Creating a home my family loves makes me really happy and brings me joy! I do appreciate a good deal and definitely shop around…especially when it comes to furniture. You might want to skip retails stores and head over to Facebook. You can furnish your home with Facebook Marketplace and I’m going to show you how.
My secret is to design a high-end looking home with minimal amount spent and this is where Facebook Marketplace comes in!
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FB Marketplace Find – Vintage Cane Bench – $65
Cabinet – Free | Pottery Barn Rug – $200
Why Furnish with Facebook Marketplace?
It saves a TON of money and you have unique items for your home. I love FB MP!!!
When I first moved to the DC area 19 years ago (which is hard to believe)! I took a job on Capitol Hill working for a congressman making next to nothing!! There seems to be a large misnomer that working on The Hill pays well. It does not! Especially for living in or around DC. It’s VERY expensive. I had to be creative.
Many other hill staffers had mommy and daddy paying their way. Their own salary only went toward clothes and eating out. My salary was what I actually had to live on. No mom or dad handing me cash and I quickly learned how to furnish my space on very little. When I moved to DC everything I owned fit into my little sedan. That was all I had to my name and $800. That was is it…it was sink or swim and I had to move quickly.
Thankfully I knew how to put designing on a budget into practice and quite frankly I find it fun. If you’ve learned anything about me it’s that I didn’t grow up with much and I am thankful for that. There is something about the thrill of the hunt, finding a great buy, and being able to furnish your home with vintage or designer items in a unique way that you can afford.
Interested in finding great pieces in this hot shopping domain for yourself? Here are my top tips for getting a great deal, finding quality items, and more.
How to Shop on Facebook Marketplace?
If you like hunting for great and unique finds than this is for you, but if you can’t imagine how something will work in your home or you need everything visually designed for you; FBM might be a difficult venture for you. However, I do believe you can learn how to shop on facebook marketplace even if you are designed challenged.
I do find it easier to snatch great deals in larger cities so if you live more rural you might have to expand your search area and I’m going to explain all of this to you.
Chairs – $100 | Restoration Hardware Pedestal Table – $200 (retails $1200)
Set Up Your Marketplace Search Area
I live outside of DC giving me access to parts of Virginia, Maryland and DC itself. I set up an 80 mile radius from my zip code and sometimes I find items close to me and other times I will drive 45 minutes to over an hour each way. Establish how far you are willing to go. The worst thing is to search aimlessly only to find a great item in Ohio…for me that’s a no go!
If you live in a small town where items on Marketplace are lacking and you are willing to drive, expand your search reach.
Search Using Strong Keywords
Make a list to narrow your search to a small number of items at a time. I have pieces and styles in mind that I look to replicate. It can become overwhelming if you don’t have a specific list of items you’re looking for.
A lot sellers don’t know how to properly describe the item they are selling. They are just trying to get rid of it. This means you will need to get creative with your search terms. Think of all the ways to describe something you’re looking for and use those words to search. Many sellers won’t know the brand they are selling so you can’t depend on items to always be listed by brand name.
I have found it is also important to save items that are visually similar to what you’re looking. This triggers FB MP to know what you want and every time you open FB MP, great things will appear in your feed without even searching for them.
Use keyword formula when searching:
- 1st word: sometimes “vintage” or “antique”
- 2nd word: any brand, color, quantity or specifics you’re looking for
- 3rd word: the actual item (i.e. table, patio furniture)
A few search examples:
- Vintage oak dresser
- Round wood Restoration Hardware pedestal table
- Antique Marble top dresser
- Vintage brass side table
- Antique dresser drawers
- Pottery Barn dresser
Pottery Barn Hudson Dresser – $400 (retails $1800)
Know What Quality Looks Like
Sometimes sellers don’t realize the furniture brand they are selling or the quality of a piece, but if you know what quality is and have a keen high you can score great items.
Our bed is from a brand named Pennsylvania House. They are no longer in business but they sold in all the high-end furniture shops and their quality amazing, made in the USA furniture. I found our king size bed for $350 and it is super, duper heavy and amazing quality. The seller said she paid $2200 for it 25 years ago.
Look for brands such as:
- Ethan Allen
- Drexel Heritage
- Henkel Harris
- Hooker Furniture
- Lee Industries
- Mitchell gold
- Pottery Barn
- Restoration Hardware
I always search with at least three words and if I’m looking for something specific. The results are too broad with just one word and you most likely will need to comb through hundreds/thousands of results to find anything decent, like at a bad garage sale.
King Size Bed – $350
Be Persistent and Patient
I know from first hand experience that constantly searching can be exhausting, but if you eventually get the piece you’ve been looking for, it’s worth it.
Do not expect to furnish your home quickly; this takes time. This isn’t Amazon where you find what you want and it’s in your house in 48 hours or less. Browsing takes time. I am SUPER persistent and patient. When I have an item I am looking for I will wait it out.
Solid Wood Table & Bench – $100
I wanted a round table for our kitchen to replace the rectangle one (which was also a FB MP find, but it was a little too big for the space). I began my search for a 48” round pedestal table in April and I didn’t score one until January. Now, I saw many I wanted but someone either got to it first or it was more than I wanted to spend.
Patience and Persistency is key and it reaps great rewards.
Restoration Hardware Table – $200 (retails $1200)
Set a Budget
Setting a budget for used, low-cost furniture seems almost silly. Trust me, it’s a good habit or in the end you may spend more than necessary.
This table the owner listed it for $500, but the top needed sanding and re-staining. An easy project but $500 for something I had to repair…no! I waited and watched and then one day she lowered the price to $200 and I picked it up that evening! Patience my friend! Patience.
Also be willing to pay more than the other buyer if it’s an item you really want. Sometimes offering over the asking price for persuasion power may work, but still remain on budget.
Submit Payment to Hold
This is a new, common message I’ve been sending and receiving this year. Given Facebook Marketplace is so hot and the good products have high demand, multiple people are trying to score the same thing. To show you’re serious, sending a deposit or full payment amount is a good idea to quickly secure an item. I have sent and received payment via Venmo or PayPal to ensure the item is mine giving me a little bit of flexibility on pick-up.
Some areas won’t do this as readily. Now that we have moved to Tennessee this is not as common and I find it a little frustrating. Most sellers will only take cash and will not let you purchase it or hold it with a payment. It almost seems as if they don’t understand why anyone would want to do that. Submitting payment to hold might not work in all regions but it seems to in larger metro areas.
Cabinet – $350 | Restoration Hardware Table – $400
Be Flexible with Pickup
If it comes down to multiple offers or interested buyers, you want to make the transaction as easy as possible for the seller. If the seller wants the item picked up that day, make it happen. Are they only available during evenings? Let them know you’re flexible and can accommodate.
Always put safety first! Make sure someone knows where you will be and who you will be meeting with, and if you’re nervous about going alone, take someone with you.
Final Thoughts on How to Furnish Your Home with Facebook Marketplace
First off…I hope this has inspired you to begin to look around for used furniture and home decor items whether it’s on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, thrift stores or yard sales and estate sales. Another persons trash is another ones treasure.
Purchasing everything from a big box store is easy, but it’s very costly and I find that a home can look like a showroom instead of a curated, lived in space. It’s great to mix and match designs and style all while staying cohesive.
Just remember…patience and persistence.
Give Facebook Marketplace a try. You will be surprised how addictive it can be. It is a great way to design your home with most of the time one of a kind pieces and/or pieces at a fraction of the cost of retail.
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