If you had told me a year ago that I would be selling items from my house and shipping them via Facebook Marketplace all over the country for a profit, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I don’t consider myself tech-savvy at all, and I’m typically hesitant to try new things without any kind of guidance from someone who’s done it first.
Now that I’ve shipped over 150 items using Facebook Marketplace and have brought in over $1,000 from household items and clothing, I can honestly say I’m as surprised as you are!
Before this year, I had sold a number of items on Facebook Marketplace in-person, but had never tried shipping.
The downside of in-person selling: bartering with buyers, having to give a stranger your home address, or if you choose to meet at a public area, waiting for people who are often late or sometimes don’t show up at all.
I have a number of stories that would make you laugh and/or gasp, so I’ll just leave it at this: shipping items is ONE HUNDRED times better.
Here’s what the selling and shipping process looks like from start to finish:
- Hook up your PayPal and/or checking account to Facebook Marketplace. To be able to ship items, you must hook up a PayPal account to Facebook Marketplace. This way, the buyer uses their credit or debit card to pay for the item before you ship it. Payment is 100% guaranteed and there is NO bartering. And 9 times out of 10, there is no conversation with the buyer (they just place the order and you get notified), which has saved me time and sanity.
- Take pictures of your items and use the Facebook app to create a new listing. First, you’ll insert the pictures and type in a description of the item. You’ll also place it into a category (for instance: baby clothing, home decor, etc). The last part of the first page is selecting the condition the item is in (New, Like New, Good, or Fair.) There is also an option to “Hide from Friends”, in the event that you are selling something that you don’t particularly want all your friends and family to see (like a duplicate birthday gift, or an item of clothing someone gifted you).
- In step two, you’ll estimate the weight of your item, and that sets a shipping price. You can choose shipping only, or you can choose shipping AND local pickup, in order to get the biggest buying pool. I almost always choose both, but occasionally I choose “Local Pickup Only” if an item is too large or fragile to ship. Finally, in step three, you’ll have the option to add the listing to local buy/sell/trade groups. Then submit! This is all easily done from your smartphone.
Watch as the orders begin coming in! You get an email, a Facebook message, and a Facebook notification when someone places an order.
- Click on the order notification on the Facebook app, then look for the blue button that says “Create Shipping Label”. Click it, and BAM, a shipping label pops up with the buyer’s name and address completely ready to go! Print this label and affix it to the box. If you’re savvy enough to print it on label/sticker paper, that will make your life MUCH easier.
- Pack the item, secure the label to the box, and get the item to USPS or FedEx within 3 business days. It’s incredibly convenient to create a free USPS.com account. This way, you can schedule a free pickup during your mail delivery the following day. All you do is leave the box in your mailbox or at your front door, and the postal worker picks it up. Easy as pie.
6. Facebook uses the tracking number to ensure the item arrives. 3-5 business days after arrival, the money is deposited into your account!
The first few times you do this, it might seem tedious or complicated.
But I promise you: after 4-5 orders, you’ll get the hang of it and it’ll seem very simple. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this for years!
Things You’ll Need To Have On Hand for Shipping
- Packing Tape
- A Printer For Prepaid Labels
- Large Shipping Envelopes (These are great for shipping baby clothes or smaller items!)
- Boxes Of All Shapes and Sizes (*Reach out to family and friends and ask them to start saving any of their boxes/packing materials they get from online orders for you! I also posted on my neighborhood Facebook page asking if anyone had boxes they were willing to give away and within two hours, 3 different neighbors had dropped off 30+ boxes of all sizes for me! Does the office you or your spouse work at throw away boxes or shipping envelopes? Ask if you can reuse them!)
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
I’ve taped boxes together before when I didn’t have the exact right size. I’ve used boxes that my bulk groceries (think k-cups and fruit snacks) came in. People aren’t expecting a professional service. Just make sure it’s sturdy!
You can probably buy boxes at Walmart for cheap, but I didn’t like the idea of spending money on something I could obtain through other means. You will spend a little money on the other items listed above, but if you sell even a handful of items, you will end up recouping that cost before you know it!
Here’s what I love most about shipping items:
- No bartering or giving away personal information to strangers on the Internet!
- You get more money for your items than by taking them to a secondhand store. I’ve noticed a lot of my buyers tend to be from New York and California. Buyers are willing to pay decent money for a good product, even with shipping added!
- I get to sell items on my own time, at my own pace.
- There is something really fulfilling to me as a SAHM being able to sell our gently used items and put that money towards the budget. I make my best effort to stretch every dollar and this process helps me feel that I’m making wise financial decisions.
Last but not least, here are a few tips I’ve learned in the selling process:
- Good pictures are EVERYTHING. Get good angles, make sure you have good lighting, definitely no blurry photos! Just like with selling a home, a good picture online sells it faster and for more money. They even recently added a new video feature that you can use to video your product, if you’re comfortable with that (I haven’t tried it).
- Be upfront if any of your items have small damage or don’t work as intended. Buyers appreciate honesty and full disclosure. Small damage likely won’t hold up a sale if the item still has value.
- Don’t shoot for the skies with your list price. A reasonable price from the beginning will increase your chances of a sale. If my items don’t sell or have any interest in the first few days of listing, I’ll take a dollar or two off the list price. People want to feel like they’re getting a good deal. Seeing the item “on sale” might convince someone to buy it. A high list price that doesn’t sell is still zero dollars in your pocket.
Okay, ladies, did I cover it all? Please comment below if you have any questions or if you’ve experienced the process of selling online! I am always up for a good Facebook Marketplace story!
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