Want to sell items online and wondering if you should post it on OfferUp vs Facebook Marketplace?
Both these online selling platforms are effective ways to make quick money by selling your unused stuff.
However, there are some massive differences between what each platform lets you sell, the listing process, and potential fees.
In this article I’m going to share the important things to know about making sales on OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace so you can maximize your profits.
Let’s get to it!
About Facebook Marketplace
The Facebook Marketplace began in 2016 after Facebook, the leading social media network in the world, wanted to provide a way for its users to exchange goods locally.
Since its launch, FB Marketplace has basically become the best Craigslist alternative out there and has hundreds of millions of users.
It’s free, fast, and simple to use. Overall, it’s not surprising that Facebook Marketplace is one of the best selling apps out there and also extremely convenient for buyers.
OfferUp is another popular selling app that actually began in 2011; much before FB Marketplace’s time.
The funny thing is that FB Marketplace actually copied a lot of what makes OfferUp great, and both platforms have a local marketplace feel.
It’s an immensely popular platform, and it only grew in size after it acquired its main competitor LetGo in 2020.
OfferUp vs Facebook Marketplace – What’s Best For Sellers
On the surface, both Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp look extremely similar, and they are in many cases.
But if you want to sell stuff to make some fast cash, one platform might be superior depending on what you’re selling and how you prefer to sell.
What Can You Sell?
The overarching rule is that you have to sell real products; no digital downloads, services, or promises of delivery allowed.
But this still leaves plenty of options. For example, people sell all sorts of categories, with popular options including:
- Apparel – Both OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace are excellent places for selling new and used clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Electronics – This is another fast-selling category for both marketplaces.
- Furniture – One of the best selling categories, furniture items can be promoted and sold on both websites. Typically due to the size and weight, furniture listings are typically meant for local sales.
- Baby Items – Looking to sell a gently used crib, baby clothes or other items? Both OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace accept these listings. Be sure to make sure that the items are not under recall before posting. Toys, books, and other games are also popular.
- Kids Toys & Clothing – If you are cleaning out closets, both toys and clothing that your children have outgrown can usually be sold online. Be sure you take several photos and are honest about condition, details and any damage.
- Used Vehicles – Used cars are in high demand and are fetching an excellent price from both dealers and online listings. To sell a vehicle, you will need the title and registration. It’s also recommended to have the CarFax or vehicle maintenance records as well.
What Can’t You Sell?
One similarity between OfferUp and the Facebook Marketplace is the list of restricted items you’re not allowed to sell.
The most common product categories you can’t sell on either marketplace include:
- Animals – While animal related items (like kennels, leashes, beds, etc) are eligible for sale, you can’t sell animals.
- Healthcare – Items including first aid kits, medication, medical devices, vitamins or other health related items cannot be sold.
- Weapons and Explosives – Unsurprisingly, firearms, knives (excluding kitchen cutlery), ammunition and other items considered dangerous are not eligible for resale.
- Documents & Currency – Individuals can’t buy or sell currency, financial or other legal documents.
- Illegal Items or Services – If an item is illegal or stolen, you of course can’t sell it on OfferUp or FB Marketplace.
For these scenarios, you’re better off using Craigslist or apps like Steady or TaskRabbit to find gig work.
Another important factor to consider in the Facebook Marketplace vs OfferUp debate is ease-of-use.
After all, if you’re trying to make money fast by selling stuff, you don’t want to get bogged down with a complicated sales and listing process.
Thankfully, both platforms make it easy to create and post listings. Some Facebook users may prefer Marketplace since they are already familiar with this popular social media platform, however OfferUp is also easy to use.
We prefer Facebook Marketplace slightly because the in-app messaging system is a bit better than OfferUp’s messaging system, but this is a small advantage.
It’s free to list and sell stuff locally on both Facebook Marketplace and on Offer Up. This is why both platforms are extremely popular since you keep more money in your pocket.
However, OfferUp also lets you sell online and ship products to buyers.
Buyers normally pay for shipping, but you pay a 12.99% or $1.99 online sales fee, whichever is higher.
The flexibility of OfferUp is a plus, but this is a steep fee. If you sell online, you’re better off using eBay or Mercari since the process is similar and fees can be slightly lower.
Buying and selling items online always carries a small risk. When completing sales, be sure to use common sense when completing a transaction. This means meeting buyers or sellers in a public place and requesting payment upfront before providing the merchandise.
However, safety is one area where OfferUp is superior to the Facebook Marketplace.
The platform actually has pre-approved meeting places that are considered safe, such as busy public areas or parking lots right by police stations.
OfferUp also has a profile badge system which helps you confirm people’s identities and if they’re a reputable buyer or seller.
You still need to use common sense, but we think OfferUp takes the edge when it comes to buyer and seller safety.
