Some of the most active Groups on Facebook are local Buy-and-Sell communities. The platform has proven to be a great place for people to make extra money unloading their unwanted stuff. So much so Facebook has recently made the process even easier with an app and new features.
Victoria Huizinga is an experienced Facebook seller. Victoria writes at Snail Pace Transformations where her mission is to help moms find the time and money they need to pursue their passions while maintaining balance in their lives. She has stopped by today to share her tips.
What was your motivation to start selling in Facebook Groups?
I first decided to try out selling in Facebook Groups after I saw a friend make $300 in one month selling items from her home that she no longer wanted.
I wanted to see if it was really as simple as she said it was and test it out for the readers of my blog, where I often share posts on reselling items.
What’s the process like listing items on the site? What are the requirements?
The process of selling the items is really simple.
One: follow the requirements of your Facebook Buy & Sell groups. Requirements vary from group to group, but are usually listed at the top of the group page.
Two: take a good picture. That means good lighting and not too much else going on in the background of the photo. Make sure it is a close up shot. If the item is big and your group allows more than one photo per posting take pictures of the item from several angles.
Three: upload it to the Facebook group in your area. Check your group for requirements. For example, some want it uploaded as an album and some are okay with uploading it directly to the group.
Four: list details about your item, how old, any signs of wear, measurements, anything that you yourself might ask if you yourself were wanting to buy the item. Also list the price. Don't list your item too high, it will kill your listing. Items should be listed just above yard sale price value. If you don't know what that is ask a few of your yard sale shopping friends.
What's a normal sales transaction like? When and how are payments collected?
A normal sales transaction starts with a comment left by an interested buyer. From there things move over to the message area of Facebook where price is negotiated as well as time and place for pick up.
Payments are made in person and cash only.
I see many exchanges take place in-person. Do you have any safety recommendations?
Meet buyers in public places in daylight hours where there are going to be people around you at all times. For instance, I met a few people at my local Walmart parking lot in the afternoon.
For larger items I had my husband load them into the back of his truck for me and made sure that either I or the buyer brought someone to the drop off location to help us transfer the item from my vehicle to theirs. I avoided home pick up.
What tips do you have for those getting started with Facebook Buy/Sell Groups?
Ask for recommendations for good groups from your friends. I would also say don't jump in selling something minutes after you join. Scroll through the group and see if the comments are positive, what is being sold, and for how much. If you don't like the vibe of the group, then don’t sell there. I dropped out of one group after I saw people swearing in the comments as well as accusations of people selling stolen goods. However, I kept looking and found one with a much more positive atmosphere and that is where I sold my stuff. There are usually several groups in one area, so if you don't like the first one you join find another.
Another tip I would add is really think about your time and effort to sell an item before you put something up to sell. Selling an item for $5 probably isn't worth your time. You have to consider not just the time it took to list it, but time to negotiate a sale, time to drive to the drop off location, time to drive home from drop off site etc. As a rule of thumb I wouldn't post an item for sale unless it has a value of $25 or more.
Tell us about your favorite programs or resources for getting started? Any must-have tools of the trade?
You don't really need any programs or resources to get started, all you need is a way to get photos of your items on to Facebook, and of course a Facebook account.
How can people find Facebook Buy/Sell Groups in their community?
The fastest way to find good Facebook Buy/Sell Groups in your community is to ask your Facebook friends. If you don't get an answer the first time you ask, ask again at a different time of day. The Facebook feed goes fast and your friends that could help may have just not seen your question.
Do you have any experience selling on Facebook Groups? Please share your tips in the comments.