Empowering the Freelance Economy

Freelancers turn to Facebook marketplace to earn extra income

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood/Design by FI
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Buying, selling and/or reselling on Facebook Marketplace can be a great way for freelancers to generate additional income in these financially tight times. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started.

If your monthly bills feel like they are ever-increasing and you need to earn some extra cash in a new way that doesn’t feel like “work” then reselling on Marketplace could be an option. Other online platforms like eBay are also good to consider as many businesses do almost all their sales through eBay auctions. Auctions can be risky in case not many people bid or at a price that turns you a profit. However, if you do your research and some SEO and product description research you should have a better chance of turning a profit and attracting interested buyers. Facebook Marketplace reports 1 billion users per month, so those customers are out there.

Identify a target customer or niche

Look for a niche market that you are interested in or have expertise in, such as vintage clothing, antiques, cycling equipment, electronics, or home decor. Anything collectable can be a winner.

But sometimes targeting customer personas (i.e. busy working mothers, men who love cycling, etc.) can be a smarter move because you know more about what your customer needs and will be looking for.

Upcycling

If you are handy turning unwanted items into something worthy of retail, then you may take either the niche route to reselling or a more generaliist upcycling approach depending on what you can get your hands on for free or next to nothing to turn a nice profit. Reaching out to neighbours, friends and family for items is a good way to start finding items to upcycle. You could be saving them a trip to the tip, too.

What are the best-selling items on Facebook marketplace in 2023?

If you are on the fence about what you should start selling on a medium to long-term basis on Facebook marketplace, here are some of the best-selling items.

  1. Fashion Apparel
  2. Furniture & Home Decor
  3. Mobile & Accessories
  4. Books
  5. Baby Care Products
  6. Sports Supplies & Fitness Equipment
  7. Health & Wellness Products
  8. Toys
  9. Seasonal Goods
  10. Electronics

Source: Meetanshi.com

Research pricing

Before making a purchase or setting a price if you are a seller, research the typical selling price for the item on other platforms like eBay or Amazon to ensure you can make a profit.

Price in shipping costs

You also have to consider what to charge for shipping across the UK, Europe or further afield. Simply Business has published this report on selecting the best UK courier for your small business.

Take quality photos

Take high-quality photos of the item you are selling, including multiple angles and any flaws. This will help attract potential buyers.

Write a detailed and enticing description

Write a detailed and honest description of the item you are selling, including its condition, dimensions, and any other relevant information. If your item has history, like an antique painting or vintage guitar, then that information could be very relevant to a buyer, so add those details.

Set a fair price

Price your item competitively to attract potential buyers, but also make sure you can make a profit.

Respond to inquiries quickly

Be responsive to any inquiries from potential buyers and provide them with any additional information they may need.

Be flexible with negotiation

Be open to negotiation on price, but make sure you don’t sell the item for less than it’s worth.

Meet in a safe location

Arrange to meet the buyer in a safe public location to complete the transaction.

Provide excellent customer service

Provide excellent customer service throughout the buying and selling process to encourage repeat customers and positive reviews.

What can you expense?

If you are looking to make a side hustle or proper business through your Facebook Marketplace or eBay sales, then already having a freelance business could come in handy to expense any purchases that will then be sold or stocked for future sales. Just earmark all purchases, expenses and sales related to the new business in a separate folder and spreadsheet for earnings and tax purposes. If you are already a limited company and want to run another business (ie.e. a fidderent sector to what you are already doing) you don’t have to set up another business, just keep the two businesses’ income and expense accounts separate for an accountant or bookkeeper to assess.

Look for a passion that pays off

Overall, buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace requires a bit of effort and research, but it can be a profitable way to earn extra income. Just remember if you are putting in the work and you are not enjoying it, your business may have less chance to become successful. However, if you love and believe in the items you are selling, reselling, sourcing or upcycling then being active on Marketplace will feel less like a job and more like a passion that pays off.

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