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Craigslist versus Facebook: How the Two Platforms Stack Up for Reselling

I have used most every platform there is (or was) at one time or another in the more than 25 years I have been reselling online. Some have been far more useful than others, obviously, such as eBay or Amazon. The big bulk of our sales do come from those two sites and always have, but I do still make a substantial amount of revenue from other, smaller and more specialized sites.

Growth of my business is always the goal, and any move that I can make that will accomplish that goal I will always try.

One of the best ways to grow a business is to broaden its reach and footprint, which has been best accomplished, for me, through cross-listing my items on to other platforms. Over the years I have tried every platform that looked viable to determine which ones were worth my time and effort. I found that some sites did not offer me a return on my investment, or time. The platform may have lacked overall site traffic, or the customer base was a totally different demographic than what was needed to sell my items. In those cases, I simply stopped using them, and moved on to the next site.

Through trial and error, I have figured out which sites work best for the vast majority of what I sell. Each site offers different challenges and options. Some sites offer the ability to sell items across a broad spectrum of categories, while others are very specialized. A site’s usefulness will vary depending on what a person is selling. Specialized sites like Discogs, which offers music related items only, or HipPostcard, which mostly offers postcards and paper items, have been well worth using for me, but will not be very useful to resellers that do not sell those types of items.

Some sites offer unique options that in some cases can outweigh the reach and site traffic of a much bigger platform, such as eBay or Amazon. Craigslist, for example, offers me the ability to sell items locally and free of charge. Craigslist does not charge a fee to list or sell your items, which is a big plus for those resellers on a fixed budget, or those wanting a cheap alternative site to cross-list their items.

I can also ship items from the site, but I have found that option to be a waste of my time. The majority of the items I sell would do far better on eBay or Amazon, due to much higher site traffic on those platforms. We have done extremely well selling very specific items on Craigslist, such as larger items I would never want to ship.

I also use the site to liquidate large bulk lots of items that just are not worth my time selling any other way. I frequently purchase large bulk lots of records, sometimes numbering into the tens of thousands of individual discs. Most will not be worth listing, and I will simply pop them up on Craigslist and get rid of them that way. More often than not, just a few minutes after I have posted an item for sale on the site it has already sold.

The only hard part of selling on Craigslist is meeting someone to exchange the items for the payment. It can be scary for some, but if it is handled correctly it should not be of concern. I will only meet someone at the local police department parking lot (in broad daylight) on a weekday, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. I find that is always the safest time and place for any sort of meet up with someone I do not know. In my local area, most police and sheriff’s offices encourage people to use their parking lots, out of safety concerns for these types of meet ups.

Facebook is another option for those wanting to expand their business. Just like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace allows you to list all of your items free of charge. But you will be required to pay a 5% fee based on your sale price if any of your items sell on the platform. (Editor’s note: as commenters noted, the fee is temporarily waived, so please be aware fees will resume. We’ve added a link to more information.)

There are far more tools on Facebook than Craigslist to help your business grow. You have the ability to promote your items through ads, and social media, which can be very useful when just starting out. These are paid services and will cost you money to use them.

Facebook Marketplace’s usefulness will depend on what you are selling, just like on any other site. I find that home goods, large items, bulk lots, and holiday-related items sell best on the platform.

Facebook offers both local pickup and shipping options straight through the platform, but I do far better with just using the local pickup options, just like I do on Craigslist. Vintage and collectibles just don’t seem to have enough interest or traffic to make the site useful for me with those sorts of items.

One last aspect I cannot forget to mention is that you can also buy merchandise to resell off of both platforms. Throughout the years I have purchased some astounding items from both sites that have made me vast amounts of money. It is always nice to be able to buy and sell off of the very same site. It makes my investment in a platform far more productive.

Craigslist and Facebook have both been very useful for me and have helped to grow my business and revenue. It did take me some time to figure out what sells best for me on each platform, but it was well worth my time, and investment. So, if you are looking for a new platform to cross-list, or try, you may want to consider both of these sites.

Don Heiden on InstagramDon Heiden on Youtube
Don Heiden
Don Heiden
Don Heiden is a 30-year veteran of online reselling going back to the days of Yahoo Auctions. He runs The Auction Professor YouTube channel posting videos and content about various reselling platforms and topics, and he is a member of the eBay, Amazon, Hip, and other affiliate programs where he may earn a commission when linking to products on those sites. He can also be found on most social networks under the same name, including Instagram. He is also a published professional artist which includes works produced for The Walt Disney Company. He holds an Associate Degree in Database Design, Construction, and Network Administration. He also holds a Bachelor Degree and Master Degree of Research & Communications from The University of Toledo.

