Pro Tips for Shopping Facebook Marketplace for Furniture and Home Decor

It’s a gold mine of finds, provided you know how to navigate it.

facebook marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a gold mine of furniture finds — if you know how to navigate it. Photograph by
KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Facebook Marketplace is a gold mine of finds, provided you know how to navigate it. Luckily, avid user Aly McBride of the Main Line Find has a few tips.

Search the smart way

Marketplace functions on an algorithm, so the more you key in related terms, the more results for those terms will show in your feed. If you’re after a mid-century-style chair, for example, McBride suggests starting with “mid-century chair,” then trying a series of “chair” followed by specific designers. If it’s more an overall aesthetic you’re seeking — Bohemian, Hollywood Regency — pair that term with a variety of furniture types.

Curate your feed

Though you have the option to be notified when a new listing matches a term, McBride finds the results limiting. Instead, she commits to regular check-ins, sometimes several a day. Tailoring results as they come in makes this more fruitful: Switch “Item condition” to “used” so you’re not served listings from retailers; if a post seems especially off-base, hide it, so Facebook knows not to show similar items in the future.

Strike fast

The good stuff will get multiple offers, so don’t hesitate. “If you see something you want, act quick,” says McBride. “Don’t ask too many questions, don’t be a jerk, and offer to come ASAP.” (Use the Dolly app for help with pickup.) It’s also not a bad idea to offer $5 or $10 over the asking price. “On Marketplace, it’s all about the money,” McBride adds.

Haggle sparingly

Negotiations typically only work if the item has been listed for a few days. “I offer a realistic price I’m still willing to pay, and I ask nicely — Could you do X? Would you consider X?” says McBride. “Most of the time, people just want it gone.”

Published as “How to Shop Facebook Marketplace” in the “Treasure Hunting” feature in the January/February 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.