Do you wish you could declutter and earn some extra money? Or maybe you’d like to start a serious side hustle?
Facebook buy and sell groups are an amazing way to accomplish these goals. By selling what you own, can make, or can get cheaply, you can make a really good profit. And be on your way to getting out of debt and out from under your clutter.
Facebook makes it easier because you can get your products seen by a lot of people (for free), and by doing it locally you don’t have to deal with shipping details and charges.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about how to start earning money in Facebook buy and sell groups, from finding the right group and right items to sell, to safely and conveniently dropping off items to buyers.
This information is handy for the most casual of sellers to those looking to start a serious side business.
Find a Facebook group to sell in
There are many ways to sell online, but for people wanting to sell locally, Facebook is usually your best bet nowadays. You get to avoid shipping costs and because you are selling on Facebook, most of your potential buyers are already hanging out there, so they will be more likely to see your post.
To find a group to sell in, go to the search feature on Facebook (at the top of the screen) and type in the name of your town or the nearest city you are close enough to do pickup/dropoffs in. You will see a list of results with that town/city name. You will want to narrow your search to only groups.
There should be several options to choose from. Look for groups that include the words buy and sell, swap, online garage sale, trade, connections, etc. They should be easy to spot.
Ask to join 2-3 of them (usually the best ones with the most members as you will have more potential buyers). Also keep your eye out for niche groups like baby and kids items or furniture only buy and sell groups if you are wanting to sell those things.
Once you are in a group, make sure to read through the policies and guidelines, usually located in the pinned post at the top of the group. If you break the rules, you might get kicked out of the group.
Know What to Sell
Get familiar with what sells well in your local Facebook groups. What are people constantly jumping at the chance to buy in your town? What are people posting as their in search of (iso) requests? Make a list of these and what people are paying for them.
In my town, dressers, cute big kids clothes lots, new unopened personal care and household items, ride-on toys, and on-trend decor sell well.
Also, you can use the group to advertise a service you can provide locally such as sewing, mowing, babysitting or haircuts- which are all needed and wanted everywhere. Or you could sell your unique arts and crafts.
You never know what sells well until you spend some time in your group(s) doing some detective work.
Find Products to Sell
Once you know what sells, there are many places to find a good price on those items.
To make some quick money, look at what you already have that you aren’t using and could spare. Gather it all up in a box and get them cleaned and ready for their photo shoot. Be sure to price them fairly and showcase any hot selling items in the first picture or two of your post.
If you know how to get a good deal on things in the store, you can turn that into cash by buying multiples and selling them for a profit. You can shop the clearance aisles, use coupons, or buy things online at a deep discount, then mark it up for sale in a group to a price that is still fair. The trick here is to get a truly deep discount on something most people would love to buy.
Buy at Garage Sales and Thrift Shops
Once you have an idea or, even better, a list of items that sell well in your local Facebook group, you will know what to buy at garage sales. If you find a popular quality item at a garage sale or thrift shop that you know you can sell at a higher price in your group, then buy it and turn it into a profit.
Keep your eye on the Friday and Saturday papers and in your group to find garage sale listings in your area. Look in the ads for the items you like to sell and try to be there early because good sales don’t last long.
On the other hand, items like clothing can sometimes get overlooked at garage sales because it takes some time to rummage through them. One thing I have done in the past has been to show up later in the day (between 1 and 3 pm) to try and score a low price.
Once I arrive, I look over the clothing items. If they all seem to be in good condition and not out of style, I make an offer to buy all of the clothes from them (especially children’s clothing). Usually people will want to get rid of the items they haven’t been able to sell and will be happy to sell all of them at a fair price.
I once got an entire wardrobe for sizes newborn to 18 months for $75. The bundles of clothing absolutely filled my trunk and passenger seat. I kept what I needed for my newborn (at the time) son and made my money back by selling what I didn’t need (about half). So it was like getting a year of clothes for my kid for free (And if you are wondering, yes, he was wearing size 18 months at his first birthday. :p ). Had I not needed half of the clothes, I could have sold it all for $150 and made a $75 profit.
Use a Talent
Are you and artist or creator? You could consider marketing your skills and creations on Facebook. For example, if you can sew you can offer to make clothing alterations, do basic mending, or even sew memory quilts or pillows, or new clothing items for people in your city. You could do the same for any talent. You can make customized items that you would normally find on etsy with your lettering, painting, drawing, baking, or writing skills but targeted to a more local audience. Many people want to buy such items to beautify their lives, but they won’t know it until they see it pop up on their phone.
Anything that people buy that you can possibly make a profit on, you can sell on Facebook.
Taking Picture(s) of your Items
When you post your items for sale you will want a decent shot of what you are selling. Make sure the picture is clear and well lit. Take the pics by an open window for some really good light.
You want the pictures to help people see exactly what they are purchasing. If it is several pieces you are selling together as a lot, then take a photo of the lot together. If you are selling items individually, it helps to take a picture of each item individually.
Try to make your items more appealing. For clothes, try to lay the items flat on a bed or floor, then stand on a chair and do an aerial view looking down. The clothes will look better spread out than draping over a hanger.
For children’s clothing, people seem to prefer to buy by the lot, organized by size. For really well-made, cute, or special occasion outfits, consider selling it separately. If you have an adorable dress, sell it with a cute matching headband and take a photo of them together.
Sometimes it also helps to get an editing app on your phone and put the price of the item pictured onto the photo itself, this can be really helpful for those people who don’t trouble themselves with reading the description (which is almost everyone).
You want to do everything you can to make it more appealing and easy for your potential buyers. Plus, it will help cut down on obvious questions in the comments section.
