Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell sites are everywhere and they are a fantastic way for mums to pick up cheap baby stuff, as well as flog some used goods to keep costs down. These sites are free to use and quick to post, so are an excellent way to clean out some clutter. But getting top dollar for you goods can be trickier than it seems, so here are our 8 top tips to Australian Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell Groups, to help you get the best deal!
There are two types of Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell sites. First are local groups, mainly limited to people selling within a suburb or town. The second are national sites, which are specific to one type of product e.g. Bond kids clothes or Baby Jogger prams. For some more information on national sites, see our guide here.
Of course, if you are selling big bulky items it will be better to sell them locally, as postage can be expensive. These sites can be a bit tricky to find so ask friends for recommendations. Alternatively, to find local sites, search for your area or postcode in the main Facebook search box, alongside words such as ‘selling’, ‘sale’ or ‘buy’ and see what comes up.
If you are considering selling baby/kids stuff locally, make sure it is on a Buy, Swap, Sell site for mums.
We would recommend joining several and seeing what is sold to gage the best site to either buy or sell your goods. Also, if you are trying to grab a bargain there is no harm in signing up to many sites – but beware it can clog up your Facebook newsfeed.
I hate following rules, but they are there for a reason and some sites can be really strict. So if you don’t want to be kicked off, read them and stick to them. Most sites put their rules in the right hand info section or pinned as the top post. Below are some common rules to get you started.
- No advertising – most sites do not allow company advertising of any kind. Many sites do not even allow you to share sales information.
- Only include one picture with the post. If you would like to provide additional pictures then do so by adding a comment containing a picture
- Bumping – This is where you comment on your post, to bring it back up to the top of the newsfeed. Most sites have restrictions on the number of times and the frequency at which you can bump your post.
- Marking items as sold – most sites have a huge amount of postings, so groups are keen to make sure sold items are marked-as-so as soon as possible.
- Stating your interest- most sites operate as first-come-first-serve. So the first person to comment SOLD on a post has first refusal, then the second and so on.
There is some real jargon associated with these sites, so here are some translations-
- NIL – Next in line
- WTB – Want to Buy
- GUC- Good used condition
- EUC – Excellent used condition
- BUMP – Someone commenting, so the post is ‘bumped’ up to the top of the newsfeed.
So you want to sell or buy, but what price should you aim for! Remember, just because you want to sell/buy for a certain price, doesn’t mean that is the market value.There are three things you can do to find a good price-
- This is my favourite – Look at completed listings on Ebay – to see what items have sold for. The completed listings filter is shown on the left hand tool bar. When using this search, items in green have sold. Items in black or red have not sold
- Look on the Facebook group to see what things are selling for. Yet, this is dependent on similar items being sold.
- Look on Gumtree to see what people are asking for goods.
Using the above methods, you should be able to come up with a price range. You can then decide your price, based on how quickly you want to sell/buy the goods e.g. the higher list price the longer it might take to sell.
Having sold several items on Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell sites, I can assure you that people act first think later. It is a race to mark an item as ‘Sold’, but the potential buyer then might have second thoughts. So once you have a sale, private message the first person to close the deal quickly. If they do not get back to you in 24hrs, then move on to the next person.
This is good to know if you WTB something, as just because your name is third in the list doesn’t mean you won’t get it. I once sold an iPhone to the 5th person who had marked SOLD! So if you want it, put your name down.
It is important to realize that these sites move really quickly. Some sites have up to 10K sale items any one time and have new posts being added every minute. Therefore you can quickly get moved down the list and people could miss your items.
Also, Facebook now has so many posts, it cannot show all posts to everyone. So it selects how many people your item will be shown to i.e. if your Buy, Swap, Sell group has 5K members, your item may only be shown to 1K of them and Facebook decides which ones.
To combat this you need to employ a couple of clever tactics…
- Post at a time of day when most people are on Facebook. This is usually best in the evenings or at lunchtime. If you post at 10am on a Monday morning your item is likely to be far down the newsfeed by the time people get to see it.
- Use as many bumps as you are allowed by the rules of your site. Never think you will be spamming people, as Facebook will decide how many people your post is shown to!
- This is a bit sneaky…if a friend is also part of the group get them to comment on your item as this will sneakily bump you up to the top.
- If anyone does ask a question – make sure you respond at a strategic time (i.e. evenings) so that your post will get bumped back to the top when most people are online.
In my experience, not much negotiation goes on in these groups, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. If an item has been bumped or reposted several times, why not try to see if you can get some dollars off. But be warned, if you are first in a line of ten, then it is unlikely that the seller will negotiate!
Facebook buy, swap, sell sites are a great way to sell your unwanted baby stuff cheaply and generally are very safe. Yet it is still good to be careful and not to disclose too many personal details. Never put in your exact address on the posting (just personal message the buyer later) and if you are handing over the goods in person either do it in a public area or on your doorstep. We would also recommend asking for payment in cash, as fraudsters find it easier to work via paypal/bank transfer.
If you are doing a lot of selling, consider getting a dedicated cheap pay-as-you-go phone to just deal with selling. This can be a great way not to clog up your personal mobile.
And of course if you are looking for cheap baby stuff a great place to start is our Daily Deals page, where we list all the best bargains for mums.
We hope you find lots of cheap baby stuff on these Facebook sites. If you have any top tips not listed above, then please comment below! We would love to here from you!