Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that marketplace is the place to find bargains.
I’ll be honest. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook Marketplace.
Let’s start with the positives. The most magical moment I had with marketplace so far was when I found a much-coveted peacock chair on it that was £15 and only a few miles away. I couldn’t believe the price as these things go for over £100 on eBay. When I went to pick it up a girl in her early twenties answered the door and as we chatted she said she was surprised anyone wanted it. And there is the beauty of marketplace; one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
On the flip side, there have been many other irritations. The automated messaging that’s quick and easy, yes, but also means that everyone comes across as abrupt and a bit rude. The ‘??” messages that arrive when you don’t respond within five minutes. Then there’s the fact that there’s so much amazing stuff… but it’s all miles away from me. As someone who doesn’t have a car it makes the pool of available items very small indeed. Very annoying.
However, as I mentioned above, I can’t seem to stay off it – annoying or otherwise. So I thought I’d put together a few tips for how you can get the most out of it, and avoid making the silly mistakes that I have. Trust me, there have been A LOT of those.
Check it regularly
My second favourite Facebook Marketplace purchase was a retro fish-shaped gluggle jug. I’d been on the hunt for one for a while and I’d just been on another website, Trouva, where I’d found one that cost around £30-40. Quite a lot of money for a kitsch vase but payday sometimes makes me go a bit crazy, what can I say? I happened on marketplace again and up popped up a vase, at a fraction of the price at £7. It was delivered the same day and now takes up pride of place in my bathroom. I’m just so glad I checked Marketplace beforehand!
“Marketplace has an amazing knack of swerving you off course. You might be scrolling through when you see an amazing chesterfield sofa for a fraction of the price.”
Try to not get distracted
I’ve fallen foul to this a couple of times. When you’re on a limited budget, as I am, you plan what you’re buying month to month, whether it be a rug, a new coffee table or some tiles for the kitchen. However, Facebook Marketplace has a knack on swerving you off course. You might be scrolling through and you see an amazing chesterfield sofa for a fraction on the price – or a lamp shade or ornament you weren’t planning on buying. These are always tempting and if you see a proper bargain than of course it’d be a waste not to go for it. However, I prefer to try and stay on track as much as possible and only buy things I really REALLY want.
“A badly lit photograph on Facebook doesn’t have quite the same impact as a beautifully styled photograph on a website… but trust your gut.”
Trust your gut
When I founded someone selling pallets on marketplace I knew they would be perfect as an oversized coffee table, even despite the lack of Instagram hashtags to tell me this was a thing. Even having to drag two pallets up the stairs, entirely by myself, didn’t put me off, and I think they look bloody cool in my living room. A badly lit photograph on Facebook doesn’t quite have the same effect as a beautifully styled photograph on a website of course. However, just trust your gut and go for it – have the fun is the painting, styling and upcycling process.
Don’t rush in
Size really does matter and I’ve become a cropper a couple of times when I’ve not paid close enough attention to the actual measurements of the items on sale. The decorative bronze pot that I was planning on putting my cheese plant in turned onto to be barely big enough to hold a small cactus. Oops. Similarly, while I did find a gorgeous vintage Keiller’s marmalade jar (originating from Dundee, where I currently live) it was much smaller than I thought. I probably would have put in a cheekier offer if I paid a bit closer attention. Still love it though.
This is the most important point of all. When I went to get the peacock chair it involved me and my boyfriend driving to another town about half an hour away to pick it up. You do these things in good faith, but there’s always that small corner in your mind that likes to tell you that the whole thing might be a scam and that the seller is a weirdo who wants to kidnap you.
I was definitely wary of going in the house, but luckily the door was opened by this super friendly girl and the chair was in the hallway right next to the door, so I was in and out in about twenty seconds. Try and bring someone with you and if you can’t at the very least tell someone where you’re going and send them the address. Because no bargain is worth being unsafe for.
So those are my tips. Thanks so much for reading, and I would love to hear about your bargains that you’ve picked up on Facebook Marketplace.