This is how you sell stuff via Facebook Marketplace

If you want to sell stuff online, you can go to eBay and the Dutch Marktplaats.nl for years. A new platform has also been added for some time now: Facebook Marketplace. For many people this is still an unknown area and that is a shame, because it is an excellent way to sell (and buy) stuff.

Tip 01: Advertisement

Let's start with a brief explanation of how to navigate Facebook Marketplace, although the interface will become clear to Facebook users pretty soon. You can find Marketplace at the top left bottom News overview and messenger. When you click on this option, you will immediately see the advertisements that others have placed. At the top you can search for the item you are looking for, and on the left you can select categories and indicate in which region you are looking for something. To place an ad yourself click on sell something. When you fill in the requested information and Next one click, you can place your ad immediately and it will be found by others. But what exactly do you enter?

Tip 02: Research

Before you fill in the information of your ad, it is good to do some research first. What other similar items can you find on Facebook Marketplace, what is the average demand for this item, and what is the text used for the title and description? By looking closely at what others are doing, you can decide to do the exact same thing (after all, they were the first to appear in your search) or do something completely different in an effort to stand out. You may not end up at the top, but your ad will still stand out thanks to originality.

Check out which similar items are already on offer

Tip 03: Short title

Keep your title short, but make sure it's a descriptive title. A title like For sale: cabinet, in itself, covers the load, but of course says nothing about the cost. You can omit for sale anyway, since the fact that you put something on Facebook Marketplace is already a clear indication that you are selling something. A title such as: 'Four-door apothecary cabinet with secret storage compartment' is perfectly doable in terms of length. Such a title is clear, descriptive, but also very curious. Also think about posting a good photo: preferably one that you have taken yourself, and not one of a new product from the manufacturer.

Tip 04: Description

An important marketing tip is that you can make people curious, but that you have to give them something afterwards, otherwise they will feel cheated. Your title should be short and sweet, but the description of what you're selling can be long… in fact, that's even desirable. We still see far too many advertisements with three lines of text that leave us with all kinds of question marks. If you do, there are two drawbacks. First, there will be a large group that will ignore your ad because there is hardly anything in it. In addition, you will spend a lot of time with people who are interested and will ask you all kinds of questions via Facebook Messenger, only to then drop out because it is not what they are looking for. Do yourself a favor, and provide the message with your ad with as much (useful) information as possible, so that the only question people can have is whether there is something to be done about the price and whether the product is still available.

Tip 05: Respond quickly

On Marktplaats.nl this has always been important, but on Facebook things are moving so incredibly much faster that in this case it is really essential to be available after you have placed your ad so that you can respond quickly. Sending a message via Facebook Messenger is done in no time… that's handy, but it also means that people send a message to another seller very quickly when you don't respond, or just ten messages at once to different sellers. You understand: if you are the last to respond, the chance that you will sell your product is virtually nil. People are usually not very patient, so if you are there as the chickens, the chance of a sale is significantly higher.

Be prepared to negotiate if there is little interest in your product

Tip 06: Negotiate?

Negotiation: that's something we don't like very much as a seller in the Netherlands. However, it is really a part of sales platforms like this: you sometimes have to be prepared to negotiate. Whether this is necessary or not is determined by a number of factors. For example, in tip 2 we already discussed research, and this step shows why this is useful. If you put something for 50 euros on Facebook Marketplace, and there are all kinds of similar ads that sell the same product for a tenner less, people will naturally try to haggle. You will always have people who try that anyway. If you receive a lot of messages after placing your ad, then your ad is popular and there is no immediate need to haggle. You can then just wait until someone is there who simply agrees with your price, assuming it is a reasonable price. If only one person responds after a day and tries to haggle, then you can consider going along with it.

Tip 07: Reduce price

If no one responds to your ad, it could be that you simply don't have an interesting product, that you didn't advertise with a good title+description, or that the price is so high that people don't even bother to respond. In the latter case, it's good to know that Facebook allows you to lower the price of your ad. At that point, Facebook makes it clear that the price of this ad has fallen by displaying it in green, and people who have shown interest in your ad will immediately receive a notification that the price of the product you offer has been reduced. That is both positive and negative. It will lead to more attention for your advertisement, but at the same time it also makes it clear that you really want to get rid of your product ... and that you are therefore willing to negotiate the price. This will certainly lead to messages from people who want to haggle some more.

Tip 08: Share

What you post on Facebook Marketplace doesn't automatically end up on your timeline. If you would like to sell a product, share it on your timeline yourself, so that your friends and family can see this ad. Since an algorithm change by Facebook, this kind of content from friends is much more visible again, making it more likely that friends will see your ad. Buying from friends and family is a lot more familiar than from strangers, and that's exactly what a social network like Facebook is good at.

Tip 09: Or Marktplaats?

The similarities between Facebook Marketplace and Marktplaats.nl are great. Yet there are also important differences. A big advantage of Facebook Marketplace compared to Marktplaats.nl is that Facebook works with existing user profiles and that gives you a lot of information about the seller. That is of course still not one hundred percent safe, but it is much easier to notice when it is not a real person. An advantage of Facebook Marketplace is that the company (as yet) does not try to earn anything from the service, so you do not suffer from all kinds of payment constructions that should help you to get your advertisement up again.

Of course there are also disadvantages compared to Marktplaats.nl. For example, Marktplaats offers you the opportunity to pay securely via iDeal and there are functions such as Equal Crossing. With Facebook you don't have all those options and you have to figure out how to handle the payment yourself. And it might be nice that it's not a commercial platform, but it also means that you don't have the option to place your ad at the top if you wanted to.

Finally: we like the transparency of selling via Facebook, but on the other hand, not everyone needs to know that we are selling our household goods. Marktplaats is therefore a bit more anonymous in that regard.

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