We are mixing things up today people! I’m taking a step away from our regular programming of buying-fabulous-things to talk about how to make money selling your fabulous things! On Facebook no less! I recently made $1,507 selling worn clothing and today I am going into precise detail on how you can do it too.
For the shopping enthusiasts in the audience, the reality is that shopping can be an expensive passion! As glorious as it is to find the *perfect* item, it can seriously take it’s toll on the credit card and sometimes you just have to say ‘no’ <insert sobs>.
Saying no is hard to do… and harder still on holidays.
In my experience, there is no scenario harder to pass up a *perfect* find than shopping on holidays. There is no returning to buy it next week, or waiting ’til it’s on sale. It is a now-or-never scenario and my personal history suggests I opt for now over never 9.9 out of 10 times.
In February, JS and I snuck over to New York for 10 days of amazing big city holiday buzz. While we spent much of our time exploring and learning and hanging out… there is no scenario where I am in NYC for 10 days and don’t shop. So before I went on holidays, I tried something I hadn’t done before… and focused on making some extra $ ahead of time by selling some no-longer-worn pieces from my wardrobe.
How did you sell them?
In the past, I’ve always sold from eBay and while it can be slow, I’ve had reasonable success. However, an extraordinarily resourceful friend recently introduced me to the world of Buy, Swap, Sell pages on Facebook which made selling faster, easier and more profitable!
How do I join a Facebook Buy Swap Sell page?
Buy, Swap, Sell pages are set up on Facebook as groups using the marketplace functionality Facebook has built to support people selling items through their platform. Conveniently, a bunch of groups have popped up that are specifically focused on one particular brand, like Cue which is the one that I sold in. Search the name of the brand you’re looking for with ‘buy sell’ afterward and you’ll likely have a range of hits. Find the group with the most members then like all facebook groups you need to request to join.
Most groups have a pinned post outlining guidelines for selling using the page. Read this to understand how it works.
Then you’re ready to start buying and selling!
Tips for selling using a Facebook buy swap sell page
I have tweaked how I sell along the way, here’s my lessons learnt:
- Include as much information as possible about what you’re selling, including measurements of the garment. (When I didn’t do this, people requested it, usually at inopportune times when I wasn’t home).
- Spend time making the garment look as presentable as possible for pictures. Give it a press, use a sticky roller to remove any fluff. Use good lighting to take the pics.
- Be honest about the state of garments. It’s the right thing to do and in my experience it doesn’t deter buyers.
- I had more success increasing the price of each garment slightly and making the shipping free. Don’t we all love free shipping? Specify the price for shipping is in Australia (or wherever it’s based).
- List your garment at the price you are genuinely happy to part with it at. You can always decrease your price if it doesn’t sell.
- Be online and available when you list your item/s – if your item is going to sell my experience is it will do so quickly!
- Be certain on the rules of the page to avoid awkward selling moments. The pinned rules will specify exactly how the page works but typically the item will go to the first person who comments sold on your post. This may not be the first person who comments on your post (i.e. ‘is this still available?’ ‘I have questions I will PM you’).
- Once sold, add a comment saying you will PM the buyer, click on their name (takes you to their profile) then click message to start a private message with the seller. This is where you provide your paypal details and confirm their shipping address.
- More people will interact (and therefore more people will see) posts that sell multiple items at a time. However, not all pages will allow this (checked the pinned post on rules for the page first) and the functionality to see what is listed differs from the phone to the laptop (people couldn’t see descriptions of photos posted in captions on the laptop). Next time I sell multiple items I will do this:
- Use an app like Pic Stitch to combine all of the photos of the garment (back, front, details) into one picture. Add a number to each picture so you can refer to it i.e. ‘item 2 has been sold’. This will save the need to post additional pictures in the comments section of the post or respond to requests to send extra pics.
- Put the descriptions and prices for all of the garments into the main description area of the post. This will make it long, but ensure all users can see the detail. Comments added as a captions to individual photos cannot be seen on desktop. You can also not comment on an individual photo in the marketplace like you can in a normal facebook photo album. When you make a comment, it comments on the entire post. #learntthehardway
- Expect people to contact you to bargain on multiple items.
- Once items are sold and you are liaising with someone on payment privately through messanger, post a picture of the item they have bought to ensure there is no confusion and to make it easier when you are packaging multiple items to be posted. No chance of sending the wrong thing!
- There are a whole lot of acronyms used in the buy swap sell sites! These are the common ones.
- NIL = next in line. People may use this if the item is sold and they want to be ‘next in line’ if the sale falls through for any reason.
- TIA = thanks in advance
- F = following. Someone may use this if they want to see the other comments made on the post, they may have something similar to sell themselves or be interested in making a lower bid if the item doesn’t sell.
- PM = private message. Once an item is sold the remainder of the transaction takes place in messenger – see point 7 for details.
- I sent all buyers a picture of the package with their address on it and tracking details to reassure them their item is on the way. I also delivered parcels to the post office so they were tracked as in commute immediately.
Paypal tip: paypal froze my account after I had received more than $1,000 AUD. I needed to provide photos of my ID and proof of address then they unfroze my account quickly.
Pros and Cons of buy swap sell
The downside of selling this way is it takes a fair bit of time to set up and the functionality is still a little fiddly. You’re also dealing one on one with a person, and if you’re buying as opposed to selling, and the item is not as described, you are on your own to resolve it with the individual who sold it. I haven’t heard a lot of stories like this, but it’s worth being aware of.
The upside of selling this way is that you have a captive audience who love the brand you’re selling and therefore are willing to pay. The Cue garments I sold were worn but in great condition, and were sold for between $75 and $135 each.
A final point on selling vs donating to charity
I know lots of people prefer giving to charity rather than selling used clothes and if that’s you – hats off to you. I think Buy Swap Sell is still a great option to try if you want to give back, it gives you the option of donating your funds (or a portion) to a charity you believe in! While my primary driver in selling was to free up some shopping money, I also signed up to be a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador after the funds came in from this haul. Always feels good to contribute to making a difference!
Have you used Facebook’s buy, swap, sell pages? Do you have any extra tips? Success stories to share? Spill in the comments below!