I can't quit Facebook.
It's tragic, really. My generation has long since ceded the platform to boomer uncles who simply post some version of the same angry political meme over and over. Like most millennials, I have little use for Facebook proper - my own profile is mostly a relic from the late aughts, home only to sporadic article re-shares and 2007 photo albums documenting my questionable "going-out" looks (a sparkly tank top and UGG boots). And yet, I can't quit it. Because sometime over the last few years, Facebook Marketplace sprung up out the water and ate Kijij right out the damn sky. While Facebook proper serves up only anxiety and thinly veiled racism, Facebook Marketplace has given me dressers, lamps, coffee tables and art work. It's given me toys for my kids and blouses for my body! And, occasionally, it's given me cold hard cash So, I need it. I need it like my sweaty feet needed literally any other choice of shoe in '07.
If you, like me, find yourself trapped in a toxic relationship with Mark Zuckerberg, and want to at least sell off that sweater you never wear while you're captive, this post is for you.
First, a few parameters on the advice I offer: I am not a reseller! I'm not nearly organized enough to make this any kind of business, and prefer to save my hustle for other hobbies (ie: Wordle and watching YouTube fan videos of my favourite couples set to Taylor Swift songs.) I use Facebook Marketplace as a seller to get rid of clothing I don't wear very much or furniture I no longer have use for. This allows me to price my items competitively as I'm not so much worried about making a profit, but just want to recoup some costs. These tips are mostly clothing related, but could trickle into other items as well! OK! Let's begin.
1) Take nice pics
I know, it sounds so simple, and yet 90% of the listings I see on Marketplace look as though they were taken on a prehistoric Motorola Razer from the aforementioned UGG boot era. What do I mean by "nice"? Three rules: Take them in the daytime, no flash, NEAR a window. Don't stand directly in FRONT of a window, mind you, lest you want to look like that backlit professor that still hasn't learned how to Zoom in the year of our Lord 2022. Find a plain wall in your house, during the hours of 9-5, with some decent natural sunshine and start snapping on your phone. No need for a fancy camera. I make sure I hit three angles: full item on a hanger (front and back), detail shot, and item on a body. Usually that is my body. But really any body will do! This is a pretty crucial one for me, because I know as a shopper it's incredibly helpful to have some kind of reference. Also when it comes to posing advice, I didn't think I had any, but once I started looking through my listings it look hand-in-pocket, head turned, shoulder dropped is my formula?
2) Write a decent description
Again, so simple! And yet, so rare. I know we've all forgotten how to read unless a blonde woman is smugly pointing to words on a screen while she '"dances," but it really is an asset to give some basics in complete sentences: size, material, fit. If I include pictures of myself in the garment, I always make sure to say my size and height, and often times this gives enough context so you don't even need to include specific measurements. I also think you can and should gas up your listing: if you think it's super cute or an amazing find, say so! Your listing is the Kodak Carousel and you are Don Draper. Give us a narrative.
3) List in relevant groups
Now we are getting to the boring nitty gritty of this whole process, and also approaching the end of my sphere of knowledge. Every time I craft a marketplace listing, Facebook allows me to *also* list it in any other buy and sell groups of which I am member. I always list it in at least two or three other buy and sell groups and sometimes I'll get more specific. For example, if it's an item I think would work for maternity or a piece of nursery furniture, I'll make sure to list it in my local Mom to Mom buy and sell group as well. But I add an asterisk to all this advice, because it really does seem up to The Fates (ie: the Facebook algorithm) if a listing gets traction. Sometimes a listing will draw a lot of activity and take me by surprise, and other times a listing I thought for sure would go crazy gets only a handful of clicks. This is likely a ploy by The Fates to encourage paying for promoted listings, but I have already given enough of my life to Zuck and he can't get a dollar out of me!
4) Properly price your vintage floral housecoats! (seriously)
I'm sorry if this feels out of nowhere and wildly specific, but I can't write about my experiences on Marketplace without sharing the listing that nearly broke the internet. I cannot tell you what an NFT is, and flat out refuse to learn what "non fungible" means ( I just googled how to spell "non-fungible" and even the brief description I came across by accident has caused my brain to implode and I need to lay down.) But when it comes to making money on the internet, I CAN tell you that I have never received more traction on an item than I did on this vintage La Vie En Rose floral quilted jacket (below). I put this coat up for $30 and within an hour had 20+ "Is this available?" messages, that continued long after I marked the listing as pending. I am honest enough to admit I very quickly wished I had asked for more in the onset, and ever so briefly contemplated re-listing at a higher price point, but *Anthony Bridgerton voice* I AM A GENTLEMEN, so I stayed committed to my initial price and sold it to the first person to commit to a pick up.
And that's it! One more minor note that didn't fit in any of the categories: if it's not selling, drop the price. If I don't sell something within a day, I'll drop the price by $5 or $10 every couple of hours. It means I'm sometimes selling items for $15 rather than the $40 I wanted. But you know what? $15 is more than zero! And that's the extend of my math knowledge.
I've stuck to these steps enough times that I can say with some certainty they work. And while they're easy on paper, I also recognize they take time. I haven't actually listed anything in a month, simply because I haven't had the time. But there's a big pile of unworn clothes in my room right this very moment that if left alone any longer will secede and become a sovereign state, so I may try my luck with the The Fates again soon, and the uneasy truce between Facebook and I will live on another day. If have to dance with the devil a little longer, at least my UGGs are comfy!