Our Senior Social Media Editor Reveals Her Favorite Site to Sell Decor
"I decided to give my items a second home."
Published Oct 22, 2019 1:00 AM
Half the fun of designing a room is knowing you can start over a few years (or months) down the road. That’s why you hear designers use the word refresh so often (code for: swap out those pillows and replace that dated sofa). The tricky thing about changing a space, though, is figuring out what to do with all your old stuff. Alyssa Clough, Domino’s senior social media editor, recently got the itch to make over her living room but wasn’t keen on the idea of kicking her perfectly good furniture to the curb (literally and figuratively). So she gathered her goods, snapped a few photos, and took a chance on Facebook Marketplace.
“As a single woman living alone, buying and selling things online usually gives me the heebie-jeebies,” admits Clough, who has tested every classified ad site, from Offer Up to Craigslist to Apartment Deco. “Having recently moved, though, I now have a ton of stuff that doesn’t have a place to go.” To anyone who has never sold their stuff to strangers on the Internet, Facebook’s platform can seem like the Wild West of all these options. But according to Clough, buying and selling decor and furnishings through her account was the most seamless—and safest—experience she’s had. “I could have easily thrown all this stuff away, but I decided to give my items a second home,” says Clough. On her way to becoming a seasoned vendor—she has sold six things in the past month—she shares her tips for getting the most out of the site:
Paint a Clear Picture
Natural lighting, clutter-free backgrounds, detailed close-ups—these are things Clough looks for when browsing products for herself. So before posting a pair of gold curtain tiebacks, she photographed them against her apartment’s plain wood floors. She even included an old photo of her living room so users could get a sense of how they looked in a finished space, as well as a lifestyle shot from the company. “Including a range of clear photos will help you sell an item faster,” she says.
Be Fair With Your Price
There are a bunch of different factors to take into account when pricing gently used items. (Are there any noteworthy knicks? Is the item out of stock everywhere else?) Clough was honest with herself when she posted an IKEA credenza she had bought for $400 a few years ago. She had hand-painted the front (a unique touch), but one of the sliding doors had come off its track. She posted it for $250—“I could have listed it for $300, but I wanted to be realistic,” she shares—and, after receiving a few interested bidders, eventually got $275 for the piece.
Pack the Product Description With Keywords
While some users might be window-shopping, most go on the site with a specific object in mind. (Right now, Clough is on the hunt for unused kitchen barstools.) If you’re a seller, the goal is for people to find your stuff. Make it easier on them by including the product’s brand name, a few straightforward descriptors (color, material, dimensions), and an original link if possible.
Don’t Be Afraid to Barter
Not everyone on Marketplace is in it for the extra cash (the scammers are surprisingly far and few between). “I’m selling a bunch of ceramics for $5, solely because I don’t want them to go to waste,” says Clough, who recently gave one away in exchange for a plant. You can also list items as “free” if you’re feeling really generous. “I gave a pillow away for nothing—someone came and picked it up within an hour,” she recalls.
Pick a Neutral Meet-Up Location
The biggest difference between Marketplace and, say, Craigslist is the built-in background checks. “I like that I can check out people’s profiles and talk to them beforehand. It makes me feel safer,” she says. As a rule, Clough meets people around the corner from her apartment and handles transactions through Venmo to ensure the payments are instant. “Everyone who I’ve sold to so far has been really friendly,” she says. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook can be good for connecting IRL—you just have to ditch the instant messaging and start selling decor.