How I Made $1,000 In A Month Without Working Hard
I know what you’re thinking. No, I am not apart of an MLM, and no, I am not trying to persuade you to join a pyramid scheme. If I came across a story with this title, I would be skeptical, too. I agree, it does sound a little sketchy when it’s put like that. But I swear, I made $1,000 this month without leaving my house and without putting in any hard work. And you can, too.
To start, you need two things:
- A Facebook account; and
- Extra things lying around your home that you’re willing to part with.
Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is. Selling random household items on Facebook Marketplace has accidentally become my lucrative side hustle. Due to the very unfortunate situation our world is currently dealing with, we are all staying home for the greater good. This means that no one is shopping in stores, and everyone is looking to renovate, redecorate, or organize their homes — because what else is there to do, right?
My journey as a Facebook Seller began with the intent of organizing my space. My husband and I had pre-pandemic plans of moving, and we wanted to get rid of some items we were no longer using to simplify the process. We had a lot of baby items our son no longer needed and some outdated exercise equipment taking up space in the basement, so we decided to give Marketplace a go. Once I made my first couple sales, I was addicted. I started scouring every floor of my house looking for items to sell. Within three days, I had made $400! I was so happy with my newly discovered way to make money, reduce waste, and de-clutter.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Here are a few tips to help you get started and make the most (literally) out of your listings.
List For The Niches
You know how the saying goes: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Even though you may think something is a piece of junk, there is someone out there who could be looking for that exact make, model, color, brand, style, size, or type of item that you were about to throw away. A few weeks ago, I asked my husband to bring up three of our plain wooden crates from the basement because someone was coming to pick them up. When I told him that I’d sold them for $40, he couldn’t believe someone wanted them enough to pay for them. “People really will buy anything,” he’d said. Yep, they will! My “someone-could-probably-use-this” attitude has helped me earn a lot more than I ever thought possible by selling items on Facebook Marketplace.
Your Listings Don’t Have To Be Big-Ticket Items
A good amount of my Facebook Marketplace sales have been under $30. It can feel a little silly listing items for such small amounts of money, but those sales add up! For example, items like small kitchen appliances, clocks, baskets, wall art, picture frames, and baby toys were some of the fastest-selling items I have ever listed.
What Do The People Need Right Now?
If you aren’t sure if you have anything you could sell, take a look at the Marketplace page for your area. What’s popular right now? Is there an item that you see a lot of? Do you own something similar? Are you willing to sell it? My most popular items that I’ve sold during quarantine have been at-home exercise equipment. Since all of the gyms are closed, and all of the dumbbells are sold out online (trust me — I’ve checked), people are looking to get creative with their workouts, and scouring every resale website they can find. I’ve sold an old treadmill, a Gazelle (no, I don’t know why we had one of these, either), a pair of two-pound weights, and a ratty stationary spin bike. All of these items were just sitting in my basement collecting dust, and before I realized how much success they would bring me on Facebook Marketplace, I would have classified them all as ‘problems’ I needed to get rid of to make some space in the basement. As previously mentioned, something you may define as ‘junk’ could be exactly what another person is in search of.
Ensure The Price Is Right
There are two ways to go about pricing. If you are simply looking to get rid of something, list it for as little as you’re willing to part with it for, and accept the offer from the first person who messages you. If you’re looking to make a bigger profit, though, begin by listing your item at a higher price. If no one bites after a few days, lower the price a little bit, and Facebook will show the previous price crossed out — so it will show buyers that your item is on ‘sale,’ and let them think they may be getting a deal. When someone messages you with an offer, do not feel obligated to take it if their offer is too low. I often provide them with a counter offer, or message back and say that I’m not comfortable selling it for less than X. Sometimes they’ll thank you and decline, and sometimes they’ll accept your counter. It can be a little frustrating when a potential buyer messages you seeming interested and then changes their mind, but trust that there will be plenty of other buyers to come.
Make sure to do your research. See how much money other people are charging for similar items, and make your decision based on the market.
Your Captions and Descriptions Make You Or Break You
Having a concise title that tells potential buyers exactly what you are selling is key. Early in my selling career, I used to think these titles sounded a little caveman-esque. INFANT BABY STROLLER BRAND NEW. SMALL USED KITCHEN BLENDER MIXER. However, I’ve found that appropriate titling takes a lot of guesswork out of browsing, and you want to be efficient as possible with your sales. The same goes for writing your descriptions.
If you’re selling a piece of furniture, your description should include as much detail as possible: dimensions, type of material/fabric, condition, brand, etc. Anticipate the questions your potential buyers will ask you. If you’re selling a laptop, of course they’re going to ask you how old it is, how much memory it has, and what type of processor it is. Include all of the information a buyer may be curious about in order to save yourself a lot of time messaging people and answering their questions only to find out your product is not what they’re looking for.
Take Quality Photos
Think about your own experiences online shopping. You wouldn’t be drawn to a dimly-lit, blurry picture of an object with clutter all around it, so neither will your potential customers. Take your photos with as much natural light as possible and use a clear, plain background. I like to take my photos on the kitchen floor, the grass, or my bedspread (depending on the size and category of the item. The cover photo must be a clear, quality photo of the item for sale in order to capture the interest of buyers.
Channel Your Inner Salesperson
Even though Facebook Marketplace isn’t truly a business, marketing your posts correctly still matters. Let me give you an example. I had an old vanity I had purchased from Goodwill to use in a college apartment sitting in my basement. I originally purchased it for $25, and replaced two handles on the front for $5, making my total cost $30 for the vanity. I listed it on Facebook Marketplace as a “vintage makeup vanity with mirror and drawer” to appeal to the buyers who scour Marketplace for refinishing projects, the vintage buyers, the makeup lovers, and the upcyclers. Two weeks after my listing was posted, I sold the vanity for $140.
Remember back in the good old days before stores were closed, browsing the aisles of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, picking up things we didn’t need and mindlessly adding them to our carts? We swore we would find a use for them. We justified the purchase because it was cute, or it was cheap, or it would make a great stocking stuffer. Local yard sale groups are like those tempting aisles. When you list something on Facebook Marketplace, it is likely to be seen only by people who were searching for that item. When you list them in local resale groups, you’re increasing the amount of views on your listing. Oftentimes these groups have a questionnaire you need to fill out prior to being accepted as a member in order to ensure you live in the area that the group is targeting. This is a good thing, because it guarantees your sellers live close enough to you to pick up the items. These groups usually have thousands of members, and pop up as ‘suggested’ by Marketplace once you’ve posted your listing, prompting you to post your items there as well. The groups are typically named things like Boston Yard Sale, Boston Craigslist, Boston Garage Sale, Boston Moms Resale Group, Virtual Garage Sale Boston Area.
Make Sure You Feel Safe
One thing I was very concerned about in selling on Facebook Marketplace was the pick-up situation. What if this buyer is an axe murderer? I don’t want them coming to my house! The first few times, I met buyers in a crowded local parking lot and made sure not to meet the person alone. Once I had made a few sales and did not in fact get murdered, I began to feel a little more comfortable allowing buyers to pick up items at my house.
Don’t Get Discouraged!
If your item has been listed for a few weeks and hasn’t sold, try clicking ‘Renew’ to bring it back to the top of the list in its category / your location. Not every item is a guaranteed sale, so don’t let the waiting game get you down if your first few items aren’t a hit! Take a break from it and try again in another season, for another price, a more detailed description, or with a better cover photo. Happy selling!