Making Money on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has been something of a revelation for many people, combining the convenience of sites like eBay and Gumtree with a distinctly more localised approach. Many people prefer to sell one-off items on Facebook because of how easy it is to find buyers nearby. And the same goes for buying things—it’s often more appealing to look in your local area for something you could perhaps walk to pick up, rather than something that might have to be shipped across the country. But what about something a little larger in scale?

In other words, can you make money on Facebook marketplace? Like, real money. Not just a bit of extra change for some old items you don’t need anymore.

The answer, of course, is yes. As long as you have something to sell, you can certainly make money on Facebook Marketplace. As for getting items to sell, we’ll leave that for another post, as it can be quite an in-depth topic in its own right. But, whether you buy items in bulk, import from China, or even make the thing you’re selling yourself, we have a slew of tips to help you ensure that product gets sold.

And, if you are just selling one or two items you don’t need anymore and have no intention of making this a regular thing, read on! These tips should still be useful for you.

What You Should Know About Facebook Marketplace

Before we get started, let’s cover a few basics about Facebook Marketplace for anyone who is new to it, or wants a little refresher course. The Marketplace is open to anyone who has a Facebook account and is not in trouble for breaking any of Facebook’s rules.

For the most part, there are no restrictions on the types of things you can sell. The exceptions to this include anything that is illegal, weapons or explosives (even if they are legal where you are), and anything that would require the buyer to be a legal adult, such as alcohol. Oh, and animals. You can’t sell animals.

Finally, you can’t sell services. That means you’re not allowed to offer something like car washing, dog grooming, house painting, or anything else that doesn’t involve money being exchanged for an item.

Making Money on Facebook Marketplace

Tips for Making Money on Facebook Marketplace

Now, onto the tips. We’ve put together six tips we feel will give you the best chance of a successful sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Presentation is Everything

Often the first mistake people make when selling things on Facebook Marketplace is being too casual with their listing. This can seem a little paradoxical because one of the reasons Facebook Marketplace is so popular is the decidedly local feel it gives. It’s a lot more like selling something to a neighbour at a garage or car boot sale than it is taking your items to auction.

Still, even with that in mind, it pays (literally), to put a little effort into the presentation of your item when you make your listing. Potential buyers may know that they are buying a second-hand item from a neighbour, but given two identical items for the same price, they will nearly always go for the one with the nicer photos. Here are some sub-tips for making sure your photos are up to scratch.

Clean Your Item

Firstly, give whatever it is you are trying to sell a bit of a sprucing up. If it can be cleaned, clean it. We’re not saying you should turn it into a full restoration project, but a bit of wipe or dust down will usually go a long way.

Of course, it’s important not to damage the item, so be careful about what you clean it with, as many cleaning products will have some materials they are not meant to be used on. And, if the item is somewhat fragile, such as an antique of some kind, it might be best to leave it well enough alone.

Stage Your Photo

Making sure the thing you’re selling is presentable is only half the battle, if the pictures you take don’t show the item off in all its glory, it can the same effect as not sprucing it up a bit before taking the pictures.

Always make sure you have good lighting when you take your photos. You don’t need to buy a professional lighting rig for this—everyday sunlight will do just fine. The placement of the lighting is important, too. If you have a lot of light behind the item, it will make it hard to see. Also, try and get the item in front of as plain a background as possible. If the background of the image is too busy, that also makes it harder to see the item.

Take Multiple Photos

So you’ve cleaned your item up and you’ve staged the photo perfectly… now what? Well, you certainly shouldn’t just sit back and admire your handiwork. Get the camera back out and snap a few more pictures from different angles.

Not only will having more pictures increase the likelihood of someone purchasing your item, but it could also save you time in responding to questions from potential buyers. If there are any points of interest on the item, try to include them in a picture. For example, if you are selling something electronic, try to include a picture that shows any stickers or stamps regarding voltage or classification information.

Making Money on Facebook Marketplace 1

Make Your Description Useful

It can be easy to skimp on the descriptions when selling on Facebook Marketplace. After all, you’re not writing a product description for a professional store, are you?

Leaving aside the fact that a lack of information—or badly written information—is a turn off to some, this is another situation where you should put a little extra effort in to save yourself some time in the long run. If the listing does not answer the obvious questions about the item you are selling, either through the pictures or through your description, you will almost certainly get interested parties messaging you to ask.

Use Keywords

Keywords may not be the kind of thing you’d associate with what is essentially a classified listing, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Facebook does its best to make sure any bargain hunters on the marketplace find what they’re looking for, but there’s no sense in making it harder than it needs to be.

Make sure your listing contains any important words. For example, if you are selling a used video game for the PS4 console, your description should, at the very least, include the words “PS4”, “game”, “console”, and “used”. Also, while we’re not sure how much of a difference it makes to Facebook’s search algorithm whether the description is well-written or not, you should try to write the description clearly anyway for the sake of the potential buyers who are going to be reading it.

Be Honest About Your Item

Being honest about what you are selling is important for several reasons. Firstly, it’s just morally wrong to lie about what you’re selling. If that’s not enough, however, there’s also the fact that it could lose you sales. You might fool someone, but someone who knows the item might be able to spot the lie. And, finally, lying would be a shortsighted way to make a sale, as you would then have a reputation for it, which would make it harder to sell items in the future.

List Items Individually

Don’t group several items together for convenience, because it makes them harder to sell. Now, we’re not suggesting you sell an Xbox gaming console and its power supply separately, but if you had a dozen Xbox games to sell, grouping them may make it harder to get a sale, as the buyer will have to be willing to purchase all of the game rather than just one of them.

