Tips for Buying From Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is free to use and makes finding items very easy

Woman in a dress shopping on Facebook Marketplace.

Freudenthal Verhagen/Stone/GettyImages

Facebook Marketplace is a free feature on the Facebook social media platform that lets users buy products and services from other users who live within the same area. They can also, of course, list items for sale on Facebook Marketplace too.

After finding an item you wish to purchase in the Facebook Marketplace, you can message the seller to negotiate a payment method and a meetup time and place.

While it's a site-wide feature, the Facebook Marketplace option can sometimes disappear due to a technical problem or an account restriction.

How to Search Marketplace on Facebook

There are five different methods for finding products and services to buy on Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace on the Facebook website.
  • Browse featured listings. When loading Facebook Marketplace in a web browser or one of the official Facebook apps, you'll be greeted with a screen showcasing a variety of featured items for sale. Click on any of these items to go directly to their listing. You can also click See All next to its category name to see similar items.
  • Search Facebook Marketplace. There's a search bar at the top of the main Facebook Marketplace screen, which you can use to search for items and services in all categories.
  • Explore Facebook groups. If you click on Groups in the top-left menu of the Facebook Marketplace website, it takes you to a list of Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling items. Joining these groups is a great way to stay up-to-date on new listings by sellers in your city or state.
  • Do a detailed Facebook Marketplace search. In the middle of the menu on the left side of the screen are text fields for Price and Location. Enter your custom preferences into these fields to automatically filter the showcased listings to match.
  • Browse Facebook Marketplace Categories. The lower-left menu contains a section called Categories. Click any of the links under this header to see categories and sub-categories. For example, clicking Electronics will load a variety of related listings to the right of the menu and reveal the Mobile Phones and Electronics & Computers sub-categories on the left menu.

How to Buy From Facebook Marketplace

Buying something on Facebook Marketplace is a little different than purchasing an item on a regular online store like Amazon or AliExpress. The platform doesn't support online payments or automatic shipping. It instead requires you to communicate directly with the seller.

  1. When you find something you want to buy on Facebook Marketplace, click on it to expand its listing.

    Facebook Marketplace uses the same account as the main Facebook website and app, so there's no need to create a new account for buying or selling items.

  2. Look for the cost of the product or service to make sure it's within your price range. The price is in green text to the right of the main image.

    Item closeup on Facebook Marketplace website.
  3. Check the seller's location by looking for the city and state name on the listing or the embedded map.

    In most cases, you'll need to meet the seller in person in their home city to pick up the item.

  4. Click Ask for Details. Now you can communicate with the seller via Facebook Messenger. Then you can discuss your preferred payment method and a time and place to meet. 

Facebook Marketplace Buying Tips

Facebook Marketplace is an excellent place to buy things at a lower price than in stores, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • Check the seller's reputation on Facebook Marketplace. Buyers can rate their experiences with sellers, and these ratings display under their names in future product listings. It will look something like "Community-recommended by at least 3 out of 4 people."
Facebook Marketplace listing with seller recommendation info.
  • Check the age of the seller's Facebook account. Under each seller's name is the year that they joined Facebook. If their account is less than a year old, it's likely that previous ones have been shut down because of suspicious behavior.

If a seller has zero ratings, it's likely that they're new to Facebook Marketplace. You may want to be cautious of buying from sellers with no reputation as they could be a scammer.

  • Never send the payment first. Only pay for the item or service after you've received it.
  • Always meet the seller in a public area. Because Facebook Marketplace sellers will usually be strangers, it's essential to meet them in a public place when picking up the item and making payment.

If you need to pick up larger items, such as furniture, from a seller's house, ask a friend to go with you. If they're delivering it to your place of residence, ask a friend or family member to stay and meet the seller with you.

  • Personally inspect the product before paying for it. If it's defective, you're free to walk away.
  • Make sure second-hand electronics still have manufacturer support. If you're buying a used smartphone or tablet, check that it's still eligible for updates.
  • Confirm DVD and Blu-ray compatibility with your current player. When buying DVDs or Blu-rays from a seller on Facebook Marketplace, verify the DVD region codes and Blu-ray zones.
  • Ask to try on clothes. Clothing sizes are not consistent across brands, so it can be worth asking to try on clothing items before paying for them. You don't want to pay for something that doesn't fit.