How To Successfully Sell (and Ship) Your Stuff on Facebook Marketplace

 

How To Successfully Sell (and Ship) Your Stuff on Facebook MarketplaceIf you had told me a year ago that I would be selling items from my house and shipping them 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 110 items using Facebook Marketplace and have brought in over $1000 from household items and clothing, I can honestly say I’m as surprised as you are!

I sold a number of items on Facebook Marketplace before this year 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:

  1. Hook up your PayPal and/or checking account to Facebook.  To be able to ship items, you must hook up a PayPal account to Facebook. 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. 
  2. 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. In step two, you’ll estimate the weight of your item, and that sets a shipping price. 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.
  3. Watch as the orders begin coming in! You get both an email and a Facebook notification when someone places an order.

  4. Click on the order notification and 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.
  5. 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.

***Another option: many local stores (HyVee, Target, Walgreens) accept packages at customer service for USPS, FedEx, and UPS.  If you’re going to the store anyway, just drop it off on your way in!

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!

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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!

How To Successfully Sell (and Ship) Your Stuff on Facebook Marketplace

Here’s what I love most about shipping items:

  1. No bartering or giving away personal information to strangers on the Internet!
  2. 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!
  3. I get to sell items on my own time, at my own pace.
  4. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Alicia is a stay-at-home mom to Claire (5), Drake (4), and Kate (1). After growing up in western Iowa, Alicia ventured east to attend the University of Iowa and graduated in 2014 with a Political Science degree, and a minor in English. When she isn’t chasing kids, she loves finding time for scrapbooking, going on walks around the neighborhood, and watching any and every home renovation show! Alicia loves staying involved in her community, mainly through spending time in her church and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. With three kids under five, her advice to moms with young kids is: “prayer, coffee, and then a little more of each!”

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