Price Your Item High (But Not Too High)

Don’t go crazy, but pricing your item a little higher than you’re willing to sell it for will give you a little barter room. Many buyers on Facebook Marketplace like to haggle the price down and are more likely to buy if they can get a bit of money knocked off. Adding a little on allows you to get the price you’re after while letting the buyer feel like they’ve got themselves a better deal. Of course, if you price it too high, most buyers will just keep on browsing straight by your item.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Marketplace is certainly more of a tool for selling things you no longer have a use for but could still be useful to someone else, like electronics you have upgraded from, or old furniture. That being said, it is still a viable business tool, as you can sell almost anything on there, and that includes products you stock.

As with any marketplace, presentation is most of the battle. Make sure your descriptions are accurate and give the buyer all the information they need, and make sure your pictures are clear and show all parts of the item that might need to be seen.


Can I Use YouTube Videos for Commercial Purposes?

When it comes to using services for commercial reasons—especially free services—there is often a lot of murky language and grey areas to wrap your head around. We’d like to be able to say that YouTube is different, but unfortunately, the waters here are just as muddy as everywhere else.

Let’s start with the simplest answer we can give. Yes, you can use YouTube videos for commercial purposes… sometimes. If you own the content and it conforms to YouTube’s community guidelines, there is nothing to stop you from uploading videos for commercial purposes. However, there is more than one way to use YouTube for commercial purposes, and that’s where things get less clear.

As with many things like copyright and licensing, there is a lot of this topic that falls under the umbrella of “technically no, practically yes”. That is, technically no you’re not allowed to do it, but practically you should be fine.

Don’t worry, we’ll walk through this in more detail, but before we do, please remember that this is a YouTube blog, not a legal one. Nothing here should be taken as legal advice, and you are ultimately responsible for your own decisions.

Uploading Videos for Commercial Purposes

The most straightforward use of YouTube videos for commercial purposes is the uploading of your own content that you have full rights to, and that is in full compliance with YouTube’s terms and guidelines. Examples of this might be uploading a promotional video for an online course, a showreel for your acting portfolio, or a walk-around video of a car you are selling.

In each of these cases, the video is technically being used for commercial purposes, however, it should be noted that complying with YouTube’s terms doesn’t just mean things like not having nudity or hateful language, it also means accepting YouTube’s presentation. Your video will almost certainly be shown alongside ads, and those ads might not always be to your tastes. This can be a real problem when dealing with branding, but that is the agreement you enter when you upload content to YouTube.

Embedding Videos for Commercial Purposes

Embedding videos is where things get a little more complicated, since YouTube’s own terms of service state that you cannot;

“use the Service to distribute unsolicited promotional or commercial content or other unwanted or mass solicitations (spam)”

The problem with this is that YouTube makes no real attempt to draw a line between spam and legitimate distribution, and the use of the word “unsolicited” is very vague. For example, if you embed a YouTube video on your blog, nobody could reasonably call it unsolicited, since people are coming to your blog to read your content, so the solicitation is implied.

But what about a forum post, or a Facebook comment?

The reality is that the vast majority of situations in which you would embed a YouTube video for commercial use will not get you in trouble with YouTube, but it is important to remember that vague language in the terms and conditions, particularly if your YouTube channel is a critical component in your income.

Playing YouTube Videos for Commercial Purposes

YouTube’s terms also state that the service is only for personal, non-commercial use, which rules out things like publicly screening videos. Publicly screening videos could include anything from showing a YouTube video at a speaking engagement to playing one at a party with paid entry.

There is no obvious legitimate path through YouTube’s terms to allow this use of YouTube content, however, there is a way around it. If you own the content, or if you can get permission from the owner of the content, you can cut out the middle man. As long as YouTube are not the rights holders of the content in question, their only issue would be you using YouTube to play the content, but if you’re not using their service, it’s nothing to do with them. That being said, it is against YouTube’s terms to download videos through unofficial means, so you could still be in breach of YouTube’s terms with this method. It is unclear how YouTube could ever effectively enforce this particular term, however.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you would be completely off the hook. If you used someone else’s content without their permission, they could still take issue with it, but that is the case for any use of content that you don’t own the rights to.

Additional Factors

It should also be noted that YouTube does not allow the use of any content on their site that is not a user submission. Again, we straddle the uncomfortable line between technically true and practically false here. Technically it would be against YouTube’s terms of service to include a screenshot of the YouTube website in a video that you are using commercially. Practically speaking, unless you are playing your commercial video during halftime at the Super Bowl, it’s unlikely anything will come of it.

User submissions—that is, videos uploaded by YouTubers—are covered by the usual terms and licenses, but everything else—such as artwork—is completely off-limits. That means not even for non-commercial use.

Can I Use YouTube Videos for Commercial Purposes? 1

Summing Up

As with many things like copyright and licensing, there is a lot of this topic that falls under the umbrella of “technically no, practically yes”. That is, technically no you’re not allowed to do it, but practically you should be fine.

That being said, you are taking a risk if you go against that “technically”, no matter how unlikely it is. If you decide to do something that breaks the YouTube terms of service, you should be prepared for the possibility that you may be found out, and that YouTube may take action against you.

The only way to be completely safe when using YouTube videos for commercial purposes is to ensure you are the rights holder of the content in question, and that any screenings of the content that are not for personal use should use your own copy of media, not the YouTube platform. Remember, YouTube does not own your content once it is uploaded.

It’s also worth remembering that content you upload can be similarly used by other people. For example, an informative video about how to use your latest product could be hijacked by a competing firm.

It always pays to think through all of the implications.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.