How to Shop Facebook Marketplace Like A Pro

In the year where social distancing is the new norm, I've found a new favorite way to shop secondhand. No, there's no thrift store involved - I know right! Think of it as the biggest "virtual" flea market you can imagine at your fingertips any time of the day/week/year and the best thing about it is that you can do it from the safety of your own home.

It's Facebook Marketplace!


Marketplace has become a part of my daily routine and really the only reason I use Facebook at all. All you need to do is sign-in to Facebook to explore what's in your neighborhood, or the next town over, or across the country. You have the entire marketplace at your disposal. The only thrill is beating all of the other shoppers to the find first... and the actual meet up with the seller, but don't fret. I'm here to help you with 10 of my quick tips and tricks to shopping Facebook Marketplace like a pro, smartly and safely.

1) Refine Your Search...

Anyone can look at the featured items from Facebook Marketplace, but making the algorithm work for you and your hunt is what will set you apart from everyone else. Treat it like you're buying a car. You can select filters like "used", "newest first", "home & garden" and even price ranges. This will help keep all of the junk out of your search, though sometimes the junk is the best part.

I always like to select "used condition" that way I know that it isn't a sponsored ad or someone selling overstock items. I sort by the newest item first to beat people to the listings. If an item is priced high that I like I will often save the item and get alerted when it is reduced in price. I set the date listed for any time, but know that if the item is still available after a few weeks I shouldn't go for it.

2) Search Near & Far...

Just because you live in a specific place doesn't mean you should limit yourself to just that one area. Haven't you always wondered what the richest neighborhoods are getting rid of?! Expand your search beyond 25miles and you'll start to see more and more items appear that you wouldn't have seen before. Expand it beyond 40 and you just might find what you're looking for right away. I think the treasure is worth an afternoon drive. My favorite thing to do when planning weekend trips is searching Marketplace before and during my trip to see if there's anything I need to take home with me.

3) Save Items You Like...

I mentioned saving items so you may be alerted when they are reduced in price, but by saving items that you like also helps the algorithm curate for you. If I save a Mid Century dining table, odds are the next time that I sign on to Facebook I will see items similar. I treat my saved items like my Pinterest board. I save even when I know I wouldn't purchase the item, just to make Facebook do my hunting for me.

4) Use Unique Keywords...

Describe what you want and be specific. There will be 100's of dressers on Marketplace and 85 of them will be generic 1990's or Ikea, so help yourself by describing the style, design, or how many drawers you want. Beware that when adding keywords you will miss out on some of the generic posts. Some of the best dressers that I've found have just read "dresser", so always go back to double-check that you haven't missed anything. Using keywords for rugs helps eliminate rugs that won't work due to size.

*Tip: Type in "need gone" and see what quick finds you can snag just by being available to pick up the same day.

5) Train Your Eye...

You'll be able to find just about anything on Marketplace, so don't get overwhelmed by it all. Have a goal of what you want to spend and how far you're willing to travel for it. Look for things that are unique and of great quality. I know that this may be harder to do since these items are not in front of you, but if you're questioning if the item is worth it, do your research. Over time you'll be able to train your eye on what is newer and mass-produced vs. a true secondhand treasure.

6) Let The Seller Know You're Serious...

If there is an item that you're interested in then message the seller immediately! You can start out by asking if it's available and even offering them a time that you could pay and pick up the piece by. There's a good chance they won't respond, or if they do someone is in front of you and it's pending. However, don't let this get to you. It's the typical Marketplace tango. Keep searching and learn the dance!

7) Negotiate, or Not...

A lot of people are going to allow offers on their items, so don't hesitate to offer them a lower price than what was asked. BUT be reasonable. If they're delivering it to you or helping load it, you should try to pay as close to the asking price as you can. If you're doing all the leg work, then by all means negotiate away!

*Tip: You can always go up, never down.

8) Have A Plan For Retrieving Your New Find...

Get a friend who loves a good deal as much as you do! Preferably one who has an SUV or Truck. My brother is always my go-to if things won't fit in my SUV. You never want to miss out on your perfect find, because you couldn't pick it up in time. If the seller offers delivery, go for it.

9) Search Again...

Like I mentioned above, there are going to be times where things fall through out of the blue even when you thought it was locked. It just wasn't meant to be and something better will come around... just keep searching! It's free and you can do it from your phone on the sofa or in your bed anytime.

I get lost down the rabbit hole all the time. Here are some of my favorite finds recently.

Follow my Instagram stories @nouveaucentral for Facebook finds that I spot and you should grab.

10) Shop Safe...

Keep in mind that we are living in a pandemic, so protect yourself and others.

Wear a Mask. Choose Curbside Pickup when available. Pay with Paypal (safer) or Venmo. Meet in a public space like a shopping center parking lot- some Police Stations have a spot designated for transactions like these. Bring a friend and tell people what you're doing. Never go in blind. If you suspect sketchy behavior, the find is not worth it. Do your background research on the seller.


Hopefully, with these 10 easy steps, you will be on your way to sourcing one-of-a-kind secondhand items for your home. It's the items like these that make a space more curated and layered.

Good luck and have fun! I'd love to know what you find from Facebook Marketplace, so please share your finds with me on Instagram @nouveaucentral.