7 mistakes everyone makes when posting to Facebook marketplace

Liz Brinks
4 min readJan 27, 2022


It finally happened this week, when I go to search for Facebook, Chrome automatically directs me to the marketplace instead of my home feed :)

I spend, a lot of time on the FB marketplace. And among my Facebook friends, I’m known to share AMAZING and sometimes HYSTERICAL finds — because it’s what I do for fun. I’ve been seriously browsing the marketplace for probably close to 3–4 years. It feels like virtual thrifting, and between my passion for social media and love of weird stuff, it’s the one place I always lurk to see what’s trending in my area.

I look at roughly 100–200 marketplace postings a week; I’m sharing this metric to give you a clue about how serious of a browser I am (some weeks it’s more if I’m actively hunting for something specific). I’ve seen a lot of horrible marketplace posts, and only a few really great ones.

That’s what inspired me to share today’s post, so everyone can sell their stuff, and find the goods easily without making any of these simple mistakes.

7 mistakes everyone makes when posting to FB marketplace for the first time

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Only using pictures of the product // stock photos,

This is so frustrating to me as a regular browser because people don’t realize it’s a red flag! People need to see the real-time condition of an item they’re interested in. It’s okay to include 1-2 stock photos of the original item, but you need to include up-to-date reference pictures so shoppers can see possible wear and tear.

Not describing why they’re getting rid of it

— this prevents questions like “is it broken”, “how old is it”, “why don’t you use it anymore”. Not explaining why you’re getting rid of something, especially if it is an appliance or electronic, means people are likely to be more suspicious of your posting. Include a few details about how long you’ve had the item, and why it’s time to get rid of it.

Not accurately portraying the height or weight of a product:

There’s absolutely nothing worse than finding out an item you’ve paid for isn’t as big, or as small as you thought. If I’m coming to pick something up, I need to know I can lift it and if it will fit in my car — include measurements and clear descriptions of your item in the description box for browsers to get a clear idea of the item.

Cash only

We’re in a pandemic, and there’s a cash shortage. Any sellers that won’t use PayPal or cashapp are going to have a much harder time selling their items. I also think this is a bit of a red flag because this requires a hand-off of cash, which is not socially distant and a little creepy.

Blurry photos // uploading a photo of the wrong item

— It goes without saying, but make sure you actually upload the right photo of the item. If you’re not sure, send the listing to a friend and have them check that it makes sense, the images are loading clearly. Screenshots of photos, poorly cropped photos, etc are red flags for me because it indicates you may not actually own the item or have the item you’re advertising.

Using FREE as clickbait

If I click on a posting that says free, and the description says $50 each, I’m leaving the post. It’s important for sellers to be upfront about their pricing, and that they don’t mislead potential buyers

Have an accurate description of your item

I know this one can be a challenge for folks not familiar with the marketplace. I recommend that you research on FB marketplace to make sure you’re using the correct words to describe your item. If you’re selling a futon, search futon on FB marketplace and make sure you should actually call this a futon versus a sofa or daybed.

If you’re selling a side table, you should also include a plant stand or lamp stand since it has multiple purposes and this ensures it will show up in more searches on the marketplace.

And for the love of god, if something isn’t actually vintage or mid-century modern, don’t tag it!

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Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!