8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Selling My Stuff On Facebook Marketplace In Toronto

It has been a chaotic experience.

Toronto Associate Editor
Mira Nabulsi in her apartment. Right: A bed Mira was trying to sell on Facebook Marketplace.

Mira Nabulsi in her apartment. Right: A bed Mira was trying to sell on Facebook Marketplace.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Moving from one apartment to another might be an annoying experience to many, but arguably, what might be worse is selling things on Facebook Marketplace and hoping to get the best bang for your buck.

I've been in the process of moving in Toronto for months now, but the time has finally come to haul everything over to a new address physically, and I thought it might be a good time for a condo makeover.

Trying to sell furniture seems like a great idea because it means you'll have one less thing to move while also making some money. So, some may see it as a win-win situation.

But it's not so easy, and there are a bunch of things I learned in the process that might help you when entering the wild bargaining world of Facebook Marketplace.

Here are eight things I learned while trying to sell my stuff on the app:

Always take a deposit

If there's one thing you read from this article and hope to remember, I sure hope it's this.

When selling things on Facebook Marketplace, you have to remember that not everyone is seriously interested unless money is involved. So don't be afraid to ask for a deposit. Most of the time, people don't mind sending one.

I usually ask for 50% of the total cost, but that's totally up to you.

They might not show up on time

Mira sitting with her dog on a Saturday night.

Mira sitting with her dog on a Saturday night.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

People seem to think you're a storefront with endless hours, but the reality is you're sitting on your couch binge-watching a show and waiting for the person buying your furniture to show up.

Unfortunately, you're desperate to sell it, so you'll wait hours for them to knock on your door, but it sucks.

Most recently, I made plans with someone to come pick up a bench at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday. Unfortunately, they showed up at 9:30 p.m., and I had to cancel my plans. I tried so hard not to message them about their lack of respect for someone else's time, but instead, I stayed quiet and watched Pretty Woman while waiting for them to arrive.

Oh, and then they dared to ask me to disassemble the piece — I did not.

Don't feel bad

Don't end up giving people things for free because you feel bad.

I hate that I'm about to say this, but I nearly gave something away for free because I felt terrible selling my used furniture to someone. But at the end of the day, I needed to, and everyone else does it too.

A family came over to pick up a bed for their daughter. I only charged them $50, and I felt terrible about it, so I ended up giving them a bean bag for free. It was a bit counterintuitive, but the little girl was just too cute.

Don't help them

A disassembled bed.

A disassembled bed.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

Something I learned while putting strain on myself is that you don't need to disassemble any items and carry their purchased goods to their car.

At first, I thought giving them the item in the most convenient way came as part of the deal, but I was wrong. After speaking to many friends who've sold a bunch of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, they said people on the app know what they are getting themselves into and come prepared.

On my last sale, I found out this was, in fact, true. Someone came to pick up a mattress and bed frame from my apartment, and they wanted to put it in an Uber to take home.

I had no faith in this procedure, so I started coming up with backup plans in case the deal fell through. But the couple showed up with straps to tie the mattress down, small enough to fit in an UberXL— I was impressed.

Be completely transparent

A broken part of a bench Mira was selling.

A broken part of a bench Mira was selling.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

When writing the description of your item on the app, make sure to disclose anything wrong with it and even add photos. Someone will still probably buy it and fix it themselves, but you should be very clear. This will avoid any disappointment when they pick up the item, and you won't feel guilty about it afterwards.

I had a Wayfair bench I was trying to get rid of. I knew it would be popular amongst the bargainers, but it did come with a fault, which is fixable — I was just lazy.

The bottom needed a piece, which you can purchase, to make it more stable. So, I was transparent about this information and still received tens of messages and many views.

Adding the original price of the product could help

The strategy of adding the original price and showing the markdown price works for Winners, and it also works on Facebook Marketplace — especially when the price difference is enormous!

I sold a bunk bed worth hundreds of dollars for $50 because I just wanted to get rid of it, and let me tell ya, it worked like a charm.

I tried the same strategy on a mattress, and again, people tend not to negotiate as much once they realize the marked-down price is ridiculously low.

People will message you, schedule a pick up time and not show up

Wall decorations Mira was selling.

Wall decorations Mira was selling.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

Some people just have the audacity to waste your time. They will message you, schedule a pick-up time, and simply not show up or answer. Yes, it sucks, but don't dwell on it, move on.

I had rejected a bunch of buyers because someone was coming to pick up some wall decorations, and when the time came, the person didn't answer nor did they apologize for not coming. So now, I'm in my new condo with the wall frames I no longer want.

Someone will almost always try to bid lower 

No matter the price you put on the listing, you can almost always guarantee that someone will bid lower. So, to avoid disappointment and lower your expectations, always ask for higher that you're willing to take, knowing that people love to bargain.

If you were hoping to sell something for $100, your asking price should be around $140 — but be careful — you don't want to ask for too much money because you might not get as much interest in the post.

Mira Nabulsi
Toronto Associate Editor
Mira Nabulsi is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on cheap travel from Toronto and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
Recommended For You