I have to admit I’ve fallen in a bit deep with online shopping lately. I’ve been freshening up my wardrobe. Also maybe maturing my wardrobe a little. There’s a few specific brands of clothing and shoes that I’m collecting. I’ll be clearing out some older stuff and making room for a fresh new me. Or the same old me, but in pretty new dresses….
Well… they’re not actually NEW dresses. I’ve been buying second hand clothes from Facebook marketplace. And I love it.
Love buying pre-loved
I love op-shopping. I still love op shops. Buying second hand is cheaper and recycling clothes is better for the environment. Australians are the second largest consumer of textiles (fabric) in the world. And the obsession with new clothes and fast fashion is undoubtedly bad for the environment. On average Australians buy 27 kilograms of new clothing every year. That’s absurd. And such a waste when so much of that is going to landfill.
And I’m absolutely guilty of buying cheap, mass produced clothes that last a season and end up in the bin. I’m trying to stop. And part of that is ultimately buying less, but also buying second hand, quality clothing.
Facebook marketplace is a great way to do exactly that. While I do still enjoy browsing through opshops, on Facebook marketplace I can search specific brands, search my size, or a particular style. All from the comfort of my own home.
Better Than eBay
Back in the day eBay was pretty cool. Remember how you could buy the most random and dodgy things on ebay? Over a decade ago we were all so fascinated by the whole idea of bidding on someone’s old stuff on the internet. Also the times we got irrationally competitive over an item at the last minute and bidding way more than you wanted to pay. Or bidding on multiple items thinking you might get one… but then you win them all… And now you have 6 harmonicas.
Also the rush and excitement of being a seller and hitting refresh a thousand times in the last minute watching the bids come in.
But these days eBay is mostly a plane for cheap imported items and even with the genuinely second hands stuff I think the novelty of bidding and waiting for the auction to end has worn off. I don’t want the uncertainty and delayed gratification for an auction. I just want what I want and I want it now.
Everyone Has Been Unbelievably Friendly
A few weeks ago I was sitting on the couch next to my partner deep in a messenger conversation and he asked “Who are you messaging?”
“Oh just some person I was going to buy some pole gear off, but it had already sold.”
… I wasn’t even buying anything off her and yet we’d somehow kept chatting back and forth for like an hour.
Not to mention the time I did actually buy pole gear off someone and it turned out that we go to the same pole studio! (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about I took up pole dancing recently for fitness… and FYI you can get lots of pole clothes, shoes and also actual pole dancing poles off Facebook.)
But every interaction I’ve had on Facebook marketplace, as a buyer or a seller, has been exceptionally friendly. I suspect because people are using their personal Facebook account. They’re not some random username on ebay. It’s their name. It’s their face. There’s a genuine connection in that. It’s a fascinating and enjoyable shopping experience.
You Can Find Incredible Value
I think you’ve got to be clever. You’ve got to be savvy. You’ve got to know what you’re looking for. There’s definitely potential to pay too much for something, buy poor quality items and also get carried away and spend too much!
Some tips to make Facebook Marketplace cost effective :
- Search in your area first. I’ll set like a 5klm radius on the map from my home. Because if I can pick an item up there’s no postage and I can see the thing before I hand over my money.
- Click on the person name under “Seller information” and view the other items they have listed. Sometimes they’ll be willing to bundle if you’re buying multiple items.
- Look for specific brands that you’re familiar with their quality, the sizing and what the items are worth. You can’t get value if you don’t know what things should cost.
- I use Paypal if I’m not picking it up and paying cash. Some sellers don’t know how to send an invoice, or fret about fees, so I will offer to chuck them an extra dollar and go through the “send money” option on my Paypal app. I also select that it’s a business transaction and include a description of the item(s). Just in case. As friendly as everyone seems to be they are still strangers on the internet so I do want a little buyer protection.
Facebook Marketplace algorithm is super helpful (and a little bit creepy)
Shopping on Facebook marketplace is a little like shopping with a good friend who has a rough idea of your favourite brands, your size and what you’re looking for. Facebook Marketplace works similarly to your Facebook feed and it’ll show you things it thinks you’ll be interested in. I’m sure that it’s also gathering terrifying amounts of information about my shopping habits at the same time, but hey. It’s super convenient.
What have you bought, or sold, on Facebook? How did it go?