I sold all my belongings on Facebook Marketplace

David Heitz

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I found a friend during a rough patch in the Facebook Marketplace. Not only did I make fast cash, but the experience helped lift my spirits during a period of depression.

I have chronic complex post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. Sometimes life gets rough.

I went through a period after my dad died where I never felt safe. I felt so unsafe I decided I had to get out of my hometown forever. I wasn’t working. I had recently become sober and didn’t have any friends anymore.

I decided I was going to start selling off my possessions to pay bills and make sure I didn’t run out of medical cannabis.

After everything was gone, I moved to Denver.

It all began with an iron four-post bed

My stop-gap job as a second-hand salesman began with selling a bed that I had tired of looking at. I took a picture, clicked on the Marketplace icon, set a price, and wrote a short description. With a click there it was, for all the Quad-Cities to see.

Things sell fast – in minutes, even – on the Facebook Marketplace if you know what you’re doing. This is true of other online platforms, too.

The person who decides to buy your four-poster bed can tap a money icon and pay you with no cash exchanged. The money immediately is in your account, ready to use.

I sold the bed frame to a nice couple. He worked for John Deere. I told him I had done some writing work for John Deere.

I can speak from experience that desperate people will sell nice things for cheap on the Facebook Marketplace.

Purchases funded medical cannabis, paid a few bills

As the days passed after that first sale, I sold something most every day. Many items were for small amounts — $10 or $20 here and there. I would take the bus to the dispensary and buy a gram of flower or a pre-roll joint.

At least I finally was leaving the house.

As I began to meet strangers from the Facebook Marketplace, I remembered I have the gift of gab. I can easily make new friends when I choose to do so.

Selling things on the Facebook Marketplace got me out of a depression cocoon and back into the swing of life.

Oddballs do show up at your door now and then

I had one kind of scary experience on the Facebook Marketplace, although for all I know it was simply a shopper bent on bagging a bargain.

One of the items I sold during the past week was two flat-screen TVs together. I had four of them in a tiny house. It looked cool but served no real practical purpose. Two televisions are enough for one bungalow.

I had agreed to meet this man at noon, and I had given him my address because walking across the street with two TVs did not sound palatable to me.

When he did not show up by noon, I went into my room to lie down. At 12:30, I woke to someone vigorously banging on my back door. Not knocking like most people, but pounding.

Upon turning on my cell phone, I could see him on the camera with my Arlo app. He looked mean.

I armed the security system from my phone. ADT then warned him to flee with its signature voice and statement: “Armed! Stay! Exit now!” And he did.

A couple of nights after that, I sold a pair of Bose multimedia speakers that I had about 15 years. I replaced them with a Braven Balance.

The man who bought the speakers, a longtime Quad-Citian whose father owned a bowling alley, was a great guy. Honest, concerned for his fellow human being, law abiding.

He gave me a little lecture about being careful about meeting people at my house after dark when selling items on Facebook Marketplace. You just never know.

Buyers gets angry when beaten to the deal

Another strange woman showed up late for a purchase. Someone else already had bought my gas grill.

She became angry and demanded to see the inside of the grill while the buyer was loading it into his truck.

Maybe she thought if it were dirty it would make her feel better.

Then there was the cat lady.

Dad had two old end tables that he purchased from my aunt after mom threw him out of the house in the 1980s. While these end tables remained in top condition at the time of sale, I grew tired of looking at them.

The buyer of the end tables ended up being a woman who says she has “spoiled cats.”

“I’m going to paint them black to match everything else, and then each cat will have their own little house,” she explained.

My cat loved the end tables, too.

More tips for sales and good experiences

Here are some tips for sales and positive experiences on the Facebook Marketplace. These tips work for other online sales venues, too.

· Describe your items in detail. Some shoppers will ask every single thing you can think of. If you still have the owner’s manuals to electronics, it probably will double your chances of a sale. The same goes with original packaging.

· Brand-name items catch the attention of shoppers. Play up big-name brands.

· Disclose anything that might be wrong with your item. If there’s a burn in your daughter’s prom dress, fess up. The buyer won’t want the prom dress. And they won’t like the surprise when they show up for the purchase.

· Clean everything up first to the best of your ability. It’s common courtesy.

· Take clear pictures that “flatter” the item. Use a clear background. Make sure there is no clutter or other visual debris that will cause the viewer’s eye to move from the item itself.

Good judgment, common sense and courtesy is all you need to be successful on the Facebook Marketplace

And things to sell, of course.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best newspapers in the country. Today, I specialize in Denver local news, health reporting, social justice issues, addiction/recovery/mental health news, and topics surrounding homelessness and human trafficking.

Denver, CO
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