‘We saved £9,000 by promoting our house by means of buddies on Facebook’

Social media has unwittingly commenced a cash-saving revolution letting ‘friends’ cut out the middlemen

Forget eBay, Gumtree and Amazon Marketplace. People are now turning to Facebook to promote vehicles, furniture, collector’s things and even their properties.

Neighborhood-based mostly Facebook pages are springing up all more than the country. They are increasingly replacing the old noticeboards found in outlets and supermarkets as a way to get and promote things locally.

And it is not just 2nd-hand garments and children’s toys for sale. Large-ticket things this kind of as vehicles and houses are regularly posted on the social networking website.

John Hayes, 52, and his wife, Mandy, 50, (pictured beneath) of Grange Park, Northampton, saved practically £8,800 in estate agents’ costs when they offered their home for £366,000 on Facebook.

The couple, who have now retired to Alicante, Spain, had been considering about selling their five-bedroom, 3-storey property in the village in December but had not yet place it on the market place.

John and Mandy Hayes: ‘least stressful property sale ever’

They had been members of their local Facebook page, “Grange Park, Northampton”, which operates as an online message board for the neighborhood.

1 of the members uploaded a publish asking if any person was seeking to sell a 5-bedroom home in the region. Mr Hayes responded, saying they were contemplating of promoting in the new 12 months.

They arranged a viewing, but interest in the residence swiftly grew online.

“The initial couple came and viewed the house twice, but there was also a good deal of interest from other people who had observed the original submit,” Mr Hayes explained. “In the end one more couple created an offer and we thrashed out a deal. We saved thousands of lbs by cutting out the estate agent.

“The couple who purchased it already lived in the area and had been searching to move up the ladder. It was nice to promote to somebody residing in the nearby neighborhood.”

The sale completed at the start off of March. An estate agent had initially quoted 2pc plus VAT to sell the house, meaning the Hayeses saved £8,784 in costs.

Mrs Hayes mentioned: “It was the least nerve-racking property sale I’ve ever been concerned in. We did not have to negotiate by means of an agent and it all went really smoothly. With the sources accessible on the web today, I do not think you always want to use estate agents.”

Websites such as eBay and Gumtree have historically had a stronghold on the on the internet marketplace, but sellers’ costs and difficulties with fraudsters have encouraged some consumers to search elsewhere. A lot of really feel much more relaxed trading inside their neighborhood region or their Facebook “friend” network.

Neighborhood local community pages tend to be quite common and people post a range of things for sale as effectively as providers this kind of as plumbing, house removals and elegance treatments. Some regional companies use them to advertise their companies, but a big proportion of the advertisers are private individuals. Most have guidelines that avert businesses from posting as well usually.

Some are “closed groups”, which indicates you have to submit a request to the group administrator to turn into a member. Open groups can be viewed by any individual with a Facebook account.

The “Battersea and Wandsworth offering site”, for illustration, is a closed group with one,900 members. It lists a variety of items for sale in south-west London from vehicles to vintage clothing, furniture and children’s video games.

1 submit this week advertised a Fiat Punto sport with 2007 registration and 123,000 miles on the clock for £2,500.

Other pages on Facebook target a distinct curiosity group. “Buy, Promote, Swap Camera and Photography Gear – UK” is an open group with almost 1,400 members. The items on the web site contain digital SLR cameras, lenses and accessories.

A utilised Nikon D600 camera physique in the box with all accessories was posted this week for £875 or nearest supply. eBay listings for other 2nd-hand D600s ranged from £600 to £1,100.

An additional vendor listed a used Canon EF 300mm telephoto lens for £710. It is accessible new on other websites for £1,169.

The downside of buying on Facebook is there is no purchaser safety. If the item you get turns out to be a lemon, there’s probably not much you can do about it.

The eBay site, on the other hand, provides a funds-back assure for products bought with PayPal that are not received, are damaged or are not as described in the listing.

Steering clear of agents

Property owners paid out much more than £3bn in costs to large street estate agents for the duration of 2013, with London property owners alone paying almost £1bn, according to investigation by on-line estate agents Housesimple.co.uk.

It said agents charged an typical fee of one.75pc plus VAT for their providers.

The figures are even more evidence that agents nonetheless have a stranglehold more than the housing market. The widely forecast shake-up, exactly where residence owners shun expensive agents and alternatively promote their residences on the world wide web, has not materialised and DIY property-promoting is nonetheless uncommon.

Part of the dilemma is that in order to attain a broad audience sellers need to have to be on the dominant residence portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, which also owns Prime Place. To feature a home on one of these all-strong websites, nevertheless, it has to be listed with a standard agent. This has actually harm the accomplishment of private product sales internet sites.

Property specialist Sarah Beeny started her own sale-by-proprietor site, Tepilo, four many years in the past and located that many people had been reluctant to use the service since they wished their residence listed on the large portals.

Sarah Beeny

She relaunched the site last Christmas as a reduced-price online estate agent. The costs range from £195 to £495, based on how a lot help the vendor requirements.

Other listing internet sites for personal sellers do exist. Noestateagentsplease.co.united kingdom acts as a notice board for private sellers. Likely customers get in touch with and negotiate with the home vendor direct. Sellers shell out a 1-off fee of £49.98 to industry a house.

— Have you sold something on Facebook? Let us know in the remarks beneath.