the on-screen instructions.

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  1. Awesome advice!! LOVE your approach Lauren. Any advice on helping to see what you are looking for- I am looking for several items at once and my Market Place feed seems to be loaded with lots of stuff I am not interested in. Maybe it’s a technical thing that when I find the item and no longer am searching, the available items still show up –with the goal that newly posted fitting items I am looking for currently come up on the top! Help appreciated!

    1. There definitely is a way to play the algorithm in your favor on Marketplace. I try to make a habit of scrolling through Marketplace for a few minutes once a day and click “save” on any pieces that are my style. Even if I don’t plan on buying the item, by hitting “save” it tells Facebook that those are the types of items I want to see more of. So Facebook will start to understand your style better to show more of those things to you in the future.

  2. Love these! I found “THE” dresser I had been looking for on MP listed for $300/obo. (Pristine. Retail $2400) The seller said he had someone who wanted it that would be there that evening around 6. The ad also said first come/first serve, so I said I could be there at noon with $350 cash. 🙌🏻 S C O R E !

  3. These are great tips. Do you mind if I share on my page? I have a local (Charlotte) online consignment business that is FB Marketplace based. This would be great for my customers and all potential customers!

  4. So, do you offer to pay via Venmo or Paypal and they send you their info for that? No wonder I continually lose out even if I’m the first responder! If I’m selling I always give that first person the option and then move on down to the next. I guess I was being too kind as when I go to ask and say I’ll take it it’s always sold before I get finished. Many just want the dough and don’t care who was first..OI get it..Lol
    Live and Learn. I will offer a bit more and get payment info asap.
    Great tips and very helpful…thank you!

    1. Yep! That helps “sweeten the deal”. People who are willing to pay and pick up immediately are generally favored by sellers. It’s different for everyone, but I’ve found that to be the case most of the time.