Facebook Marketplace: Craigslist’s Killer

Anyone who has had children can tell you how expensive parenthood can be. Medical bills, formula, day care, diapers, clothes, and a smorgasbord of other expenses can add up at an alarming rate. Extra bills call for extra income, and in these lean times, every dollar counts.

In a pitch-all effort to ditch the old stuff we don’t need anymore and make some extra cash, we have decided to start selling anything worth more than the trash bag it belongs in. I have had my share of online selling experiences via Craigslist and most interactions have ended in a typical manner. The person of interest, er…interested person, that is, calls or texts telling you they want your stuff bad. They will be over tomorrow at 5 AM with cash in hand and that is the only time in the next 11 weeks they will be available to pick it up. You get up early to wait for the should be buyer but soon realize it is 11 AM and you wasted half of a Saturday trying to get in contact with some yahoo who offered you a measly $60 bucks for the Hope Diamond you wanted to move. I have a poor taste in my mouth to say the least. But Facebook Marketplace? That’s a different story.

When I got home a few nights ago, Brittni challenged me to put some of her things on Facebook Marketplace. In the past, I have tried to sell items on Marketplace, but have never had any real luck attracting buyers. It seems like the old codgers who want to buy the antique or decrepit junk I am trying to sell aren’t on “FacePad”. The things Britt wants to sell are different though. She wants to sell old shoes, diapers our baby outgrew, and some tall black boots that she isn’t scandalous enough to wear. I don’t know the least about any of the things she wants me to post, but I give it a shot. Moments after I began posting her treasures, my wife’s phone went haywire. Apparently the best words to sell old boots and diapers are very vague and non-descriptive ones.

Within her first 12 hours, Brittni had marked 4 of the 8 items listed “SOLD.” She also set up meetings with the buyers in mere moments through Facebook Messenger. She verified that her buyers appear to be normal people and could see if she has mutual friends with them, which in most cases, she did. It seems that Facebook has taken a hard look at Craigslist and found resolutions for the problems that they never could. All of the struggles and challenges that I ever had with Craigslist are gone…or are they?

I decided to post some of my stuff on Marketplace to see if the quality of buyers or listing traffic has just increased that much. I posted a meat smoker, an old snow blower, and an old ice fishing tip-up I bought at a garage sale and anxiously waited for the phone to start dinging. I waited. I waited some more. After 3 days, I had 2 messages about the items listed. Neither have resulted in a sale and I am sorry to say that I had to let one inquirer know that the $5 price for a tip-up does not include shipping to Minnesota.

As the week is coming to an end, Brittni and I can compare our successes and share our triumphant stories. She can show me the $90 cash she made selling things that were invaluable to her. I can show her I have the strength, patience, and fortitude to keep myself from calling Steve from Bemidji an idiot. I also get to keep the junk that I may have felt obligated to list for sale. I’d say that is a win for the both of us. By the way, if you need a meat smoker, a snow blower, or an old tip-up, give me a call. I’ll make you one hell of a deal.

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