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 / Getty Images

Facebook Marketplace is a free feature on Facebook that allows users to buy products and services from other users in their area. As a marketplace, the service also allows users to post items for sale.

After locating an item you would like to purchase, you can message the seller to negotiate a payment method and a meet-up time and place.

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.
  • Featured listings: Upon loading Facebook Marketplace, you will see a menu of items for sale by local Facebook users. Select any of these items to view the full listing. You can also select See All next to the category name to view similar items.
  • Search listings: You can use the search bar at the top of the screen to find specific items and services from any category.
  • Marketplace groups: Selecting Groups from the top-left menu of Facebook Marketplace will take 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 area.
  • Detailed 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.
  • Marketplace categories: Select Categories in the lower-left menu to view a list of categories and sub-categories for Marketplace items and services. Selecting Electronics, for example, will load related listings, as well as sub-categories like Mobile Phones and Electronics & Computers.

How to Buy From Facebook Marketplace

Buying from the Facebook Marketplace is like buying something from a Craigslist or classifieds ad. The platform doesn't support online payments or automatic shipping. It instead requires the buyer and seller to communicate and negotiate payment themselves.

  1. When you find something you may want to buy on Facebook Marketplace, select the item to expand the listing.

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

  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 or the embedded map.

  4. Select Ask for Details. Now you can communicate with the seller via Facebook Messenger. You can discuss your preferred payment method, a time and place to meet, and any other important transaction details.

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 to keep in mind.

  • Check the seller's reputation: Buyers can rate their experiences with sellers, and these ratings display under their names in future product listings. It will look something like this: "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 very young, it could be because previous ones were shut down due to suspicious or fraudulent behavior.

If a seller has zero ratings, it is likely that they are new to Facebook Marketplace.

  • 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 important to meet them in a public place when picking up the item and making a payment. If you can't meet in a public place, try to have a friend or family member with you for the meeting.
  • Personally inspect the product before paying for it: If it's defective, you can simply 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 may be worth it to try on clothing items before paying for them. You don't want to pay for something that doesn't fit.