Among Meta's many apps and services, Facebook Marketplace has quickly grown to be my favorite.
It's a great way to buy good furniture for an affordable price. I prefer it to eBay or Craigslist.
One Facebook Marketplace user told me she thinks buying second-hand adds "soul" to her home.
Meta has a trove of products and services that billions of people use daily, including Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, but one, in particular, has grown to become my favorite.
And it's not the metaverse: While Meta's recent pivot to the metaverse has been the subject of scrutiny from investors and the corporate world, I'm convinced the company's best product is Facebook Marketplace.
I've mostly stopped using Facebook as a social network, but I visit facebook.com nearly every day to check out Marketplace.
Marketplace is a platform on Facebook that allows anyone with a profile to buy and sell goods.
It's free to use, but Facebook takes a 5% cut whenever a seller ships an item. Meta doesn't share how much money it makes from the service, though last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that more than 1 billion people visit Marketplace each month.
Recently, Zuckerberg said Facebook Marketplace benefited from supply-chain issues that made it hard for people to buy new items from stores without long wait times.
It's a great way to buy high-quality furniture for an affordable price, and it's become my go-to source for decorating my new apartment.
According to the EPA, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture annually. The problem is likely to worsen as purchases of cheaply-made furniture have escalated since the pandemic.
Source: The New York Times
By using Facebook Marketplace, I know I'm helping to keep furniture out of landfills - and I prefer using Marketplace for furniture over eBay or Craigslist.
Unlike on other selling sites, a user on Facebook Marketplace must have a Facebook profile to use the service, meaning I can attach a face to my interactions.
There are still certain precautions I take. For example, I'd never enter a person's house by myself to pick up an item.
The site is easy to use. You can set filters only to show local items within a certain radius - I've set mine to offer items for sale within 9 miles of my Los Angeles apartment. It's not only used for furniture; you can also search for clothing and electronics. There are even cars for sale on Marketplace.
Some local sellers prefer to meet in public areas, depending on how large the furniture items are. Others offer delivery or ask buyers to pick up purchases at the seller's doorway.
One Facebook Marketplace user who sold me an item told me she thinks there's something "special" about buying previously owned items for her home. "They add a certain level of soul… beyond just being a pretty object," she said.
I've met some pretty accommodating sellers through the platform. For example, one person kindly offered to drive a dining table back to my apartment after I struggled to fit it in my car.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the future I have bought on Facebook Marketplace for my new apartment.
I plan to continue using Facebook Marketplace to buy second-hand furniture. Next up: I'm on the hunt for a desk!