Facebook Marketplace: An online superstore close to home



An iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

By Grace Zawadzki, Staff Writer

Buying furniture and other home goods for college is a daunting and expensive task for many. Facebook Marketplace is a website and resource that allows anyone with a Facebook account to post their items to sell, as well as purchase other’s items. 

Many items like furniture are short term purchases for college students, so individual’s should consider the necessary longevity they must serve. Cheaper, more-used options on Facebook Marketplace might be worth it for students.

Prices range anywhere from free to thousands of dollars. Many sellers on the site offer used and gently used items at fractions of the retail price.

Why college students should consider shopping on Facebook Marketplace:

  1. Not all the products listed are used. Some are just unreturnable or unwanted purchases. 
  2. Save money by purchasing and picking up items locally to take away shipping costs.
  3. There are a variety of different products in one place.
  4. Find unique pieces that aren’t on the market anymore.
  5. Many sellers are open to negotiating, meaning the price points are often flexible. 
  6. By chatting via private message, the seller can be contacted to ask questions or raise concerns.

However, saving the dollar and buying from an individual online comes with inevitable safety concerns.

Facebook Marketplace has a variety of products all within the reach of a computer mouse or touch screen. (Grace Zawadzki/ TCU360)

When buying online, safety precautions are essential: 

  1. Opt for contactless pickup if possible. The seller can leave the item outside their home and payment can be sent via payment transfer apps.
  2. Do not disclose personal information… Facebook allows for all contact to happen via the site’s private messaging feature.
  3. Ask the seller to send additional pictures, as to confirm the item’s legitimacy and avoid scams.
  4. Never go alone or inform someone of the intended location of meetup.

With these safety tips in mind, many college students strongly recommend Facebook Marketplace to their friends looking to furnish their college houses.

“I can’t even begin to imagine how much money I saved by finding literally every piece of furniture I had in my college house off Facebook Marketplace,” said William Forbus, a 2022 graduate. “We found this vintage plaid couch that still had a lot of life left in it for cheap, and my buddies loved it. It was just so much cooler than the generic gray plush couches that everyone has.”

Unlike other online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, there are no fees associated with buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace.

“I bought my $1,200 white leather sectional for my college house for $600 because the previous owner was moving and didn’t want to deal with shipping it across the country,” said Arden Weninger, senior athletic training major. “It was only a year or two old.”

The platform does not guarantee product security, but many students don’t mind the risk if it means they can save money.