How To: BST on Facebook Like a Pro

Online shopping has taken on a new form when it comes to buying that Persnickety dress your 3-month old is sure to grow out of as soon as she wears it once, or even the essentials such as cloth diapers and baby wearing gear. Facebook has its very own underground world of Buy/Sell/Trade groups (BST) for just about anything you can think of. An added bonus is that most items are marked down by 70-80% off the original price, and still in excellent condition. But, buyer beware: here are the top 10 tips for completing smooth transactions with other mama’s in these groups.

1. Read the Group Rules

Always read the group rules, typically located in the files section of the group. These will set the guidelines on how to list and claim items that are posted. If there are no rules listed, use your best judgement when interacting with others (also see below)!

2. Pay Attention to the Details

If you see an item you love, check the entire sale post for more details. It should include one of the following descriptions for the condition of the item: NWT (New With Tags), EUC (Excellent Used Condition), VGUC (Very Good Used Condition), GUC (Good Used Condition), Play (Play Condition).

3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions! If you’re not sure what a certain acronym stands for – just ask! Most moms are more than willing to help newbies out since certain groups have very specific lingo.

A few other important questions to ask are:

  • Does it come from a smoke free home?
  • Do they have any pets?
  • How many times was it used/worn?
  • Is it authentic or an off-brand?

These details are important when buying a used item online.

4. Check the Price

How does that price compare to others listed in various BST groups? If it’s a HSA (Highly Sought After) item, you may be looking at a price tag far above retail. That’s okay. Sometimes it is worth paying more if it means a lot to you to score it! However, most of the time for categories such as clothing and accessories, you won’t have to pay over what the item was originally worth.

5. Complete ALL transactions via PayPal

It is highly recommended in most groups that transactions be completed through invoicing and money requests via PayPal. This protects both the buyer and the seller should anything happen to the item in transit or the buyer is not satisfied with their item. You should never just send money to a PayPal email address. The buyer should send you a formal invoice/request so that the transaction is formally documented.

While we recommend that you complete all transactions via PayPal, you may find that in some local BST groups, PPU (porch pick-up) is used as a common delivery method. In this situation, the seller will either collect payment via PayPal or ask that you leave cash under the doormat. The seller then leaves the item you’ve purchased on the doorstep. Most times, this arrangement is completely safe. However, be wary (particularly if you’re the seller) of leaving an item out for pick-up for a buyer you don’t know or leaving multiple items out for pickup at one time.

6. Quickly Pay Invoices

Speaking of PayPal, pay your invoice in a timely manner! The seller certainly wants to get the item to its new home quickly, and sending over prompt payment is just overall good BST etiquette.

7. Stock up on Poly mailers

Selling items in a BST group is a quick and easy way to make some extra cash. If you do sell, be sure to stock up on poly mailers to send your item if it’s clothing. And as a courtesy to your buyer, always ship within 3 business days of receiving payment.

8. Search this Group

Don’t want to weed through all of the posts in the group to find what you’re looking for? In the group, use the “Search This Group” box to enter your search parameters such as the size, color, or name of the item you are looking for. This will bring up both unsold and sold items, so be sure to take note of that as well.

9. Follow-up

A little thanks goes a long way. If you’re the seller, check back in with the buyer to ensure that their package arrived safely. And if you’re the buyer, send the seller a quick note to show your appreciation! Who knows – the two of you may do business again in the future!

10. Enjoy!

Last of all – enjoy your new treasures! It’s always such a thrill to score boutique items or an amazing wrap for under retail!


Now that you’re a BST-ing expert, your next step is to get yourself added to the groups. Here’s a full list of the top BST groups by category. Happy shopping!

For more ideas on shopping online, check out Successful Secondhand Shopping Tips.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

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