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10 Tips & Tricks for Finding Success on Facebook Marketplace

How to score on Facebook Marketplace (without doom scrolling for hours)


  • How Facebook Marketplace Works

  • How to make your Facebook Marketplace Algorithm work for You

  • Strategies for Scoring Big on Facebook Marketplace

  • How to Buy, Trade, and Ship items on Facebook Marketplace

everything seen here found on FBMP!

How Facebook Marketplace Works

Facebook introduced buy & sell groups in 2015, and it quickly morphed into what we know today as an online marketplace that allows you to buy, sell, & trade with other users locally (& far away - we’ll get to this!).  

There are other similar platforms - Offer Up (formally Let Go), Next Door, or Craigslist. However, Facebook Marketplace feels safer & more legit to me because it allows me to view the seller's profile and history, and Facebook has more control over the conversations between buyers and sellers. That's why I'm concentrating our treasure hunting today on Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace - or as I’ve been trying to make stick amongst my friends, FBMP - functions like any online social platform - it rewards you for browsing by giving you more tailored content.

Just like your For You or Discover pages work on Tik Tok or Instagram, the more you scroll & save on FBMP (taking my chance to make FBMP stick), the more personalized or relevant your feed will be. With this key piece of information in mind - here’s exactly how you can get better results on Facebook Marketplace.

How to Work Smarter, not Harder

Tip #1: Make your Algorithm work for You with the right Keywords

The first step is to scoring big on Facebook Marketplace is to refine your search using the right keywords. What keywords you use will totally depend on your style and what you're looking for, but I like to use my unique design ingredients to cater my search. 

Check out my blog post on defining your unique design flavor and figuring out what your ingredients are here. 

If you need some inspiration, focus on searching for an era, style, or material. I like to use these guys: 

Tip #2: Scroll & Save, Save, Save!

Once you’re searching for the right things, you’ll want to start saving items that speak to you so FBMP will surface more items it thinks you will like! Spend 5 minutes a day scrolling & saving.

As you save, your focus should be on training your algorithm, not necessarily saving items you are immediately interested in snagging. For example, every time I see a beautifully authentic piece that’s unfortunately more than I’d ever spend, I still save it! Why? Because my algorithm is working its little heart out based on the description, not the listing price. 

Strategies for Scoring Big

Tip #3: Expand your Search Radius

Expand you search radius to neighboring citites, even if you're not willing to drive that far for to pick up an item. It'll give you more opportunities to save items you love and refine your algorithm.

If you find something you love, but it's farther away, you can always ask to meet a seller half way. For example, we're based in Washington D.C. and I sometimes score items from Philly, Delaware, Richmond, or Baltimore by offering to pay a deposit and meet the seller halfway or have them deliver it next time they're in town for a fee.

Tip #4: Keep a Rolling Wishlist

I like to keep a rolling wishlist of items I'm hunting for so that when I see something I like, I can act quickly! I have a note on my phone full of things I'd love to find and their ideal dimentions.

You can also act more quickly by setting up alerts based on keywords or similar listings, so you’ll be notified every time a new item is listed that match your criteria.

Tip #5: Set up Alerts for Similar Items

To set up an alert for similar items, create a search using your desired criteria and hit the bookmark icon to save a search or click on an item and select the Alert (bell) icon. When items with similar descriptions are posted, you'll be notified!

Tip #6: Set up an Alerts based on Keywords

To set up an alert based on key words, seach for something in the search bar, example, "bamboo desk." Then click the save or bookmark icon just below the search bar on the search results page. This will create a notification any time a listing with a similar description is posted.

Tip #7: Join Facebook Groups

To improve your hunt, can also join Facebook groups (the original Buy & Sell concept) where collectors will surface good finds - look for “buy/sell/trade” groups! Here’s some fun one’s we’re members in: 

  1. The Makerista's Thrift Club

  2. Your Local "Vintage Buy/Sell/Trade Group

  3. A Glass of Bovino's Secondhand Shopping Society

How to Close the Deal

The final step to FBMP success is knowing how to buy smart & safely!

Tip #8: How to Negotiage with a Seller on Price

You can totally negotiate with sellers. And what is your biggest bargaining chip? Pick-up time. I usually offer “Could you do this for 25% off if I can pick up anytime tomorrow?” The sooner the better - people just want to get this stuff off their hands. 

Tip #9: How to Identify a Potential Trade

Trading can be a bit more difficult, but I've traded a few times by keeping an eye out on items people are giving away because they no longer fit in their space or their moving. For example, I once saw a listing for a large table and the description read “great table, but doesn’t fit in my new apartment.” I traded them a smaller table + $10, and let me tell ya, the larger table I got was a steal. 

Tip #10: How to get items from FBMP Shipped to you

Lastly, you use a search filter for “shipped listings” aka stuff sellers are willing to ship to you for an additional fee. I found 8 blue & white vases for my wedding through FBMP’s ship feature - shoutout Samuel Wilson (check out his shop here). Communicate with sellers what you’re looking for! I told Samuel on FBMP I was looking for blue  white vases with a certain height, diameter, and pattern and as he found them he’d ping me and I’d buy & ship them from him on FBMP!

Some crappy iPhone pics of some of our best 2023 FBMP finds!

Happy Hunting! 

I would love love love to know what treasures you find using these tips & tricks for using Facebook Marketplace! Tag me in your finds @swann.street.interiors on insta!


Halie Porter Signature

Halie Porter
Founder of Swann Street Interiors

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