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Facebook Marketplace Buying Tips and Tricks

If you’re into thrifting, or vintage furniture, or just saving a few bucks, you’ve heard of Facebook Marketplace. I haven’t even thought of Craiglist in years thanks to it… it’s so much less sketchy because you can investigate the seller before you buy and maybe that’s judge-y, or maybe it’s playing it safe.

Whenever I’m bored, instead of scrolling through my feed, I usually hit up the Marketplace feed first. Not that I need any more furniture, but you really just never know what you’re going to find. I’ve purchased a few great pieces on there from some of the sweetest local people. (I’ve also sold plenty more items, to very sweet local people too! But it’s much more fun to search and buy.) Whenever I boast about my Marketplace finds, I usually get a few questions about how I find the good stuff, so I thought I’d make a post about it for reference.

Save items you love.

Even if an item is too expensive for you, bookmark it. That way Facebook learns what you like and will serve you future items just like it. I save items all of the time, even if I don’t have intention to buy it, because I want to see similar items down the line. This is useful also if you’re traveling. Especially if traveling to an area with lots of items that are your style! Save, save, save. It’s free and it helps you find what you love!

Use keyword searches.

If you’re looking for something specific, don’t get too specific. I know, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but hear me out. The best deals I’ve found are when people just want an item gone, and they throw a photo up with a generic description and a cheap price to get it gone quick. So my searches usually look something like this (if I’m in need of a specific item): wood desk vintage. Yep, that’s it. I want to see all of the unique items, and if I’m too specific to my style, I may miss something without a full description! If you’re looking for something specific, like a velvet green wingback chair, that’s when you can include all of the details a la vintage velvet wingback chair.

Browse categories instead of searching.

Similar to the above, if I get too granular with my search, I miss out on some awesome items I didn’t know I needed. Sometimes I’ll simply browse Facebook’s categories to see what’s available around me. For this, I also play with the location details to keep items closer to me (rather than opening up the search window for specific items I want). Some of the categories I browse:

  • Home Goods > Furniture
  • Garden & Outdoor
  • Classifieds
  • Free Stuff
  • Hobbies

The algorithm takes time.

Once you’ve saved items, contacted sellers of specific items, and clicked on items you like enough, the algorithm will learn just what you like and show you similar pieces repeatedly because it’s smart like that. That’s why when you pull up Marketplace, the first page typically has 1-2 items that you love, along with sections for recent categories you’ve looked at. It’s scary how well it knows you… but it’s helpful. So I don’t question it.

Set up alerts.

The good things go quickly — like within minutes — so you need to be even quicker. If you set up an alert, you will get notifications when new products are listed in your keywords. I’ve found that these alerts aren’t perfect, because you can still miss out, but it’s better at reminding you to browse every once in awhile.

Weed out the shipped items.

These items are listed by companies through Facebook’s network of re-sellers. But I’m not browsing Facebook Marketplace for new things I can buy at Wayfair! So it always annoys me when those things pop up. To turn this off, search for your keyword, then choose Delivery Method > Local Pickup. Now you’ll see items your neighbors are actually selling and not things you can buy on Amazon.

Are you going to try Facebook Marketplace out? Let me know what you find! And hop on over to my Instagram Stories to see some of my favorite local finds that I’m scouting just for you guys. Happy shopping and deal finding!

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