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Facebook Marketplace
5 min read

How to make extra cash by selling on Facebook Marketplace

Are you looking for a way to earn extra cash, perhaps to help cover rising living costs? Got stuff at home that you no longer want that’s just taking up much-needed space? Selling “pre-loved” items on Facebook Marketplace could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Reportedly, two-thirds of the UK’s population (some 45m people) are active Facebook users (worldwide there are almost three billion users). More than 40% of people in the UK are believed to use Facebook every day. Little wonder then that a huge number of businesses and people of all backgrounds and ages use Facebook to sell new and used items. So, how does it all work and what’s the key to success when selling via Facebook Marketplace?

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace was launched in October 2016 as a rival to Gumtree, Craigslist and eBay and its popularity grew quickly. It’s Facebook’s “classified-ad” section, enabling Facebook account holders (people and businesses) to sell a wide range of used and new products, mostly locally, but further afield, too.

Facebook Marketplace is different to Facebook Groups, where you have to find local buying/selling groups and join before you can sell. You don’t pay to list items for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Popular items sold on Facebook Marketplace include clothes, shoes and accessories, small furniture items and home furnishings, children’s toys, musical instruments, electronic goods, tools, vehicles, pet products and garden-related items. For understandable reasons, there’s a long list of items that cannot be sold on Facebook Marketplace.

Arranging meetings with buyers

When you sell via Facebook Marketplace, you need to arrange to meet the buyer, so they can pay you and collect their purchase. Meetings are arranged via Facebook Messenger, which potential buyers can also use to ask more questions about the item you’re selling.

If you don’t want a buyer to come to your home, you can arrange to meet in a safe public place. When you meet, if the buyer is happy with the item, payment options include cash, PayPal or online transfer. Alternatively, you can ship sold items to a buyer for an additional cost.

How to list items on Facebook Marketplace

Any Facebook user within 100 miles of you can view your listing, but they’ll only be able to see the information that you’ve made public in your profile (which shouldn’t include your address or phone number).

To create your Facebook Marketplace listing:

  1. Click on the Marketplace icon (looks like a little shop) in the Facebook app or on the left-hand side of the Facebook website.
  2. Then, click on the “Create New Listing” button.
  3. You’ll be asked to “Choose Listing Type”. You select “Item For Sale” (the other options are “Vehicle For Sale”, “Home For Sale Or Rent” and “Job Opening”).
  4. Next, you can upload up to 10 images of the item you’re selling. You can upload images directly from your phone. Alternatively, you can upload a video of the item you’re selling, which is a better way to demonstrate some items.
  5. You’ll then need to enter a title, description, price and your location (town or city, not your actual address).
  6. You’ll also need to select a category for the item you’re selling (eg Clothing & Accessories, Classifieds, Electronic, Entertainment, Family, Hobbies, etc) and describe the condition of the item you are selling.
  7. Use the preview pane to make sure you’re happy with your listing. If so, click “publish.” As soon as Facebook verifies that your listing meets their guidelines, your listing will be made live.
  8. You can edit your listing at any point afterwards, whether to improve it or change details (which could include dropping the price if it doesn’t sell).

Top tips for Facebook Marketplace sellers

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Price competitively

    Do some online research to find out how much others are selling similar items for, on Facebook Marketplace and other options. If you’re too high, your item won’t sell. Too low and you’ll needlessly throw away money.

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Upload great photos

    Use high-quality photos only. Your images should help to sell your item – not put off potential buyers. Show important details (including labels if clothing) and upload enough good, well-focused, well-lit images. 

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Choose good titles

    Pick a strong, suitably descriptive title for the item you’re selling. The words should be clear and concise. Include all relevant keywords and details in your title (eg colour, size and brand), because it will help your listing to be found.

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Pick the right tags

    Adding the right tags will increase the chances that your item will be found by interested buyers. Tags are optional when creating your listing, but use them every time. You can add up to three tags per item.

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Ensure good quality

    If you’re selling pre-loved items, make sure their condition is as good as possible. With clothes or shoes, they should be clean and well presented. If you have the original box or packaging, include it. Always be honest about the condition of items you’re selling.

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Share your listing widely

    Share your listing on your Facebook page as well as in buy/sell groups, and with friends and family. This will boost your listing’s visibility and help it to reach a much bigger audience. The more people see it, the more likely it will sell.

  • Selling on Facebook Marketplace
    Respond quickly

    Serious buyers will expect you to respond quickly to enquiries. It helps to build trust with them, which means you’re more likely to sell your item. Be professional in all dealings with potential buyers. Treat them as you’d expect to be treated.

Is tax payable in income from selling on Facebook Marketplace?

If you’re occasionally selling pre-loved possessions on Facebook Marketplace (or other platforms), no tax is payable. If you’re buying or making things to sell them for profit more regularly, you’re trading and earning income from self-employment. If so, each year, you can still earn gross income (ie income before any deductions or taxes) of £1,000 tax-free (this is called your Trading Allowance).

If your gross trading income is more than £1,000 from selling on Facebook Marketplace, you’ll need to tell (UK tax authority) HMRC about it. To do this you must register for Self Assessment (which is how HMRC collects Income tax from self-employment). Whether you pay tax is determined by how much total taxable income you earn (including from your job) and which Income Tax band your total taxable income places you in.     

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