Facebook Marketplace logo on a phone.
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Facebook Marketplace has slowly become the main landing spot for buying and selling used items online. If you’re interested in using Marketplace, there are some handy things to know that will make your experience better. Let’s get shopping.

Set Up Alerts and Check Daily

The "Notify Me" button on Facebook Marketplace.

When you’re on the hunt for something specific on Facebook Marketplace, frequently checking the new listings is key. To make it even easier, you can set up alerts for your searches. That way, you don’t have to manually do it every time. Facebook will alert you of new items that match your search terms.

RELATED: How to Set Up Facebook Marketplace Alerts

Join a Facebook Group

Facebook group.

For some things, it’s a good idea to join a Facebook Group dedicated to the type of item you’re trying to find. This is especially useful for things that are hard to find. For example, mid-century modern furniture or IKEA items that are regularly out of stock. Search for groups in your area and you might find some great deals.

Use Broad Search Terms

Search on Facebook Marketplace

Look, people aren’t always the best at labeling and describing the items they’re trying to sell. You might think searching for “pirate ship playset” will narrow down your results, but you could also be missing results from people who simply titled it “play house.” It’s a good idea to try broad terms and a variety of different names to find the item you’re looking for.

Adjust the Search Area

Facebook Marketplace search area.

Another good way to refine your results is to use the location filter. This allows you to create a search radius for the item you’re looking for. If there’s a lot of particular items you’re looking for, you might want to narrow it down to within 10 miles. But if it’s a harder-to-find item, you might need to expand the area to 20-40 miles.

Agree on a Price Before Pickup

Bargaining on price is a big part of buying used stuff. While it’s certainly not wrong to haggle in person, it’s generally better to do that before you show up to buy the item. That way, both parties know what to expect. You can adjust your offer after you see the item if it isn’t what you expected.

Ask About Payment Options

Another nice thing to do before meeting the seller in person is to ask about payment options. You don’t want to show up expecting to be able to use Venmo, then find out they’re only accepting cash—which you do not have. Just a simple question like “what payment options are you taking?” can save both sides a lot of hassle.

Browse Without an Account

Facebook Marketplace without an account.

One thing you might be surprised to learn is you can browse Facebook Marketplace without a Facebook account. It’s actually really easy to do. Just go to facebook.com/marketplace and use it like you normally would. Of course, if you want to go through with actually buying or selling something, you’ll need to sign in.

RELATED: You Can Browse Facebook Marketplace Without an Account

Hide Items You’re Selling From Friends

Hide items from friends.

It can be awkward to sell things to people you know. They might expect you to give them a lower price, and if there are any problems with the item, you’re going to hear about it. If you’d like to avoid all that, simply select “Hide From Friends” when listing the item.

Correctly Label and Describe Items You’re Selling

As mentioned in the “Use Broad Search Terms” tip, it’s easy to miss listings that aren’t described well enough. You don’t want people to overlook your listing because you didn’t include terms people will use to search. It’s always better to give more details than you think you need. You’ll also avoid more questions from potential buyers.

Watch Out For Scams

Lastly, as an online marketplace, Facebook is not immune from scams. There are several common scams that get people on Facebook Marketplace. In general, you should be skeptical of anything that involves providing personal information or using services outside of Facebook. Don’t be too trusting of someone just because they have a Facebook profile.

RELATED: 10 Facebook Marketplace Scams to Watch Out For

Like it or not, Facebook Marketplace is where much of the personal buying and selling is happening online. If you’re going to take advantage of the used goods market in your area, make sure to keep these tips in mind!

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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