Setting Your Price
Always put a set fair price for an item so the buyer can know right away if it’s worth her time to pursue it further. A lot of times you will see a post that says “make an offer.” This is too ambiguous for most casual buyers. It takes mental energy and time to come up with what might be a good offer, and most of the time is someone does make an offer it is a low-ball one.
Buyers want to get a good deal but they also don’t want to get ripped off. Plus, if they are on the fence about the item, they will more than likely pass because it’s too much work. Yes, it’s not that hard, but as a seller you should do the work for them.
How do you know what to sell an item for? Go to the search bar in your group and type in the type of item you have. See what it has been selling for over the past few weeks. This will give you a good idea what you could get out of it. If your item is especially unique or of better quality, consider pricing it a bit higher.
If you can’t find the item being sold in the group, you will have to do your best guess what it’s worth. For a used item, people will generally pay about 10-30% of its original retail value. For a new unused item with tags or seals, people will pay 50-75% of its retail value. If you have a vintage item you may have better luck selling on Etsy or Ebay, depending on your local market. Those are a good place to check out prices of vintage items, though. If you can get a good price, always try to sell local first because then you don’t have to deal with costly shipping and estimates.
Posting Your Items for Sale
When you include a well-lit photo and a set price of each item, your posts will get noticed and commented on by more people.
In the description, you should include a list of the items you are selling and the price of each.
You also need to set up boundaries and expectations with your potential customers. If you can only meet at a certain place on a certain day, then be up front with that in the description. If you prefer people private message you with questions and offers, then say that. Keep your rules to a minimum as most people won’t read a long list of instructions.
When I am selling multiple items, I keep a list of the buyer’s names, what they are buying, and the amount they owe for it. When they arrive, all I have to do is ask their name, accept their money, and hand them the items they purchased.
For a buyer purchasing multiple smaller items, you can bag them up and staple a paper to the bag with their name so you can easily find it at pick up.
It’s also much easier to have specific time and place for all your buyers to meet you. This cuts down on frustration and wasted time from people not showing up.
The safest way to do pickups is to put all the items you are selling into your car and meet your buyer(s) in a busy public location such as a parking lot or gas station.
When this is not realistic to your situation you can still protect yourself by using the honor system. You can leave the item you are selling at your doorstep or hanging in a bag on your doorknob, and ask the buyer to leave the money in your mailbox.
At the very least, meet them outside (during the day) for the exchange, preferably with someone you know so you are not alone.
Most people will be honest and wonderful, but there are always the occasional person that will make you uncomfortable. Don’t invite anyone into your home unless you know them well.
Dealing with No-shows
When someone has promised to pick up an item at a certain time and they fail to meet you, try to contact them first. They may have forgotten or are running late.
If you had multiple people interested in the items, tell the first no show that if they don’t arrive by XX time then you are moving onto the next interested buyer. This could be the next 15 minutes if you choose, or if you are more generous (or didn’t have that many interested buyers) you can give them another time/day to pick up. In all the times I have given people a second chance to pick up, only about a quarter of the people will no-show again.
Make a list of the people who have no-showed you a second time, so you can avoid them in the future. No one wants to waste their time waiting for a no show over and over again.
What to Do if You Can’t Sell an Item
Don’t be discouraged when something you thought would be an easy sell is taking longer. Sometimes all it takes is to get your item, especially something unique, to be seen by the right person.
To get it seen by more people, you can “bump” the item up by writing a comment on your post such as “still available.” This puts your post nearer the top of the discussion so more people will see it. Be sure that you are following your group guidelines as some of them have strict rules about bumping.
If it has been a couple of weeks and there is still no interest, then you may consider re-posting with a lower price. Or, if you don’t want to get less for your item, you can try selling on a different platform like ebay, etsy, or craigslist or waiting for a different season to sell the item.
Times and Seasons
Keep in mind that some items will sell better at different times and seasons of the year.
For example, if you sell toys, try posting them in the first few weeks of December. Last year, we were decluttering our kids’ toys before Christmas and I was surprised by how many moms and grandmas were buying our gently used toys to give to their kids and grandkids for Christmas. Every single toy we posted got sold and many people were lining up in case of no-shows.
Toys go super cheap all summer long at garage sales, so if you have the space you could stock up and then sell during the holiday season. You could potentially make enough to pay for your family’s own Christmas presents or take a Holiday beach vacation.
For everything else, just think seasonally. Sell long sleeve shirts and pants in the winter, sell swimwear and shorts in the summer. People may be more inclined to buy large items in nice weather as it’s easier to pickup. If it isn’t a seasonal item, then it should sell well anytime of the year.
If you are serious about making Facebook group selling a continual side hustle, make sure to keep detailed lists. No-show lists, what people need list, the selling prices of popular items, etc.
You won’t be able to remember it all, but it’s good information to have. Especially when you are standing in the clearance aisle wondering if anyone would buy bike reflectors and how much you could sell them for.
Be aware that if you are consistently making a profit from selling, then you have a small business and you will need to pay taxes on your profits. You can learn more about how and why taxes are paid on re-sell income here. If this is you, make sure to keep detailed lists of what you paid and what you earned so you can know exactly how much your profits and expenses were.
If you are just selling things you already owned once or twice a year, then you won’t need to worry about taxes.
Get Your Side Hustle On
Now that you have mastered the ultimate guide to making money in Facebook Groups, you will know what groups to join, what to sell, where to find items to sell, and how to keep organized and safe as you deal with buyers. You will also know about any lists and taxes you should be responsible for. Now, get yourself organized, make a plan, and get paid.
If you have any questions or success stories, drop them in the comments below.