Selling Secondhand on Facebook – Tips for Selling on Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have become a popular way to sell used things such as cars, furniture, second hand electronics, and clothes. In the UAE alone, there are hundreds of groups organized around buying and selling second hand. These groups range from hundreds to tens of thousands of members. Some of the groups are private and require administrative approval to join. Others are public and open for anyone with a Facebook account. Some are organized around location or living communities, so members are people who live within a particular gated community (although it isn’t uncommon for people from outside to join since identity is difficult to verify). Others are organized by interests, such as mums classifieds or Dubai expats.

However, unlike purpose-built apps like Melltoo Marketplace, which provides a Facebook experience specially designed for buying and selling, Facebook groups are not optimized for classifieds. This is especially true since we recently launched our Melltoo Pay&Ship Secure service, where we handle the headache of promoting selling posts, payment and delivery on your behalf. Nonetheless, the following tips should help you if you chose to start selling secondhand on Facebook.

WHEN TO POST?

best time to post on facebook

On Facebook, if you post at a time when people are not online, your post will probably not be seen. Not all posts in a group appear in a member’s news feed. Facebook’s news feed algorithm determines which posts get seen based on a user’s browsing history. So it is likely that your post will reach only a very small proportion of group members (about 6% based on some estimates). However, members who visit the group page will see your post…IF it is there at the time they are looking. Hence, it is important to choose the best time to post your item in order to get maximum views. Here are the best times to post on Facebook for the UAE:

  • Sunday 10 – 11pm
  • Monday 12 – 1am // 8pm – 12am
  • Tuesday 12 – 1am
  • Wednesday 7 – 8pm
  • Friday 1 – 4pm // 8pm – 12am
  • Saturday 12 – 1 am // 2 – 4pm // 10pm – 12am

 

HOW TO POST

share to facebook groups

In order to post your item for sale on a Facebook group, you have two options.

  1. Post it on your personal timeline then share the post to groups. This option is probably easier because you post once and then share to the groups individually through the sharing tool. However, you may not want your friends to see what you’re selling something, in which case you should use option 2.
  2. Post on the timeline of each individual group. This is cumbersome particularly if you want to post to multiple groups, which is typically the best way to get your item noticed.

 

 

WHAT TO POST?

selling on facebook groups

Pictures sell. Be sure to post a picture of your item if you want anybody to look at it. In the “write post” section, include the name of the item, price, and brief description. Usually, more than one photo per item is a good idea, since it will allow you to show off the item from many different angles.

You may have a group of things to sell, say an entire living room set that consists of sofa, carpet, coffee table and lamp. Take a group picture and then individual pictures of the items and upload them all in one post. Be sure to specify in the text of the post that the items may be bought as a group or individually. Indicate the group price in the post and direct viewers to click on the individual pictures to see the prices for each item if bought separately. After posting, click on the individual photos and add names, prices, and descriptions to each one. Unfortunately, the interface is very clunky and requires you to click around to accomplish this.

add description to individual pictures on Facebook

 

WHERE TO POST?

Look for the right Facebook group to post your item to maximize interest and sales. For instance, baby items will get the most interest when posted to Facebook groups targeted to mothers. Cars and apartments are likely to go well in expat groups and generic buy sell groups. There are specialized groups for categories of items like electronics and designer fashion as well. There are some groups that do not allow the posting of certain items for sale and you can get yourself barred from these groups if you do. Be sure to read the group description carefully. The best thing is to spend some time researching groups on Facebook by typing in keywords in the search bar. Again, this is a somewhat time-consuming and unpleasant process, which is why Melltoo, a purpose-built social network for classifieds, exists.

 

HOW TO REPOST?

Very often, your post doesn’t get seen and is buried shortly after. Unfortunately, there is no way for users to search for specific posts, e.g. “brown sofa”. In this case, you will have to repost your item again to get it back at the top of the group’s news feed. The quick and easy way to do this is to add a comment on your own post and it gets pushed back up to the top of the feed. Many people frequently type “bump” as a comment to do this. Be wary about doing this too often because you might potentially annoy other group members and get yourself blocked from the group.

 

COMMUNICATING WITH POTENTIAL BUYERS

When a potential buyer is interested in your item, she typically contacts you either by commenting on your post or “inboxing” (PM) you. If she comments on the item, you will get a notification of such. This is useful so you can respond to the buyer quickly. However, this is also public and gets seen by everyone who’s looking. This isn’t ideal when there is a lot of back and forth between you and the buyer when negotiating the price for instance.

other-inbox-for-facebook-groups

The alternative is for the buyer to send you a private message or PM which arrives in your “Other” inbox. Please note that you are NOT notified when messages arrive in your “Other” inbox, you have to manually check it from HomeàMessagesàOther. In addition, the “Other” inbox is not accessible on the Facebook messenger mobile app, so you can only check it by going through a web browser. Unfortunately, this means that you will probably miss many messages from potential buyers if you are not actively checking this space. As a result, many buyers will comment on the item saying: “PMed you” so that you will be notified via the comment to go check your “Other” inbox. Again, the interface for Facebook groups was not designed for buying and selling, unlike Melltoo, which has a built-in chat where buyers and sellers can communicate instantly.