Communicating With Buyers
When selling items online or working online, it is always important to communicate. This is especially true as a seller since you have to negotiate with buyers and land a sale as fast as possible in many cases.
Both OfferUp and FB Marketplace have in-app messaging systems you use to chat with buyers.
This is great news since it means you don’t need to give out your personal phone number, and both chat systems work well.
Pros & Cons
Just like with any way apps or websites, there are both pros and cons for Facebook Marketplace vs OfferUp.
Here are some of the different features to be aware of for both platforms when picking where to sell your used stuff.
OfferUp Pros & Cons
- Community Meet Up Spots: OfferUp features recommended meet up sites that are visible, well-lit and generally safe to meet strangers and conduct your transactions. Some of these sites include police stations and partnering stores where security cameras are available.
- Ability To Ship Nationwide: Unlike Facebook, OfferUp lets you sell locally and online as well. You have to pay a steep online selling fee, but it’s more flexible as a platform overall.
- Rating System: OfferUp has a rating system that lets you see if another user is trustworthy and has completed successful transactions. This, plus the pre-approved meeting spots, helps increase seller and buyer safety.
- Ability To Promote Listings: If you want to sell your item more quickly, OfferUp lets you promote listings. According to its website, promoted items get an average of 14x more views each day and are typically listed in the top 50 of that category.
Using OfferUp hacks like promoting listings gives you a massive edge over other sellers and helps you make a fast sale, so this is a very cool feature to try.
- Limited Availability: While growing in popularity and number of locations, OfferUp isn’t available in all areas. At this time it is available primarily in the United States. Shipping is not available to Hawaii, Alaska or Arkansas.
- Regional Popularity: For local sellers, OfferUp may not be as established in some areas as others. Larger metropolitan cities have more listings than small towns, and those in rural areas may find fewer buyers.
- Shipping Fees: OfferUp’s flexibility is a perk, but you pay a steep online sales fee if you ship your products to your buyer.
Facebook Marketplace Pros & Cons
Facebook Marketplace Pros:
- Large User Base: Facebook Marketplace has several billion users when compared to OfferUp only having a few million. This large audience allows you to reach more people and make more potential sales.
- AI-Assistant: Marketplace has an AI generated chatbot that can help both buyers and sellers initiate questions and responses. This service helps make transactions easier for both parties.
- Anyone Can Sell: Any Facebook user can sell items on Facebook Marketplace. As an added bonus, items for sale on Marketplace appear not only on Facebook channels, but on search engines as well.
- Ease-of-Use: Facebook Marketplace is easy to use and to create listings. Uploading photos is simple and you can reply to inquiries via messenger or in the post comments.
- Ability To Boost Listings: Not getting enough eyes on your Facebook Marketplace listing to make a sale? Facebook offers the opportunity to boost your post to more users for a small fee (typically a couple dollars). This may or may not be worth it to you considering the value of the item, but it is definitely an option to help you make money.
Facebook Marketplace Cons:
- Unwanted Notifications: Because this online sales platform is AI-based, you often receive notifications whether you want them or not. For example, I posted a garage sale listing a few weeks ago and the platform made me list the garage sale as “sold” in order to stop getting notices about the event.
- Scammers: This marketplace is frequently targeted by scammers and you may get individuals asking for things that are not legitimate or do not make sense. For example, if you have something that you are selling online and someone promises to send you money only after they receive the item, they are likely never going to pay. Also be aware of potential buyers who want you to prove you are a real person by clicking links outside Facebook, downloading codes and other unusual tasks.
- Only For Local Selling: Unlike OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace doesn’t provide an in-app solution for selling stuff online.
Extra Reading – The Best Sites Like Facebook Marketplace.
OfferUp vs Facebook Marketplace – The Verdict
Overall, both OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace are effective places to sell items for money. Which app you sell on is completely up to you, but here are some final tips you can consider when making the decision!
Sell On OfferUp If:
- You are looking for convenient and safe local meet up locations for local buyers.
- You are looking to vet buyers who are legitimate since the OfferUp platform offers ratings.
- You want the flexibility to sell online and in-person.
Sell On Facebook Marketplace If:
- You are comfortable using Facebook and want an easy seller experience.
- You want to access as many buyers as possible.
- You don’t care about selling online and just want local, cash sales.
Extra Reading – The 10 Best Ways To Flip Money.
There are lots of different options to make money selling things online. If you’re comparing OfferUp vs Facebook Marketplace, overall, both sites are an effective way to sell items and earn cash.
And remember: this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are plenty of sites like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace alternatives you can try out.
And, of course, you can maximize views by listing the stuff you’re selling on both Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.
Best of luck with your selling!
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Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help others save and make money. Kim is also an expert in money-making apps, side hustles, and personal finance. Visit her online at Two Kids And A Coupon and follow her on Twitter for more money tips.