7 On Your Side: Tips for buying, selling and saving on the Facebook Marketplace

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Nina Pineda has more on Facebook Marketplace, which lets users connect to buy and sell products online.

Looking for a safer way to shop using social media? Maybe you've heard of the Facebook Marketplace, which lets users connect to buy and sell products online. It's a great way to save - and make some extra cash. Right off the bat, you're connecting to neighbors or friends, or friends of friends, so that's a level of comfort not offered by other person-to-person selling sites.

You can also check out the seller or the buyer before you interact, which makes this tool very user friendly.

Katie Mundo, a fan and fanatic, bought everything in her guest room for under $130 using Facebook Marketplace.

Aside from saving money, Katie discovers pre-owned treasures to buy and sell for her home-styling brand, Highwood Home. She likes using her social network to keep transactions local and limited to the surrounding community. A mutual friend popped up as she was checking out one seller's furniture.

In the living room, she scored a Restoration Hardware chair that retails for $1,200 for just $200, a leather couch for $500 and a decorative door for $50, all within miles of her own home.

Katie says the Facebook Marketplace app saves her time by filtering through items that fit her style, which she can customize according to price range and how far she wants to go to pick items up.

Her three top tips for buyers are:
--Try to inspect items first to verify condition and test to make sure they work
--Don't be afraid to haggle the price
--Only transact with people you've checked out and trust.

Katie also has tips for sellers:
--Take quality photos to showcase your product
--Join selling pages or groups to maximize your prospects
--Compare similar item to make sure your listing price is just right

Additional tips from Facebook Marketplace:

--Always meet in a public location and bring a friend - It's good to meet where there are plenty of people, like a grocery store, coffee shop or police station. Bring a friend, and let others know where you're headed.
--Make the payment in person - Messenger payments, PayPal or cash are good options. When selling an item, consider asking for full payment instead of installments.
--Report listings that look suspicious - Check seller profiles, see what else they've sold and read listing descriptions carefully. If something seems off, report it. Facebook can block buyers and sellers with bad reviews from the Facebook Marketplace feed.

Additional safety tips:
ConsumerReports.org/computers-internet/facebook-marketplace-what-you-should-know/
Facebook.com/marketplace/learn-more/safety

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