Facebook Marketplace is arguably one of the best opportunities in the past few years to make some extra money or build a business by selling things online. As of 2021, Facebook users have reached a whopping 2.8 billion, which is the population of China and India combined.
One of the hottest features of this social networking site is Facebook Marketplace, a place where people can buy and sell anything and everything their heart desires (with some exceptions, of course). First introduced in 2016, it has quickly become a go-to place for people to buy and sell in their local neighborhood.
Is Facebook Marketplace a good place to sell LEGO? The short answer is yes. It can be a very lucrative way to sell LEGO with minimal (or zero) fees. But like any other online marketplace, there are a few things you should know before jumping in to sell items on Facebook. We’ve got you covered!
1. Be patient
Facebook Marketplace attracts a lot of low ballers and time wasters, so you will need some patience while dealing with their messages. If you list a highly demanded item, and you live in a heavily populated area, you may have multiple low ball offers right away.
The problem here is that the offers come through to you via Facebook Messenger, so they can be quite disruptive.
What makes this even worse is that Facebook has put a lot of work into making it as simple as possible for potential buyers to inquire about an item. They even have pre-filled messages, such as “Is this available”, ready for the buyer to click send. This can encourage people to inquire about items even if they are not seriously considering making a purchase.
Many sellers choose to add a note to their listing to try to reduce the number of inquiries they get. For example, you could add “Listing will be removed when the item is sold. If the listing is online then the item is still available for sale”.
You can also add a note about whether your price is negotiable. This won’t stop all of the low ballers, because many of them won’t even read the description in your listing, but if you mention that you can’t sell for a lower price, you may stop at least a few low ball messages that you would otherwise have received.
Be careful not to use rude wording when adding notes to your listing, of course, which brings us to the next important point.
2. Use friendly language in your listing
Facebook Marketplace is a very personal and intimate selling platform simply due to the fact that you are dealing with individuals rather than businesses in many cases. The person who is inquiring about your item is not hidden behind a screen name – most of the time, you can see a lot about them by simply clicking into their profile.
Because of this, transactions on Facebook are quite different than eBay, Amazon or other marketplaces. On Facebook, buyers want to talk to their sellers. They want to ask questions, and they want to build up trust.
There’s less of a focus on feedback scores, and more of a focus on checking people’s profile and building trust based on communication.
What does this mean for sellers?
We need to take it into account when creating a listing. Use friendly language to help to build trust with the buyer quickly. This will make sure a good buyer doesn’t rule out doing business from you because they weren’t sure if you could be trusted.
If you are doing a local meet-up deal, then trust becomes even more crucial. Do what you can to build it!
3. Be ready to haggle
Since Facebook Marketplace is a more personal marketplace, it also can often involve much more communication between the buyer and seller than other marketplaces such as Amazon or Walmart.
Naturally, this can lead to a lot of price negotiation.
Buyers on Facebook expect to be able to haggle. Many of them go into every transaction with the intention of getting a good deal. That’s why they are checking Facebook in the first place, as opposed to just buying the item full price on Amazon.
It’s important to keep this in mind when listing your items. Sure you can tell buyers that your price is final, and that is fine to do, but you will likely hit a lot of dead ends with buyers by doing that.
A better strategy would be to increase the price just slightly above the price you really want for the set, and then drop the price during the negotiation. If your price is fair for both parties, everyone will be happy with the transaction, and the buyer will feel like they got a good deal simply because you were willing to negotiate with them.
When preparing to negotiate the price of the items you are selling, don’t forget to be ready to walk away. Don’t let the buyer feel like you are desperate to sell. Be ready for an awkward back-and-forth, and don’t be afraid to tell them you can’t go any lower and close the chat window! (Source).
4. Take more than one photo, and make them high quality
Since it is so easy to list items on Facebook Marketplace, it can be tempting to be lazy when it comes to the listing. We would all prefer to just snap one quick photo of the item on the floor and get the listing live. But if you really want to drive interest in your product, that’s not the way to go.
While browsing items on Facebook Marketplace, users don’t see much information about the items. The thing they are looking at most of the time is the photos. You may also have noticed that many of the items listed for sale on Facebook are from regular people selling some of their stuff, as opposed to professional businesses or resellers.
For that reason, most of the photos you see when you search for an item are poor quality, with low lighting and other distracting items in the frame of the shot.
You can easily make your item stand out in the crowd of bad photos by making a few minor tweaks to your own photos. Here are some simple things you can do to improve your photos on Facebook Marketplace:
1. Make sure that there are no other items in the frame.
2. Use a contrasting background. It doesn’t need to be plain white, but it should contrast with the item. For example, if the item you’re selling is green, don’t take a photo on a green rug.
3. Fill the frame with the item. Make sure it takes up most of the photo.
4. Use natural light if possible. Open the blinds, and take the photo near the window.
5. Hold your phone as steady as possible and make sure the item is perfectly in focus.
Aside from taking better photos, it’s also important to take more than one. Many of the listings on Facebook Marketplace have just one photograph. This will lead to questions from potential buyers, asking about the condition of the item, the corners, the back of the item, any tears in packaging, etc.
The best way to avoid all of this back and forth is to quickly take multiple photos when you are listing the item. Take a photo from a few different angles. Take a close up photo of any flaws or issues with the item. And then you can reference the photo when you are mentioning those flaws in the listing.
5. Look for networking opportunities
When you’re selling LEGO on Facebook Marketplace, the people who look at your listings are of course fans of LEGO, and want to buy it. Often, these people may also want to buy more in the future.
Dealing directly with your buyers is a great opportunity to build a network of customers who may buy from you again.
When you are communicating with buyers on Facebook, and if you are meeting them in person, use the chance to build a relationship with them to deal with them again in the future.
Simply ask your customers if they would be interested in seeing any future LEGO sets that you have listed, and if so, do they want to exchange information.
Curate this list by looking for the most willing buyers. For example, the ones who may buy many sets from you in bulk are definitely worth keeping in touch with. Ask them what they would be interested in seeing, and make a note of it.
Build a contact list of the best buyers, and then simply reach out to them when you are listing items that you think they would be interested in. This is an amazing way to make immediate sales, because you can have buyers already lined up to purchase the sets that you are listing.
The direct communication that Facebook allows you to have with your buyer is a major advantage over other online marketplaces in this way. Use it to your advantage!
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Now go out there and get it!