Facebook Marketplace is HOT right now, friends. There is a lot of goodness to be found this month and it’s going like hot cakes. I’m sharing a short blog post today and pretty comical story (on my part) about “the find that got away” yesterday. Click through to read all about it and get my tips for scoring that item you really want from FBMP… so you don’t experience FOMO like I am right now. The good news? I finally listed and sold my beloved cantilever dining chairs from our breakfast nook (pictured above), so maybe I’ve got some good chair karma coming my way in the near future. They went to an awesome home and family!
Many of you know I love Facebook Marketplace, as I have a blog series surrounding it, shopping finds in cities across the United States. There is something about the thrill of the hunt, finding a great buy, and being able to furnish your home with vintage or designer items in a unique way. Basically, FBMP is incredible for staples and filler pieces of all price points, when it comes to furniture.
Yesterday morning a listing popped into my feed, I got excited, automatically messaged to see if these curvy chairs (pictured below) were still available, received a notification that read, “yes- venmo to secure” and that’s all I needed to hear! The chairs would soon be mine. My phone rang, I took a work call, hung up, and proceeded to send over the Venmo payment, only to read a message that someone had beat me to these amazing chairs in the ten minutes I had taken a call. Nooooo!!!
*PS: Chair images taken from Marketplace listing, so please excuse the quality.
Like the thrifty, determined lady that I am- I offered $50 over asking price, immediate pickup, and basically anything I could think of to sweeten the deal (baked goods? halfway joking). The seller was honest and a good human, and she had already accepted payment from some other lucky buyer, so the deal was off and I had lost. Emmett got home from work yesterday evening and I spent an hour talking about these crazy chairs and how they are definitely the one piece I will think about for the rest of the year. We all have those, right? The one that got away…
I woke up still thinking about those stupid chairs. Emmett was cracking up because I was clearly hypnotized by the animal print chairs. I did a crazy thing and messaged the seller AGAIN, asking if she felt comfortable sharing the buyers FB page so I could reach out and attempt to buy them from her. Hah. I don’t really know what I was thinking. Did I mention I’m very determined when my mind is set on something? Not my finest moment. So, I messaged the buyer in a (hopefully) non creepy, way… something to the effect of, “I know this is odd and I apologize in advance if this is overstepping, BUT I really would love to buy those chairs from you.” I am still waiting for a reply and certainly won’t be offended if I don’t receive one (I probably took these chairs a little too far), but I couldn’t let them go without trying.
I realize that was quite the saga and we all have more important things to read about today, BUT- if you’re a serious FBMP shopper and are looking for some tips to avoid this exact scenario… I wanted to share some recently learned pointers with you:
7 Tips To Score the Facebook Marketplace Items You Really Want
- Only inquire about the items you really, truly want. I used to message about everything cool thing I saved, hitting the general “Is this still available?” button. I thought leaving it up to the universe, whether an item was available or not, would be a good indication if it should come home with me. This is kind of a terrible idea. I’ve learned to only ask about the items I would buy right here and now. It’s a better use of time for both parties involved and helps me avoid situations like this (where I’m in limbo deciding and eventually miss out).
- Venmo to hold. This is a new, common message I’ve been seeing and receiving within the past month. Given FBMP is so hot and the good products have high demand, multiple people are trying to score the same thing. To show you’re serious, sending a deposit (or full amount, if you trust the seller and they have good ratings), is a good idea to quickly secure an item.
- Stay attentive. Once the seller messages and you have them in a live conversation, stay attentive. During my ten minute phone call, someone else beat me to these chairs. If you’re actively messaging the seller, don’t step away from your phone and keep refreshing, so they don’t move onto the next conversation with another buyer.
- Commit quickly. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with tip number one, but make sure you have already decided the piece works great in your home and say yes quickly.
- Set a budget and dollar amount you’re willing to pay. I was prepared to pay more than asking price for these chairs. I pulled out all the stops and tried to persuade the seller to choose me because we had been chatting previously, I verbally said “sold”, and was willing to pay more than the other buyer. I offered $50 over asking price for persuasion power (which may or may not work, but it’s worth a shot).
- Avoid negotiating. This doesn’t happen often because I’m all about negotiating, but if there is an amazing find that I know is worth the asking price, will be popular amongst other buyers with a trained eye, and will go quickly… I skip negotiating altogether. I immediately offer the asking price, and sometimes I’ll offer to Venmo to secure (tip number two) immediately after expressing my interest to buy.
