As promised here’s a short “how to” on buying and selling on Facebook!
First things first, join Facebook! I know most of you have already done this but there are the few social media holdouts still around so I had to say it. Unfortunately if you are one of those hold out you do have to join to buy and sell on Facebook….come join the dark side(insert dramatic sound effects here).
Most towns have a variety of “yard sale” pages some are trade and barter pages, buy and sell etc.but are all essentially the same thing. Start by finding a few, look for ones who have the most members and likes, if they are not private pages you have to request to join check how much activity posts get. If you see a lot of posts without much activity(not many things being actually sold) it may not be worth your time to post with them if you are trying to sell.
Once you’ve found a few pages that you like and have become a member of the fun part begins! If you are buying it’s fairly simple typically whoever comments or private messages the seller first has first “dibs” if they want it. So if you see something you’re interested in, act fast!
Here’s a few tips and tricks for the beginner buyer…
1. As a rule DO NOT low ball other sellers, it’s frustrating and a waste of their time, be reasonable.
2. If you agree to buy something, try to avoid canceling at the last minute or no showing to a pick up. Sometimes people will post a complaint about you on the actual page and other sellers then know not to work with you.
3. Sellers typically will not come to you, the thought is if you want it come get it.
4. Always meet at a public, well lit place. Although Facebook is “safer” than Craigslist, in my opinion(even though I love Craigslist!) there is always risk. Just use your best judgement and be smart! I personally tell someone where I am meeting the person, what time and their name then a time they can expect to hear from me by. I also watch a lot of crime shows so in the off chance something happens I turn the GPS on my phone on so it can be tracked. I prefer to private message the seller that way your information is not in the comments for just anyone to see and there is a “paper trail” so to speak. If these things will truly help… I hope and they make me feel a little better, but I do not know so again take precautions!
5. Check out the sellers profile, make sure it look legitimate if something seems strange, it probably is. This will also help you to know who you are looking for.
Now here’s a few for the seller!(I know I know none of us want to think of selling our precious junk…but there comes a time)
1. Price your items to sell, many times they carry more sentimental value to us than they are actually going to sell for. Most of these are yard sale pages so people are looking for reasonable prices.
2. People will try to barter with you and low ball you like I mentioned in the do not’s of buying. Be firm but be nice, unfortunately this is social media and a bad reputation spreads like wildfire.
3. Use good quality photos and make sure to label them clearly especially the price. Even when your pictures are labeled well you will still get people asking you “how much” all the time! Be patient with people, technology has glitches, it’s a well known fact and not everyone is tech savvy…also another well known fact, and they are trying to give you money for junk!
4. Be prepared for “no shows” because it will happen at some point. Contact the buyer to see if there was a miscommunication, if they do not reply you are within your rights to contact the administrator of the page and inform them of the incident and they will take necessary action(i.e. removing that person from their page etc.) Do not, I repeat DO NOT publicly shame that individual on the page by posting about it. It makes you look unprofessional and turns other people off from dealing with you in the future.
These are just a few tips and tricks for getting started, there is always more to learn! Social media is an ever changing platform for buying and selling, staying current with the “lingo” is important so as my parting gift, a quick vocabulary lesson!
Below are a few of the most common you will encounter:
Int = Interested
PPU = pending pick up
OBO = or best off
PM = private message(messenger)
Happy trails junkers!