 

SHARING YOUR POST TO OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS 

share-facebook-post-to-other-social-networks

Finally, the best way to get your item sold quickly is to share it with as many people as you know, including people on other social networks. Facebook doesn’t really give you an easy way to do this. One way is to obtain a direct link to the post by clicking on the date/time of the post to open it. Once it’s open, you can copy the link from the address bar and use it to share to your other networks such as Twitter and Google+.

classifieds-uae

Facebook groups have in recent times become a busy place to buy and sell second hand. People prefer it to web-based classifieds because of the user experience and the ability to interact with others socially and on mobile. However, the Facebook groups interface isn’t designed for buying and selling so it can be cumbersome at times. If you are looking for a similar social experience that is especially designed for buying and selling, download the Melltoo app, which is available on iOs and Android.

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Summary
Selling Secondhand on Facebook - Tips for Selling on Facebook Groups
Article Name
Selling Secondhand on Facebook - Tips for Selling on Facebook Groups
Description
Here are some great tips for anyone who is selling secondhand on Facebook groups in the UAE!
Author

Published by

Sharene Lee

Co-founder of Melltoo, researcher/educator and mother of 5. Follow through is my forte.

7 thoughts on “Selling Secondhand on Facebook – Tips for Selling on Facebook Groups”

  1. I have a relativity large group that is used for selling all things tech in a particular area of the UK. It seems now that Facebook are actually developing a set of tools to help these types of group. The following text keeps appearing at the top of my group. It will be interesting to see what they have developed.

    (Buying and Selling Things?
    Soon you’ll be able to create, manage and track things for sale in your group. Do you want these new tools for buying and selling? “Yes” “Not now”)

    The HOW TO REPOST? area you have created is slightly incorrect. You can actually use the search functionality in the top right of the Facebook group. If you search your own name it will show you any posts you have made and commented on. You can then bump them from here. The only problem is this is not available on the mobile app.

    I think some people do prefer to use these groups rather that site such as Gumtree or eBay. In my experience i have found you generally get a quicker reply, the experience is more social and there is some credibility to the person you are buying from as you know their actual name and can see their personal Facebook profile.

    1. Hi Lee,

      Thanks for the comment and tip. People definitely prefer the social experience more than anonymous classifieds. That’s what our platform is built for, to make buying and selling social in order to bring trust back to the marketplace.

      By the way, what is the FB group that you are administering in the UK? Would love to check it out.

      –Sharene

        1. Hey Lee, thanks for these. Would you mind if we get in touch with you via email? We would love to learn more about what motivates admins of Facebook groups and what pain points you have that we could potentially address.

  2. Hi I am interested to see this article as Im wondering if the optimal response times you have posted might also be similar to trends in the UK.

    I have my own facebook group, which I use for my own business, so all my stock is show there. All my members are local customers. In order to get new interest and new customers, I have to use 17 different local buy and sell groups and post in them all daily. People comment on my post and i either deal with their enquiry there, to keep my post at the top of long enough to get more people in, or I tell them to pm me. My problem is this; I sell primarily to local mums. I sell fancy dress at really cheap prices to help them with costs of ongoing school dressing up days. The issue is the fact, I am not a mum myself, so the normal parental routine makes no sense to me. I dont know the most likely times they would be online. Even when I do, I often have something like Easter come up, or a half term, or some random thing, which throws the routine out of their internet activity. Mums of small children dont seem to follow the same activity online asmums with older children or people without kids, so I need a system for checking the changes to optimal posting times For example, I might get the majority of my sales due to posts I put in groups at 7pm for about a month. Then half term hits, the kids are off school, and so bedtimes dont have to be as early as the parents and kids arent in as much of a rush to get up. At this point, the 7pm posts stop working. And I have to start from scratch again to figure out the new routine.

    I have for about a year now been looking for an app or something that can determine the activity or how many people have ‘seen’ one of my posts. This is available if I have a Page, but Ive tried that and they are too interactive, the notifications arent reliable, and I cant keep people from outside of my area (I do collections from my home) from joining, so a group is my only option. Groups however have no insights. Even if they did, I dont need insights on my group, i need insights on post i put in other peoples groups. So basically Ive been searching for what seems forever, for some way of seeing the reach of my posts from my personal profile posts, which is what i use for my advertising. Nobody provides for people like me. Ive tried everything. Any suggestions at all?

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