- Be flexible or fast with pickup. If it comes down to multiple offers or interested buyers, you want to make the transaction as easy as possible for the seller. If the seller wants the item picked up within the day, make it happen. If they’re only available during evenings, let them know you’re flexible and can accommodate. Basically- the easier the transaction, the higher you are on the buying list.
I hope the tips were helpful. I’m bummed about the chairs, but you win some, you lose some. It’s just chairs, and I’ll file these as “the ones that got away.” In an effort to remind myself that there are PLENTY of beautiful chair pairs floating around out there, I spent a few hours on Etsy and Ebay before dozing off to sleep last night. I stayed up way too late, but discovered a lot of cool vintage chairs, that I’ll link below… still nothing that fits what I’m looking for though. How is everyone’s week going so far? Big THANK YOU to everyone who tuned into my IG live last night!
Update: I found the chairs for sale (new) online, but didn’t see any fabric I liked, so I’m passing… but if anyone is into the shape- I wanted to link them for you!
PeggiJuly 29, 2020 at 5:20 am
Laughed. Out. Loud. Hopefully, the universe rewards persistence! The curves and that animal print are a mesmerizing combo, although I am intrigued that you like them so much. I am now officially dying to know where you would use them!! I have only scored a couple of items from FBMP, (our area is light on treasures) but I definitely love the hunt. It seems to scratch that thrifting itch a little. My problem, of course, would be #4. I’m a notoriously picky over-thinker. I was contemplating a shirt while shopping with a friend recently. She said, “Give it a minute; you’ll find something you don’t like.” 🤣
Today I’m off for a hike and some yoga in the desert, followed by a dip in the river! Fingers crossed that my day will not include rattlesnakes or heatstroke.😎 (And that your day includes curvy, leopard chairs!)
SarahJuly 29, 2020 at 8:04 am
Haha!! Right? They’re honestly not incredibly special or “designer”, but I think it was the intriguing price ($150 for the pair) and the nostalgia I have for that pattern and shape. At the first design firm I worked for, there was a hickory chair sofa with a very similar shape and pattern. It always felt SO cool to me. I thought these would feel just as cool in my own office, so I clearly got hung up on them. lol! I also agree with you… FBMP is helping me scratch my thrifting itch without going out into public (our numbers are still spiking here, ugh). Hey- I’m guessing that part of your personality is really beneficial because you don’t end up with something you don’t need or love because you’ve explored it from all angles. Your day sounds absolutely PERFECT! Enjoy hiking, those gorgeous desert views, and swimming. Wish I lived closer so I could tag along ;)
BethJuly 29, 2020 at 9:28 am
Oh my gosh–you’ve created a monster here as I have just spent over an hour looking on our local Savannah FBMP!! I am totally into this and besides wasting a lot of my time, I am hoping to find some cool items. I haven’t reached out in awhile, but still read your posts almost daily! We are no longer building a container home–too many issues with zoning etc., so we are building a 1005 sq. ft cottage. It is a dogtrot style which is a low country form of architecture to help keep homes cool in this hot and humid environment. It’s basically 2 cool boxes connected by a dogtrot porch that will capture the breezes from the marsh. The roof is metal and in the shape of a butterfly–kind of. It’s a very cool little cottage if I do say so myself! The foundation is just about complete and framing will hopefully start next week! Your posts have helped me so much with making the many decisions that come with building a home–thank you. Our tentative name for the cottage ( cause naming your home is a thing down here) is Wildmarsh Cottage. Will keep you posted!
SarahJuly 30, 2020 at 8:35 am
Haha! I love it, Beth! It definitely requires a lot of time and you have to stay on top of it to find the good stuff, but the awesome items are worth it! And- it’s always worth the savings. Thanks so much for reading and keeping up :) I really appreciate that. I’m excited to hear about your cottage! It sounds so beautiful and I absolutely love the name. Yes- please keep me posted, I’d love to hear about the end result. Have a great day! xo
LaurenAugust 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm
Oh man those chairs were so good!!! Phones are on my naughty list this month, so I’m sure yours isn’t doing much better after this! Hahaha! You have turned me into a MP addict; I scroll while I’m watching TV now…Looking for the perfect dresser for one sweet little girl, and sadly, nothing that looks worth it to me. I’m beginning to lose hope. I really was wanting to find a vintage one, but every single vintage piece in my area is either horrific condition, or has been terribly painted. Womp womp. I’m trying not to lose hope in MP completely, but its getting harder. The search is kind of thrilling though lol. Your tips are great, but what tips do you have for actually searching for a specific item?