How to Buy and Sell Used Items Locally Online

Helpful Guidelines for Using Facebook Marketplace and Offer Up

Steven Ma


Image by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

I’m an expert at buying and selling used, secondhand items through online marketplaces. While there are plenty of scammers to avoid, being smart about how you navigate thrifting online is definitely worth it. This is by no means a business or side hustle for me — it’s just a part of my life. Instead of buying things new, I buy everything used. And instead of throwing things away, I sell them — even broken items.

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First, let me share with you how serious I am about this and how good I am with it. In the past 15–20 years of doing this, I’ve owned maybe 7 iPhones. I bought none of them new — all were used from online marketplaces. And when it was time to upgrade, I sold them. I’ve owned about 5 different laptops, all bought used online and sold when upgrading. I’ve had a variety of DLSR cameras, Gopros, and drones, all bought used and sold online. All the furniture in my home office is secondhand.

So in short, I’m experienced and good at it. So whether its Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp, or Craigslist (which I don’t use anymore), or some other platform, here is why and how you can buy and sell used items online.

Note: Here, I’m referring to finding or listing items online, but meeting up in person for the sale. Shipping items is a little different, which I’ll write about elsewhere, though there is some useful overlap.

Why You Should Buy Secondhand

It’s cheaper.

This is obvious. Used items are clearly cheaper than new items. But most people think used and cheap means poor quality. The reality is that when you buy something new, the instant you use it once, it’s now a used product. So you really just need to determine how used you’re willing to buy, and how cheap you want to get something. If you wanted to, you could find items that are merely just opened, or used very lightly and in “like new” condition…