Why Facebook Marketplace May Just End Up Being My Financial Downfall

I like to think that I am VERY good at saving money (see diatribe about money software Personal Capital here…including a $20 Amazon giftcard for signing up for free WHAT). I clip coupons, avoid unnecessary purchases at stores, put money in my 401k… but Facebook may just be my downfall yet.

Let’s talk about Facebook Marketplace. Whew. It’s pretty darn awesome. And yup, there goes all my money. It’s like Craigslist, but without the creepy anonymous people and the ugly interface. On Facebook I can meet real people who are close to me who have actual profiles that I can pre-stalk before engaging with them. Plus, I can find cool secondhand stuff for way less than retail just by doing my normal Facebook thing.

Here are some of my recent finds:

This mirror, now hanging over Tad’s dresser with the cloth diapes: $10 and is Target’s Threshold brand. My narcissistic son loves checking himself out in it.

Then (embarrassingly) the same lady sold me a pair of chairs like a day later. We both laughed awkwardly and I made a creepy joke that I should just invite myself in to shop her entire house. Thankfully she didn’t run screaming from me, though it would have been understandable.

Two World Market chairs for $25 each. One lives in our office corner. Ignore everything else and focus on the chair k thanks. It’s an improvement from the folding chair we’d been using.

And the other chair is in our weird front living room that we don’t really use but still have to dust BOO. All of this decor (minus the chair) is up for debate. Except the thought of patching all those gallery wall nail holes gives me hives. So that may be permanent even though I’m over it. Alas.

And if anyone has any tips on how to make a fiddle leaf fig grow up straight, I’m all ears. This one (above) has had to lean against the window for the last 8 months or else it tips over.

And finally, another Target find on Facebook Marketplace, this $5 “blanket” basket. It’s bigger than this picture shows, like I could fit two small children in it with ease (and isn’t that the goal?).

I’m not including the Christmas decor and mounds of clothing I’ve surreptitiously purchased without Ken’s full knowledge. It’s an embarrassing amount and we don’t need to talk about it.

TIPS if you want to spend similar amounts of money and time on this “hobby:”

  • If someone has something you like for a price you like, see if they’re selling other stuff and buy it all. I sometimes buy multiple items from a person at a lower price than they advertised it for–it’s less hassle for them to sell things in groups so they may be willing to negotiate.
  • The pre-stalk (prior to showing interest) is a necessity. You can tell a lot about a person from their public Facebook info.
  • You can also tell a lot about a person from messaging them and interacting with them that way. I have in fact backed away slowly from a potential person when their messages seem a little crazy or like they may or may not actually come through on a planned meet-up.
  • When you need a good excuse to back away, blame the husband. He may or may not have any knowledge of the deal, but “the hubs said no” is a universally understood closed-door tactic.
  • My favorite type of interaction: the porch-pick-up. Wait, I don’t actually have to talk with anyone? YES. And I can have a larger window of time to get my stuff? I’M ALL IN. I prefer selling this way too. It requires a bit of trust on the part of the seller but I’ve never once had it backfire on me.
  • Oh, and don’t limit yourself to shopping JUST Facebook Marketplace–may neighborhood/suburbs around West Mich have “garage sale” Facebook groups. If you join one in your area, the posts often show up on your timeline increasing the likelihood you’ll find something awesome and end up with less money and more stuff. Wait…what are we doing here?

I could probably do a whole post on selling stuff on Facebook and maybe I will. But this is enough to discredit me from my frugal throne at the moment so I’ll end here.

Anyone else have tips for shopping secondhand on Facebook that I’m missing?

 

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