8 thoughts on “Craigslist versus Facebook: How the Two Platforms Stack Up for Reselling”

  1. “Facebook Marketplace allows you to list all of your items free of charge.
    But you will be required to pay a 5% fee based on your sale price if any of your items sell on the platform.”

    =======================

    Early last year FB Marketplace waived its selling fee on all orders shipped before Jan. 1, 2021.

    Then in December, FB extended this fee waiver on all items shipped through 11:59pm Pacific Time on June 30th, 2021 (for both Biz and consumer sellers).

    Outside exceptions using Commerce Manager, there are currently no fees for businesses or consumers to sell on FB marketplace for a few more months, and of course there’s a chance FB might once again suspend selling fees to further accelerate growth.

    Shops and Instagram grab most the FB commerce press, but in addition to the payment and shipping options FB Marketplace has stealthily pushed-out various promos as it transitions from just the Craigslist-like P2P classifieds-style site to more of a a direct “shots fired” legitimate B2C competitor to eBay (including one promo in Q4 where FB paid for shipping for computers and mobile devices, in addition to zero selling fees).

  2. I have been selling on Facebook Marketplace and other Facebook Selling groups, and have Never been charged a fee

  3. The Over Thinkers need to stop.
    There’s no comparison between CraigsList and Facebook.
    These folks can’t see the forest for the trees.
    Leave us alone.
    Go Away.

  4. Actually CraigsList has become a non-option for us. CRAIGLIST IS NOT FREE!!! They DO CHARGE $5.00 per posting for Businesses. Even though we are a hobby business (non-retailer, no brick and mortar store front, etc.)…We have been blocked from Craigslist because ONE competitor complained that we were a Business and listing in the wrong category of For Sale By Owner. We own all of our inventory in and operate from our home. We are both retired and sell Boat Parts for extra income. IMHO $5.00 per posting (including top-posting and renewing) is way too much money to spend for CraigList….So we moved on to FaceBook Marketplace…much healthier sales!

  5. @ TheEnd – totally agree!! but a good discussion, I suppose, for sellers starting out especially because of possible pitfalls ?

    RE: FB, I do post items for sale on FB, but I post directly on the pages of collector groups whose members should be interested in the particular item, rather than Marketplace. I did post a couple of items on FB Marketplace and discovered that items are supposed to be available for Local Pickup – no shipping !! (If I am wrong please correct me, but I kept getting a map showing whatever it was – 25 mile radius or something like that, within which shoppers would see my listing and be able to meet up with me to make the deal.) I had originally thought FB Marketplace would reach anywhere, and include shipping options but NO – my last attempt had to offer Pickup but NO SHIPPING. Absolutely contrary to what I want !

    RE: Craigslist, I post items for sale, but am very fortunate to be able to have them on display in the antique shop where I rent space; so I post the store location, hours and phone right in the listing. Someone who can’t run to a store that is open 5 days a week from 11 to 5 is not a serious customer (and may be one of the scum who have given CL a scary rep).

    The other benefits of this are that 1) Shoppers may see the ad and go to the store on their own without contacting me; and 2) Someone going to the store may see other items beyond the one that is advertised. I TRULY ike the interference CL runs between buyer/seller, providing anonymous emails. I am not afraid of meeting strangers, but I indeed insist on a public place with a lot of people around and would never, ever invite a CL responder to my home.

    RE: Local pick-up, This is a deal breaker for me on both FB and CL. Spending at least an hour driving and meeting somebody is too costly. Carving out time to meet someone, instead of using it to work on my business, totally wipes out any kind of profit. Doing pick-ups, other than an extremely rare occasion, is just plain not worth my while.

  6. I’ve never been charged a fee on Facebook.
    And just like Craigslist, they have their share of AH’s. And it’s just not people not showing up to meet. Some people get a kick out of asking “Is this still available”? Then when you say “yes”…they ghost ya. Not sure the thrill in that but it’s common in my area.

  7. Lately I’ve had much better luck with Facebook Marketplace than with Craigslist for larger items, too big and/or heavy to cost-effectively ship. I sold a recliner, a bookcase and a full-size microwave very quickly after not getting even one response on Craigslist for any of them.

    I always offer to meet at a safe, public place. I also require bills no larger than $10 to pretty much eliminate the chance of getting any counterfeits.

    I tried selling the microwave on eBay via Local Pickup. I wrote the listing very carefully so no one would think I’d be willing to ship it. Unfortunately, it sold 3 times to buyers too stupid to understand what that meant. I had to refund all three buyers, who were all located far from me.

  8. 51st State :
    I like the Old School feeling of Craigslist and don’t want corporate to murder it.
    I also like Old Creaky Wooden Floors in the buildings I shop in :o)

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