Facebook Nice: Selling to Strangers on Marketplace


People have a lot of opinions about Facebook. Whether you love it, hate it, or are somewhere in the middle, there is no denying that this social giant has worked its way into our everyday lives. There are a lot of happy moments shared on Facebook, but sometimes things can be, well, not so nice.

I am a latecomer to Facebook. I was not born with a smartphone in my hand and therefore I view social media more as a tool rather than a necessity. I enjoy seeing photos and updates from friends and family but honestly, I just can not keep up on all my social media accounts without feeling like it’s my full-time job. As a business owner, I am not sure where to focus my energy on social media because the rules keep changing. Please don’t take this personally, but having to “like” everything makes me feel more like a lab rat than an interested, supportive “friend”. (Don’t get me started on that feeling one gets when the likes aren’t coming as fast and furious as one would prefer!)

Facebook Nice: Selling to Strangers on Marketplace | Duluth Moms Blog

But there is one thing about Facebook I have come to LOVE and that’s Marketplace.


Again, maybe I’m late to the party here, but after expressing my frustration with the lack of response to my “For Sale By Owner” posting on a competing website, a friend kindly suggested I step into the 21st century and try Facebook Marketplace and it has been nothing short of AMAZING and most definitely very, very nice!

I mean, where else can you find someone to pay you $35 for a 40+ year-old snowblower that hasn’t worked in years?

I’m starting to lose track but I believe I have made over $800 in the past several weeks simply selling items to some very nice people from Facebook. 

Granted, my family moved to a smaller house this summer and therefore had a lot of big ticket items to sell. But I am simply blown away at how easy it has been to sell some pretty random stuff and actually get decent money for it. Case in point: The snowblower attachment and cab for an Ariens 934 HT Garden Tractor. We thought they were headed for the dump and instead, $160 headed into our bank account. Nice!

A Truly Friendly Transaction

It’s not just the money. I have been amazed at how nice everyone is, and by the interesting “small world” moments along the way. For example, the woman who bought my Frozen lot recognized me from a year ago when she was picking up her prize from a Duluth Mom’s Blog contest!

Now, I tend to be a little paranoid about doing business with someone I have never met. I take the necessary precautions: Meet in a public place, or, for bigger items, make sure my husband is home during the transaction. I always ask for cash and take care to provide accurate information about what is for sale to avoid misunderstandings.

Given my cautious nature, I never thought in a gazillion years I would start selling things to strangers through Facebook. But when you think about it, as long as you review the buyer’s profile, one could argue that it might be safer to sell items via Facebook. You can usually tell if a buyer is legit and if you aren’t certain, all you need to do is tell them someone else claimed the item. You aren’t under any obligation to sell your stuff when your gut is telling you something isn’t right. 

I have to tell you, I have met the NICEST people while selling my stuff on Facebook! Like the nice couple who traveled from Northern Wisconsin to buy our table saw. The doctor who bought my daughter’s playhouse as a birthday gift for her daughter. The teacher who needed roomier shoes to accommodate a foot injury. And the day care provider who bought our swing set – and whose husband used to work with a good friend of ours.

Selling my belongings on Facebook led to a fun playdate for my daughter, where I caught up with the friend who bought my lamp. And a lovely gourmet dinner courtesy of friends who bought our china cabinet but needed it delivered. No problem and can we have dinner again sometime?

Facebook Nice: Selling to Strangers on Marketplace | Duluth Moms Blog

And the guy who paid $35 for the ancient, inoperable snowblower? His 95 year-old grandfather had one just like it years back, and this fine young man is hoping he can get this one fixed up to bring back some memories for his Grandpa. Talk about nice! And – small world moment – his wife works in the same building as my husband! 

Ok, I know this is going to sound cheesy, but in light of the ugly side of humanity we’ve been experiencing of late, selling my stuff on Facebook Marketplace has brought me back to the reality that this world is full of super nice, honest, considerate people. All I had to do to find them was to sell a few things on Facebook.

And that, my friends, is very, very nice.

By the way, does anyone need a pair of women’s bike shoes? Size 8 1/2. How about a ceiling fan? Message me!

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Sarah VanderMeiden
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Sarah is a dyed-in-her-wool-socks Minnesotan whose life-long love of woods and water drew her to move to Duluth 23 years ago this November. An avid hiker, she loves to explore all locales on Lake Superior’s shore, snowshoe frozen North Shore rivers and go for walks in Duluth’s Lester Park. Working in Higher Education for over 20 years, Sarah’s greatest joy was to talk with students about how to navigate the challenges of college, what they wanted to do with their lives and how to make their dreams come true. After stepping out of this career to be a stay-at-home-mom, Sarah has returned to her passion of helping people achieve their personal and professional goals as a Board Certified Coach. To find out more about coaching and her background, visit sarahvandermeiden.com or find her on Facebook at Sarah VanderMeiden Coaching . Sarah’s family lives in the country and share their five acres with a small flock of laying hens, deer, wild turkey, way too many mice and 10,000 honeybees. Sarah has given up gardening and keeping her house clean to pursue her many interests including enjoying the lake, singing, photography and spending time with her family camping in their vintage travel trailer or tickling each other on the couch.