Learn how to use Facebook to get items for your DIY projects
I am the first one to say I was a little skeptical of using Facebook groups to buy and sell things. However, having children changed that. I realized I can buy and sell things on Facebook and easily make or save money!
I also LOVE using these groups to score free or cheap items for all of my DIY projects. Our Little Tykes playhouse makeover and this amazing mid-century modern dresser are two AWESOME examples of items I was able to score for FREE! However, please proceed with caution when using any online selling site. These are only our personal experiences and we only want our readers to make sure they are doing things safely.
The biggest learning curve I had to figure out in these groups, was the lingo people used in the BST (Buy-Sell-Trade) groups. Once you have a system down, it really is super simple to buy and sell things on Facebook.
How do you find free things to give DIY makeovers?
-My favorite way to buy and sell things is through local Facebook Groups
-Scanning great neighborhoods on trash day (my city has bulk pick-up days certain times a year and people LOVE to get rid of things then)
Are garage sales more your thing? Check out tips from my DIY blogger friend at A Country Girl’s Life about how she using garage sales to make extra money!
Tips for using your local Facebook Groups
I recently starting to even SELL a lot of our old things in Facebook Buy-Sell-Trade groups. Check to see if you have one in your area or county. Normally you have to be accepted by administrators to be in the group. I guess they are trying to see if you are a real person.
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When you go to list your item in a group, Facebook will also ask if you would like to list in Facebook Marketplace. Sometimes I am able to sell things this way, but most of the time I have more success in the Facebook groups that have administrators that you can report problems to.
Precautions and tips for buying and selling on Facebook (or any site)
Warning about buying and selling on Facebook….
At least how I use Buy/Sell Trade groups, there is a certain amount of trust involved in transactions. If picking something up, my husband will normally go, as I do not feel comfortable going myself. I also try to see if the person has sold things before, etc.
If you ever have a doubt that something may not be safe, then ask to meet at a public location or even in your police station’s parking lot!
How to do porch pick-up (PPU) when buying and selling online?
- Put a box or large tupperware container outside at your agreed upon day or time.
- Place item in box.
- Leave an envelope in the box for cash to be put in.
- Buyer will come grab item and place cash in.***
***Again this is a little risky, I know. So we only do this if it is a small item. However, in the current time this is honestly safer for us to use due to no contact. We would never put something in the box that we would be devasted if it was stolen or worth so much that we could end up getting taken advantage of.***
As for selling in these groups, I do porch pick-up or as some people list (PPU). I don’t have a porch, but I put a box by my garage with the items they are going to pick up. I keep my garage door closed.
In the box, there is an envelope so that my buyer can come and grab what they purchased and place CASH in the envelope. I instruct my buyer via Facebook messenger about the procedure.
I don’t want to jinx myself, but so far so good on just starting to get rid of the junk and add new toys and furniture that I can makeover for my family’s needs! However, you are giving out your home address and you need to feel comfortable doing this.
Tips for avoiding scammers
Be aware that recently in my local groups, scammers have been started to troll (not a good thing). Administrators or people who monitor the site can only do so much. We have found that some of the smaller groups are better monitored.
- Never give out personal information early in transaction or at all
- Don’t click on links you don’t know where they lead
- If the deal seems way to good to be true, it probably is
- You can access history and ratings on your sellers and buyers (I would never even message with someone with a low rating in anything).
- Some people love using venmo or other paid services, but we prefer cash in order to not be sharing more information.
- Use a local group (county or city) with adminstrators that seem to monitor the page.
- If the idea of using FB scares you, conisdering occassionaly just posted items to your specific friends. I am in a mom’s group with people I know and that is a great and safe place to swap and sell used baby items.
If you are in doubt or questioning anything you have to ask yourself is the $10 I’ll make or save worth it?Erin from The DIY Nuts
Lingo and terminology used in Facebook Buy-Sell-Trade Groups
EUC-Excellent Used Condition
Pet- Free Home
FCFS-First Come First Serve
NWT-New With Tags
NWOT-New Without Tags
OBO-Or Best Offer
How to create a sell listing on Facebook?
- You will need to join groups local to your area.
- Once you have been approved for the group, you will go to your news feed and click groups.
- Take pictures of your items before listing. Make sure you take pictures that are honest and show any imperfections. Here are some tips from Shopify to help you with photographing your item with your phone.
- Click sell something.
- Fill out the details about the item and add items. You can list the price, quality and more desciptions. You will want to mention general location and any specifics on how you want to do the transaction. Again be honest!
- Hit post. If you belong to other groups, Facebook may ask if you would ilke to post those as well. Click dots if that is case.
- Monitor your posting to see if people are commenting or messaging you.
- Neogiate wisely.
- Once your item is sold, you will want to put a note (pending pick-up) and mark as sold so that you do not get too many more inquires.
Here is a real post that we used to sell this bench.
Here is Facebook’s official site explaining the process.
Be Patient using Facebook Buy-Sell-Trade Groups and Good LUCK!
Lastly, there is a little bit of LUCK, patience, and persistence to score things for FREE! Just keep working at it eventually you will get something AWESOME that might just need a little extra love.