My love for second-hand is no secret at this point. I like that buying and selling second-hand is a far more affordable, environmentally friendly and sustainable option. I’ve posted tips for buying thrifted and second-hand clothes, and I even challenged myself to a full year in 2017 of “no new clothes” for these reasons and more.
Since publishing some of those posts, my husband and I moved, bought a house, and got pregnant (due in less than 3 months from now – insane!)… needless to say, while I have been trying my best to keep our shopping lists as “minimal” as possible, babies (and offices and guest bedrooms…) require “stuff.” Instead of buying everything brand new, I have turned to second-hand marketplaces as often as possible – most notably, Facebook Marketplace.
Let me tell you why.
What I love most about Facebook Marketplace:
It is SO easy to list an item from your phone, Craigslist is unfortunately a much more clunky experience. I can photograph and list a new item on Facebook in less than 5 minutes. It’s also super easy to re-list or change the price in just a click or two if the item doesn’t sell right away. The app is pretty seamless.
SAFETY / TRANSPARENCY
I like that you can check out the person’s profile that wants to buy from you (or who you want to buy from) before agreeing to meeting, especially if you’re offering to meet them at your home address!
For instance, I found a dresser that looked great but when I looked at the profile of the seller almost all of her profile pictures showed her smoking cigarettes. My husband and I are not smokers and I prefer that any second-hand purchases we make come from smoke-free (and cat-free – my husband is allergic!) homes. Needless to say, I passed on that item and moved on to the next.
All communication happens via Facebook Messenger, so if you are protective of your personal contact information you can effectively buy/sell and pick up in a public place without ever giving the other person your phone number, email, or address.
DATA & PERFORMANCE TRACKING
If you’re a nerd like me, then you will love some of the data features as well. For instance, Facebook shows you how many people have viewed your listing. If I list something and notice that it hasn’t had very many views in the first few days, then I will try to update the keywords or change out the first image to something that might appeal to more visitors.
This might be one of my favorite features because Facebook uses an algorithm to automatically feature items they know you have been browsing or searching for on your marketplace homepage. So if you are searching for vintage dressers and baby clothes (guilty!) your feed will start highlighting those types of posts from your area automatically – this makes browsing much more fun and personalized!
Items I have purchased with Facebook Marketplace:
BOB REVOLUTION SE JOGGING STROLLER – $150 (saved $440)
If I were to purchase this stroller brand new on Amazon right now, I would pay $590. Instead I found a seller who had taken VERY good care of her stroller (it was so clean!) so I purchased from her and saved myself $440.
IKEA SNIGLAR CRIB – $30 (saved $50)
I would have paid $80 if I purchased this crib brand new from Ikea. I purchased from another mom who bought this crib last August and rarely used it (in great condition).
I’m normally hesitant to buy furniture from Ikea because most of it is made from materials like particleboard or plywood that off-gas harmful chemicals, but this crib is solid beech and since I purchased it second-hand, it already had around 8-10 months to “de-gas” harmful airborne toxins. Either way, you better believe I’ll be buying an air-purifying house plant or two for this baby’s room!
IKEA HEMNES 8 DRAWER DRESSER – $140 (saved $100)
Probably overpaid for this guy ($250 if purchased brand new) but I knew I wanted a dresser like this to use in the nursery for storage and as a changing table.
For the same reasons as the crib, I felt more comfortable buying this Ikea item second-hand since it meant that it had more time to de-gas. I also liked that we didn’t have to waste hours of time building and assembling all of those darn drawers! Bonus: no wasted cardboard or packaging materials either.
BABY BJORN CARRIER & WINTER COVER – $30 (saved $130)
In doing my baby registry research, I consistently read reviews about how some babies like certain carriers and hate others. The thing is, most baby carriers when bought brand new are super expensive! The thought that I might invest $100+ in a baby carrier that this little guy might never use gave me major anxiety (such a waste!) so instead I opted for a few inexpensive second-hand options like one by Baby Bjorn.
SOLLY BABY WRAP – $35 (saved $30)
Supposedly Solly is the best of the best when it comes to baby wraps so I “splurged” on this one second-hand. I was hoping to find a less expensive option but man these things just don’t go for much less than $35 (unless stained or ripped). I purchased mine from a really nice mom who lived in our neighborhood so it was a pleasant exchange that made me feel good about the price I paid.
Items I have sold on Facebook Marketplace (so far…):
Originally paid $134.50 (on sale)
You might remember this rug from my Instagram stories! It was purchased for the nursery, but the pattern made my eyes cross and it was just too big for the space. Instead of paying $50 to ship it back I sold it directly to someone else for the price I originally paid. Big win!
COWHIDE AREA RUG 7’x7’ – listed for $150 OBO
I’m also currently in the process of selling a cowhide area rug that we don’t use anymore. We’ll see how long it takes before someone picks it up!
How much have I saved by buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace?
In total, I have saved about $750 by buying second-hand items through Facebook!
If you want to include the rug I sold, I have also made $135.
That means I am net positive $885 in outfitting this baby nursery so far because I chose to buy and sell on Facebook Marketplace. Saving money and doing right by the environment? It’s a no-brainer to me!
If you have suggestions for second-hand shopping (other marketplaces I should consider, etc.) please share in the comments!
Kait is the founder and editor of A Clean Bee. She is passionate about discovering natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable ways to clean and organize her home. Kait has been featured in online publications such as NBC News, Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed and PopSugar for her expertise in natural cleaning techniques. She enjoys spending her off-time outside in her garden with her husband and their two small boys.