If you’re a mum, you probably already know: Facebook Marketplace is where it’s at.
You can score a bargain, sell your cr*p for dosh, find sold-out styles, buy something designer, you name it.
And it’s brimming with everything from maternity wear to nursery items and toys, so it’s useful for all stages of having a family (especially so if you’re on a budget!).
Shopping on Marketplace can feel daunting and time-consuming – yes, you sometimes have to weed through a bit of “dust” to find that “diamond in the rough”! But it doesn’t have to be hard.
To help, we’ve created a how-to guide for anyone looking to dip their toes into the wonderful world of Marketplace.
Step 1: Know what you’re looking for
Approach Marketplace shopping like you do the groceries: with a list. Know what you need, and what you can buy second hand versus new.
Pro tip: things like car seats and cots in particular – unless you can get their full product history – are likely safest bought new. For example, car seats that are damaged or have been in a crash should no longer be used and should be disposed of, and research from RACV revealed that “80 per cent of online listings fail to disclose whether the restraints comply with Australian safety standards” – yikes!
Step 2: Set up your alerts and expand your search location
For anyone with a competitive personality, this is your time to thrive!
Setting up alerts or, for any item that can be posted (think clothing, small toys, etc), expanding your search beyond your city or State will help increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for. Particularly if it’s a popular item or you’re after something specific (e.g. a certain style of maternity jean).
Pro tip: in our experience, there are a handful of brands and items that get snapped up fast! Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs, Bugaboo prams and Leander change mats are just a few examples, so if you’re on the hunt for one of these, double down your efforts.
Step 3: Read, research and request more info (the three R’s)
Yes, we know the internet can be the Wild West of shopping. We’ve all had our share of disappointing online purchases. Which is why you need to follow “the three R’s”:
- Read: the listing description
- Research: what the item actually looks like and what it sells for in-store
- Request more information: if you’re unsure and want to know the size, dimensions, true colours, or more, just ask.
Pro tip: if the seller is nearby, ask if you can meet up to test the item/try it on/see it before you buy it.
Step 4: Make an offer and pay for it
Let’s get what you came for!
If it’s a popular item, move quickly. Message the seller as soon as you can, and if you’re feeling good about the item (i.e. you’ve done the three R’s), offer to bank transfer them straight away for the item (either the full amount or a deposit) and then organise pick up for a later time. The general rule is first in, best dressed.
Note that other ways to pay for Marketplace goodies include PayPal and cash.
Two pro tips:
- You can negotiate on price, but don’t be unreasonable with your offer.
- Keep all your conversations with the seller in Facebook Messenger. According to Facebook, “Having a record of your conversations will be helpful in case there is a problem with the purchase or payment later.”
Step 5: Get your item (the best step!)
If your purchase is arriving via post, always request the seller send you a tracking number so you can know your item is on its way.
Pro tip: use the Australia Post app to track your deliveries (we swear it’s better than sex!).
If you’re picking something up, make sure it will fit in your car before going, and if the item turns out to not be what you’re after, don’t be afraid to just say so.
A few final things to remember:
- If it feels dodgy, it probably is. Person not responding, or pictures not showing the full item? Leave it.
- If you’re a serial Marketplace shopper (we see you, girl!), you may from time to time, buy a dud item – e.g. it doesn’t fit, you don’t like it, whatever. Set yourself a limit as to what you’ll spend on a Marketplace purchase without seeing it in person – mine is $50 – so you don’t waste money.
- You will meet all sorts of people. Some will be a*sholes, but others – especially, in our experience, those that are parents – will be lovely! Ask questions, chat, be kind. Make it a good time for all.
Mamas, give us a like if you’re a Marketplace shopper! Have you got any other tips to share? And what’s been your best Marketplace score?