Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Swap Sites: 5 Simple Tips

Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Swap Sites: 5 Simple Tips


You may be totally familiar with the above acronyms, or you may think I’ve lost it and am talking in some sort of gibberish code. If you’re in the latter group than this post is for you!

I enjoy writing blog posts that I think will help other new moms, or even moms-to-be who have yet to start a family. Recently a good friend of mine gave me this blog post recommendation. This friend is in the “moms-to-be” category and just last month she completed foster care training with her husband so that they can provide respite care to foster children. They recently finished a beautiful renovation in their basement, which now has a fun play space for the kids who will be staying with them. They are just starting to fill this space with toys and their goal is to do this by finding used toys at garage sales. I mentioned that she should also start looking on Facebook swap sites since there are usually great deals on toys. While garage sales are great, you typically don’t know what may be available until you get there and they can be pretty time consuming. If you have specific needs I definitely think the buy and sell swap sites are a must. It seems that these sites have become increasingly popular for moms who are trying to buy and sell both new and used baby and kid items. I think the general consensus is that these sites are a bit safer than Craigslist since you usually have to added by a friend and then approved to be in the group. Also, you can see if you have any friends in common with the buyer or seller that you’re dealing with, which is an added level of security. Don’t be embarrassed to arrange your meetings for item pick up or delivery in a public place if you’re more comfortable doing that. Safety is a priority!

To say I’m a fan of swap sites is an understatement. Since I frequently find amazing deals, and have had decent success with both buying and selling items, I immediately encouraged my friend to join swap site groups focused on moms, babies, and kids. There are always tons of items available for sale and often times, with some patience, I have been able to find just what I’m looking for. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago I found a great deal on a sweet Strider bike for Chase. I look at these sites on a daily basis, and have been doing so for quite some time, so it didn’t even cross my mind that it may be a bit overwhelming for someone new to the Facebook swap site scene. Here are a 5 simple tips for swap site beginners!

1) Join groups that are specific to your interests and needs.

What are you hoping to buy or sell? My friend who is on the hunt for baby and kid items for her new play area should look to become a member of groups that are aimed specifically at moms or parents who are selling both infant and kid items. If you’re looking for general household items, such as a lawnmower or coffee table, you probably want to become a member of a garage sale group. There are a zillion groups out there, so make an effort to join groups that best fit your needs. You can search for groups by using keywords such as swap or garage sale.

2) Look for swap sites that are in your geographic area.

A number of swap sites on Facebook are specifically focused on certain geographic areas. If you’re from a decent sized city, such as Minneapolis, there are numerous sites that you can join that are typically designated by suburb. Look for the sites that are closest to you or to where you’d be willing to travel for pick-up. I have tried to become a member of as many of the mom swap sites as possible in the suburbs that surround me. You’ll have a better chance of finding specific items you may be looking for if you’re in a bunch of different groups that fit your criteria. I just looked and I’m in four mom swap sites that are in my area. There are quite a few more, but they aren’t close to where I live and are in areas that I’m not very familiar with. Trust me, you don’t want to be in a group that is in an area that is far away from where you live. I know that with a toddler and an infant I can’t be driving all over the Twin Cities to purchase items.

3) Read the rules for each group.

Each group typically has rules that all members must follow. It’s important to understand the rules so that you’re not caught off guard as you begin buying and selling items. Each group has different rules, so make sure you’re familiar with the specific rules of the group that you’re doing business in. You don’t want to get others mad at you, or even worse, have the administrator remove you from the group. I know that I learned the importance of reading group rules awhile back when I didn’t realize that the rules stated that the buyer had 24 hours to respond to a message. While I think that is quite a bit of time when trying to sell or buy an item, those were the rules and I accidentally didn’t follow them when I didn’t wait the full 24 hours for a response. Thankfully I was able to work everything out with the other member and things turned out just fine. It was a good reminder for me to make sure that I know the rules for each group!

4) Know the acronyms that are commonly used on posts for both buying and selling.

I remember the first time I saw one of the acronyms that is often used by sellers in their posts for items for sale. I had no idea what the acronym meant and felt completely lost. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what all the acronyms stand for so that you understand what the seller or buyer is saying. The following acronyms are commonly seen on Facebook posts in swap sites:

  • NWT = New With Tags
  • NWOT = New Without Tags (the item is considered new, but the tags have been removed)
  • EUC = Excellent Used Condition
  • GUC = Good Used Condidtion
  • FCFS = First Come First Serve
  • POMS = Posted on Multiple Sites (the item is listed on more than one site)
  • PPU = Pending Pick Up (the item is sold pending pick up by the buyer)
  • ISO = In Search of (use this if you’re looking for a specific item)
  • OBO = Or Best Offer
  • PM = Private Message (the buyer or seller has sent a private message over Facebook)


You also should know that if you see the word “bump” on the comment section below a post that the seller has written this to bring their post back up to the top of the feed. This is done when items have yet to sell and the seller wants everyone to see their post again. If you see an item you want to purchase and you’re the first person to respond you typically write “interested” in the comment section directly under the post. After doing this I recommend that you immediately send a private message to the seller to express your intent to purchase the item or to ask questions if you have any. If you see that someone is ahead of you in line for an item that you’re interested in you can write “next” in the comment section under the post. This lets the seller know that you’d like the item if the person ahead of you does not complete the sale.

5) Check your Filtered Message Requests in Facebook Messenger.

For some reason private messages that are sent to you by non-friends via Facebook Messenger are placed in your Message Requests area of the messenger. Unfortunately, you do not receive notification if there are indeed messages from individuals you are not connected to on Facebook. Thus, you must remember to check your Filtered Message Requests in order to view all of your messages. If you’re on a computer you can find Filtered Message Requests by clicking on the message icon in the upper right hand corner. Then click Message Requests next to Recent. If you’re using the Messenger app on your phone you must tap the Me icon in the bottom right hand corner. Then tap People and tap Message Requests. I know that in the past before I realized that I need to be doing this that I failed to see messages from individuals who were interested in items that I was selling. As a way to make sure that people remember to check their Message Requests I always will let them know that I have sent a private message in the comment box under the post.


Hopefully if you’re new to Facebook swap sites you’ll find these tips helpful. Once you look at the sites and familiarize yourself with the process you won’t even think twice about participating. The goal is to get beginners ready so that they can jump right into buying and selling. Seriously, who doesn’t want to find a good deal?

How did you learn to use Facebook swap sites? Did I forget to mention anything that you think is important or helpful for beginners to know? If you have any additional tips I’d love for you to share them with me!

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