Finding the perfect piece to add to your home decor, whether it is a statement piece or the perfect complement to items you already have, can be difficult (if you’re not looking in the right place).
Over the past few years, Facebook Marketplace has become a hot spot for people seeking a great price on everything from antique furniture to dishware. You can find almost anything on the platform, but finding what you really want, for a price you are willing to pay, and in your area, can take some skills.
For a novice, it can be a difficult process when it comes to cleverly navigating through the site. We asked experts to share their best tips for finding your home dream pieces on the site.
Meet the Expert
Dig Deeper With Keywords
It might make perfect sense to you that the table or chair you are desperately seeking should be listed under “farmhouse” or “mid-century modern.” However, all minds do not think the same. A seller might not know or use the same terminology that seems so obvious to you.
So you search with the keywords you think are accurate and come up empty. That does not mean the item isn’t among the thousands upon thousands on the platform.
“Sellers in a hurry to clean out their garages won’t spend much time researching exactly what the item they are selling is technically named,” says Victoria Meadows, the owner of Victoria Meadows Interiors.
“The best way to find the fantastic goods…is to search for ‘vintage,’ ‘antique,’ or ‘old,’ and a color or type of item you’re looking for.”'”
Make Tech Work for You
When you search for particular items, website bots take note—the marketplace is no different. Your searches feed into what the platform will show you. So if you don’t see what you are really wanting, keep pumping that descriptive information into the search engine. Eventually, you might just hit something and find exactly what you are seeking.
Don’t settle for a big-box reproduction, says Howard. Take the time to search for the real thing. Chances are good that eventually, you will find it.
Do Your Research
As with all online shopping, a deep dive into an item’s quality and authenticity is a wise move. Many of us have probably experienced disappointment when an internet bargain turns out to be a bust. Protect your time and wallet by doing the homework.
Ilia Mundut, who works at the home decor company, Hefty Berry, says digging into the dimensions of an object is a must, as is a full understanding of the description. She also suggests checking the price of similar items across various websites, if possible, to be sure you are getting the best price. Read reviews of what you plan to buy to make sure it will work for your plans.
Work the Weekends
Many of Facebook Marketplace’s sellers put up their wares on the weekends since it’s their time to rest and declutter their homes.
“Cleaning out grandma’s garage usually happens on Saturdays and Sundays, and items can sell just as quickly as they were listed,” says Howard.
When you find that perfect thing to complete your home’s look but the price seems a bit steep, step back. If you can wait to get it, then put in a bid that works for you. Facebook Marketplace isn’t a store, so the prices aren’t always set in stone.
Friendly haggling might net you a bargain on an item you really want. That said, understand that brashness isn’t appreciated by sellers. Though you are negotiating on the internet, you are still interacting with another person so act as if you’re kindly talking to them in person. A good experience now could pay dividends later with a discount, bundle of like items, or information on where you can find other decor to complement your treasure.
Be Ready to Pick It Up Now
Never underestimate the power of immediacy. A listing might generate plenty of lukewarm interest, however, a mere statement of “interested” often doesn’t translate to a sale.
One huge differentiator? If you know you want a particular piece and are willing to pay what is being asked, be sure you are clear that you are willing to pay and pick it up immediately.
“Sellers who are looking to dump their stash of items fast will get the hint that you are more serious than the standard ‘is this available’ inquiry,’” Howard says.
It might seem like you are looking for a needle in a haystack when you jump into Facebook Marketplace, but this is far from the truth. Being persistent, changing up your searches, and being ready at all times will be helpful in finding that perfect piece your home needs.