Let’s face it — selling things online is not a particularly new idea. Since the dawn of the internet, this has been one of the main things people do online (aside from dating, obviously!). These days, though, there’s a whole load of selling sites out there, so where should you start? Well, one of the newest places to sell your stuff has to be Facebook.
First of all, let’s talk about the burning question. Is selling on Facebook really worth it? Well, the short answer is ‘maybe’. Sadly, it’s not as simple as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You need to figure out a few things here before you decide.
In truth, whether selling on this social media platform works for you depends entirely on what you’re selling and who you want to sell it to. There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. For example, whether you want to sell to people nearby or whether you don’t mind posting your item to somewhere far away. Here’s what you need to know:
When not to sell on Facebook
Without a doubt, there are certain times when selling on Facebook will not be the way to go. Remember, it’s not a case of ‘one selling site fits all’. You need to figure out what works for you ahead of time. Here are cases when you should skip Facebook altogether:
When you’re posting your items far away
If you’re selling an item that will likely need to be posted or even shipped somewhere, it’s safe to say that Facebook will not be the best place for you. The reason is simple; sites such as eBay cater to your needs much more easily. You can set pricing that includes shipping costs and make everything clear for the buyer.
When you’re selling loads of things
So, if you have a bunch of little things that you’re looking to sell, you may well be better off using eBay or even Amazon to sell your things. Since these sites have more traffic (outside of your social circles), you will likely find that things sell faster than they would on a social media site. If you’re hoping to make a little side business out of selling homemade necklaces, for instance, Facebook will not be the place to do it.
When you want extra support
One of the major problems with selling on Facebook is the fact that you don’t have any support should the sale mess up. That’s why selling on eBay or any other site may be a little easier for you. Yes, you will need to pay some minor fees here, but having the support and security from the team behind you means that you shouldn’t come across any problems along the way. Easy!
When to sell on Facebook
Now that we’ve covered all the times that you probably shouldn’t sell on Facebook, it’s time to look on the bright side. There’s a reason (or a few, actually) that people start selling on this platform. So, here are the times when you may well want to use Facebook to make yourself some extra cash.
When you’re selling massive items
Let’s face it, there’s no way on this planet that you’re gonna pay shipping costs for a wardrobe. It’s a pain for you and a pain for the buyer. You could say that it’s lose-lose. So, if you have huge things, like furniture, selling them on a ‘collect only’ basis on Facebook means that you don’t have to stress.
(Note: You should take into consideration that it’s effort for people to collect things and maybe keep the price reasonable if you want to make a sale.)
When you’re selling used things
Things like baby clothes, toys, and old gadgets tend to sell well on Facebook since they have a low value but people can pick them up easily. So, if you’ve got a growing child, for example, and want to get rid of their old stuff, this could be the perfect platform for you. Hey, you might even want to sell items in bulk to get shot of a load of them all at once. Smart, right?
When you’re selling ‘specialist’ things
One of the best things about selling on Facebook is the fact that you can post the ads within specific groups. So, if you’re a keen golfer and you’re in a “Golf Lovers of Manchester” group, you might find it simple to sell your old clubs in there. The key here is to choose your audience. You already know that everyone in the group plays golf, and so the chances are that someone will want a new (old) set of clubs.
Quick Tips for Selling on Facebook
Now that you know when you should sell on Facebook, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you along the way. Selling stuff online is not always as easy as people like to make out. If you want to make sure that you make a sale, you should plan ahead and be savvy. Here are some tips that will help.
Get the price right
This one should really go without saying, but just in case, I’ll say it — you have to get your pricing right. Spoiler: People don’t want to spend a load of cash on Facebook. If they wanted to do that, they would head to a shop. No, they are looking for cheap and cheerful bargains that they can buy quickly. It’s that simple.
Now, that’s not to say that you need to sell things for pennies when they are worth pounds. Oh no. You just need to be realistic about what you charge. I mean, you can’t sell a PS3 for its RRP right now, can you? Not when it’s secondhand and outdated (because of the PS4). So, you need to adjust the price so that it makes sense. Duh!
Make sure you have quality pictures
Photography is actually everything when it comes to selling things. If you don’t get this part of the process right, you won’t find a buyer fast. Here’s the thing: All people have to go on when they look at your advert is the pictures. That means that they will judge the imagery you use and decide whether they think that the piece is good quality or just a load of rubbish. You can control what they see and how they feel about the items.
So, make sure that you use a quality camera (or at least a decent phone camera), get the lighting right, and get rid of all the clutter from the background. You are best off photographing the pieces against a blank background, i.e. a white table or white wall. That way, people looking at them will be able to see only the thing you’re selling in shot.
Reply to buyers (fast!)
When people are buying things on Facebook, they are looking to do it quickly. So, if someone messages you asking about the thing that you are selling, you need to answer them ASAP. Don’t keep people waiting around for your reply. They will move on and find a similar item (with a quicker response time!) online. It really is that simple.
Also, it should go without saying that you need to be honest about your item. For example, if someone messages you to ask if it has any scratches, and it does, tell them about it. If you lie now, they will find out and the likelihood is that they won’t pay you for the item at all. You will just end up wasting everyone’s time.
Make things as easy as possible
If you’re expecting people to come collect the items, you need to make sure that you make things easy for them. People will not want to waste their time waiting for you to be in or the like. Nope. Remember, they are going out of their way to get the item and pay you good money. That’s all the more reason to be as helpful and polite as you can.
Take the time to find out what works for them and when they can come pick the things up. That way, you can be sure that you will have a happy customer and a little extra cash in your pocket. Neither of which you would have if you were awkward with them about times etc.
Put your safety first
Finally, and this is the most important thing that you need to remember, you have to put your own safety first. If people are picking things up from your home, you need to be cautious. You should make sure that someone else is there with you so that you are not alone. (Of course, this only applies if you are selling to someone you don’t know. If it’s your friend, you probably don’t need to worry!)
And there you have it! While selling on Facebook may not be the answer to all your needs, it can be a quick, simple way to make some extra cash on the side. So, why not give it a whirl for yourself, eh?