If you follow along with me on Instagram , you know that I am a frequent user of Facebook Marketplace. In fact, every single room in my house has at least one piece of furniture that was found on Facebook Marketplace! I find it to be the best resource for finding antiques, vintage pieces, and home items on a tight budget and it’s all accessible right from your phone or computer. It really is thanks to Facebook Marketplace that I am able to decorate my home the way I want to. Champagne taste on a Facebook Marketplace budget over here ;)
Buying Raw Material and Supplies
I will often look to Facebook Marketplace first when starting a design project for all of my project needs. There is so much more than furniture on there -paint, wallpaper, lighting and plumbing fixtures, plants, rugs, architectural items, tubs, you name it! I actually found the pedestal sink for my powder room on Marketplace - it was gently used, originally $700, and the seller gave it to me for $50! For my One Room Challenge this year, I really wanted a butcher block built in desk - my budget did not allow for new butcher block, so I turned to Marketplace, found a $20 butcher block table, and cut it down to size using a table saw. Being resourceful and checking Marketplace for good deals like that sink and the table are the only ways I am able to upgrade my home to my liking.
Finding the Good Stuff
The question/comment that I get the most about Marketplace is, “How do you find such good stuff? All I find is junk.” My answer to that question is that you have to know what you are looking for, and you have to spend some time searching for that specific item. There used to be a “save search” option on Marketplace, but they have removed that feature - instead it remembers your search history and shows you more of what you commonly search for. My Facebook Marketplace landing page probably looks much different from my friends’s page who commonly shops for kids items and toys. When I open Marketplace I see mostly furniture and antiques because that’s what I commonly search for, when she opens it she sees ExerSaucers and strollers.
My tips for finding great pieces on Facebook Marketplace:
Expand your search - Marketplace allows you to search within a certain mile radius from a set location. I have my radius set at about 15 miles normally just to see what the newly listed items in my area are, but when I’m searching for a specific type of piece I will expand the search radius as far as it goes (100 miles). Marketplace will also show you items way outside your area that fit your search criteria - this is how I found our new-to-us wood bed. The item was listed about 2 hours away, but less than that from my parents house, so my Dad offered to get it for me. When I’m traveling I also change my location to where I might be at the time just incase I might find something perfect on the road.
Another word for “cabinet” is “hutch” - different people call the same thing by different names, so keep that in mind when you are searching for a specific item. I found my gorgeous English pine china cabinet because I stopped searching “china cabinet” (what I call it) and started searching “hutch,” “breakfront,” and just “cabinet.” Couches can also be called sofas, dressers/bureaus, buffets/consoles, etc. Before you give up the search, consider changing the keywords you search for!
Spread the word - When I am looking for something specific I let friends know, so they can keep an eye out too! I also have shared on social media when I am looking for something specific in case a friend or follower may find exactly what I am looking for. I will also share pieces with friends who I think might like them.
Act fast - For every great piece of furniture I have found for my home, I have lost 10 to others who were quicker to communicate with the seller than I was. If you find something you REALLY want, act fast. You may have to drop what you’re doing and change your plans, but if you ask me it’s worth it!
Why I Prefer Facebook Marketplace
Buying and selling used furniture online is nothing new - Craigslist was a huge phenomenon in the budget decorating world at one point! I was never much of a Craigslist shopper because I never felt that secure about going to an unfamiliar location of a faceless seller with a pocket full of cash. Just typing that out makes me realize how unsafe a pick-up could be! What makes me feel a lot more secure about Facebook Marketplace is that I can click on the seller’s (or buyers) Facebook profile, see if they are in anyway questionable based on their profile, see if we have any friends in common, and ultimately make a more educated decision about whether or not I want to meet that person (most likely at their home) for a pick-up. The same applies for selling - you can bet that I did not give my home address to a potential buyer whose profile pictures were all of handguns. NOPE.
Another reason I prefer Marketplace over other buying/selling sites is that you can pay via Paypal if the seller agrees to that. The Paypal option has spared me from carrying a lot of cash (and going to the ATM) and it has also helped me secure the sale of an item that I did not want to lose! When I discovered the antique pine table that now graces my kitchen on Marketplace, it was after 10pm, the seller was over an hour away - I did NOT want to miss out on this piece, so I offered to pay for it in full via Paypal before even seeing it. The seller took my offer, and I picked up the table 2 days later. Well, my knight-in-shining-pickup truck a.k.a. my Dad met me at the seller’s house to help me haul the table home.
Transporting Big Pieces
If you do not have a knight like I do or a pickup/van of your own, don’t be discouraged from buying large pieces.
You may have a friend with a large vehicle that can help.
You can easily rent a truck/van by the hour at Home Depot and UHaul locations.
There are services like TaskRabbit that can pick up and drop off the items for you.
Sometimes the seller will actually deliver if you ask. (I couldn’t fit a cabinet in my car that I thought would fit, and the seller just drove it home for me)
I hope this post serves you well and you start finding great treasures on Facebook Marketplace like I have. I would love to see your finds, so please share them with me in the comments or on Instagram!