Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace

Local Facebook groups and the Facebook Marketplace have quickly become the new place to earn some extra cash selling your unwanted items. Unlike eBay and other marketplaces, selling on Facebook is completely free. This guide will give you an introduction on selling, as well as offering up some tips and tricks to help you make the most of the platform.

Selling on Facebook is quick and easy, and with no fees.

If you already use Facebook, FB marketplace will likely be familiar territory for you. A dedicated section devoted to buying and selling within your local area and further afield. What sets it apart from other sites such as eBay, is that there are no fees to list, nor fees to pay when an item is sold. eBay typically takes around 10% of the sale price, and you can avoid this entirely via Facebook marketplace, making the proposition quite attractive for those wanting a quick and easy way to shift unwanted goods. 

Facebook on browser
Source: Luca Sammarco / Pexels.

What can you sell on Facebook Marketplace UK?

Most things outside of generally illegal or prohibited items can be sold, but you will likely get the most interest on popular items such as electronics, furniture, kids toys or clothes bundles. 

Given that the main appeal of Facebook Marketplace can be the convenience of buying an item that’s local to you, you may have more difficulty selling rare items where local interest is low, or perhaps a more expensive item. There’s nothing stopping you from trying to sell these before resorting to the likes of eBay, as it’s worth remembering that eBay fees rise along with the value of the item sold.

A step-by-step guide: How do I sell on Facebook marketplace?

There are currently two ways to access Facebook's eCommerce platform, either through a web browser or via the official Facebook app. Beware of imitation apps, these appear official but are not developed by Facebook themselves, so it’s best to avoid them.

Facebook app
Source: Oleg Magni / Pexels.
  1. Click the Marketplace icon, then tap the 'Create new listing' button. Select the type of item you are looking to list, then you should take a photo of your item (adding more than one will make your listing more attractive to potential buyers), and click the ‘Add Photos’ option to upload them.

  2. Enter an item title, description, and price. You can then set an asking price. It is well accepted within the marketplace that the price you set is a ‘starting point’, and buyers will typically ask for a lower or ‘best’ price if they are interested in buying. Expect this haggling, and set your asking price accordingly. Also, be sure to check the price for similar items. Try to be descriptive as possible on the condition, as well as any other info the buyer may want to know e.g. sizing, age of the item, etc.

  3. Select a category of item. Make sure this is relevant to the item, as buyers will likely filter down to these categories to find what they are looking for.

  4. Confirm your location. This is shown as a radius of the selected area and not a pinpointed location, so no need to worry about it revealing your exact location.

Sharing your listed item to relevant Facebook Selling Groups

One of the benefits of selling on Facebook Marketplace is the ability to share your listing to relevant Facebook users through local selling groups. Groups are normally focused on locations such as a local town/city, or a certain category of item, meaning that you can advertise your item to relevant people/areas at no additional cost to you. This will be especially useful in cases where the item you are trying to sell is rare and may have a limited audience. By placing your listing in front of potential buyers, you increase the chance of your item being sold quickly, and at your asking price. 

Certain groups may have some rules or etiquette that need to be followed, so it is important to familiarise yourself with these prior to sharing, in order to avoid your listing possibly being removed.

If you find your listings aren't getting much attention, you can choose to promote your listing as a Facebook ad, which will place your listing in the feeds of relevant people of your choosing as an ad for them to see, but this will come at a cost, and there's no guarantee that running a Facebook ad will result in more sales.

Is selling on Facebook marketplace safe?

Selling via the marketplace usually involves direct interaction with the buyer, and if they want to pick up the item in exchange for cash in person, then it’s always worth taking some precautions to ensure you stay safe.

It is generally recommended that you meet in a public place, perhaps in a well lit busy area that’s local, and if you feel uneasy about meeting alone, perhaps ask a friend or family member to join you. 

If the sale takes place from your home, make sure to do this at the doorstep when possible, and ensure that you check any money that’s been handed over. If this is a substantial amount, perhaps have a note tester available to prevent any counterfeit notes from being accepted. Do not accept cheques as these can be reversed, along with Paypal. 

If you have concerns about privacy and opening yourself up to interacting with strangers, take a look at some of the suggestions further in this guide which may help. 

Interacting with buyers

Provided you‘ve successfully followed the above steps, your listing will have gotten some interest and buyers will begin to reach out to discuss or perhaps haggle on the price. It’s important to be polite as possible and help with any questions a buyer may have. 

Frustratingly, some interested buyers may not reply when it comes to closing the sale, or they may arrange to meet and not actually show up. This is one of the downsides, and it’s always good practice to advise any prospective buyers that you will offer the item to another buyer within 12/24 hours should you not hear further from them. This allows you to not waste any built-up interest on a buyer who will inevitably not complete the sale. 

Always remember to check your ‘Message Requests’ folder in messenger. Facebook typically limits messages to you outside of your friends, so messages can and will end up in the request folder. Be sure to check this frequently so that you do not miss any messages about your listing.

Protecting your privacy

Selling on Facebook Marketplace is much more of a personal affair than eBay or other auction sites, not only because of the face-to-face element that is involved in selling but also because you are using your Facebook account to list the item. You may want to take some further steps to protect your privacy, such as:

  1. Setup a separate Facebook profile for selling

    By setting up a selling profile alongside your personal account, you can avoid sellers seeing any private or personal information that may be shown on your normal account, and this will also allow you to keep personal and selling interactions separated. You may also join a lot of selling groups which could clutter up your regular feed, so this is a nice way to keep things separated.

  2. Use a separate sim/phone number for any texts/calls

    Some buyers may wish to speak on the phone about your item, or perhaps to get some help with locating you for the sale. If you want to keep your number private, but still be open to buyers who wish to talk/text, using a separate sim/phone helps protect your privacy, and avoid any unwanted interactions.

Do I have to pay tax on sold items?

Selling old or unwanted items typically doesn’t require you to pay tax on the sale value. However, if you are buying with the intent to resell, or becoming a trader on a more permanent basis, then it will become taxable.

HMRC has a guide to help you determine this, but as a general note, a tax break is in place for the first £1000 you make from selling goods via platforms such as Facebook Marketplace. Please see GOV.UK for more details.

Is there a Facebook Marketplace refund policy?

No. Facebook takes no responsibility for the sale of any item on their platform, so the default ‘buyer beware’ policy applies. It is recommended that you take every step to make any buyer aware of any damage or faults to an item before their purchase, to avoid any confusion at the time of sale.

Does Facebook Marketplace have buyer protection?

Is selling on Facebook Marketplace free?

Is there a Facebook Marketplace app?

Do you use Facebook Shops to sell on Facebook?

Can I accept credit card payments for my items?

Why isn't my stuff selling on Facebook marketplace?