What I’d Buy on Facebook Marketplace Today (If I Wasn’t Broke)

I was a teenager the first time someone told me I had an addictive personality. “Oh!” I said brightly, flattered. “Meaning people find me addictive?” I was picturing myself as this alluring, magnetic creature. “NO,” they shot back rudely. “It just means that you get addicted to things very fast.”

It wasn’t the last time anyone said that to me, and I have to admit, they have all been correct. When I start getting addicted to ANYTHING, I feel this pentup, excited, nervous energy coursing through my blood, like there is a happy little person is in my brain hopping up and down on the spot shouting more more more “MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE OF THIS”. It’s at the back of my mind always. (So many examples. The Sims. Chalk paint. Jamaica Blue walnut brownies. Marie Kondo. The other night, when Mr Nerd taught me how to play Blackjack, then dragged me away from the table once my eyes got the crazy gleam. Forbrydelsen. Work. Pinterest. Manhattan Nest. Words with Friends. Coffee. SNES Battle. etc).

One of my latest addictions is . (“MORE MORE MORE,” shrieks my inner crazy). It’s like but better, to be honest. Firstly, a lot of things in the homewares realm tend to be priced cheaper than they would on Gumtree, with some people just offloading stuff for very little or even free. Also, with the ability to check out a seller’s public profile, I like to think you have a lesser chance of going out to a stranger’s house and them being an axe-wielding maniac (I hope).

Similar to image-sharing platforms like and , Marketplace is predominantly image-focused, making it more visually pleasing and fun to browse. This is a feature that I also think makes it pretty effective if you want to make a sale. One of my friends was telling me how she listed three items on Gumtree for a week with no bites; on Facebook Marketplace they were gone within the day, one within 20 minutes.

While I think the userface could be improved in some ways, on the whole Facebook Marketplace is great – particularly if you’re decorating a house. There are so many furniture and homewares bargains to be had. Sure, some of it has that scary “did someone die in this armchair” vibe, but it’s all about envisioning (and maybe re-upholstering).

There’s a LOT of cool secondhand furniture, art and homewares – and a lot of bargains. Especially at the moment, with a whole lot of people going KonMari-mad after binge-watching Marie Kondo’s Netflix show during the New Year break. (You might have seen my , I definitely went a little Konmari nutty). Something might not spark joy for you; but it sure as hell can spark joy for someone else browsing Facebook Marketplace.

HOWEVER. We now have a six-month-old in our midst and I’m only working part-time (essentially in naps and at night, ugh. Which as you can imagine isn’t the most conducive set-up).

Ok, so I’m not exactly broke (that was me getting your attention with my click-baity title, and you’re here so clearly I succeeded) however, we are pretty much a one-income family at the moment and are trying to be more careful with our spending, so we’re on a bit of a budget. Also, to be honest, I have everything I want, really. Our not-huge house is full; I wouldn’t mind swapping Mr Nerd’s bedside table for one with more storage, but at present, furniture-wise there’s really nothing I neeeeed.

That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t fun to just look! Sometimes even when I’m just on Facebook, things on Marketplace pop up on my and I can’t resist an idle browse; the same way I scroll realestate.com without the aim of buying a weatherboard cottage in the Blue Mountains.

One of my friends who shares my fondness for online bargain hunting is Nelly Reffet, an interior designer at . Nelly’s signature style of interiors caught my eye long ago when I first saw them online – what I liked about them is that she relishes the challenge of finding vintage and secondhand things and making them work, in both her own home and her clients.

And man, Nelly is the Facebook Marketplace QUEEN. She regularly texts me things like, “Look at this *insert any covetable MCM design* chair/table I got from Facebook Marketplace.”
I gape in awe.
“FOR FREE,” she continues.
“Master,” I moan.

She also puts my bargain hunting to shame. When I text her things I like, she’s usually like, “It’s pretty! But too expensive.” She is brutal. She is the Facebook Marketplace equivalent of that friend everyone has where you ask them hopefully what they thought of that guy you liked and she’d be like, “Yeaaaah…… you can do better.”

So when I thought of writing a fun story on things I’d buy on Facebook Marketplace if I wasn’t on a budget and had a few big houses to decorate, naturally asking Nelly to join in was the second thing that came to mind. She was keen. “What I like is that we can show people that we can get super cool-looking interiors without breaking the bank, without resorting to Kmart or big stores, and we recycle things too, so it’s much better for the environment,” she said to me. “Plus, people are Marie Kondo-ing their lives, and Facebook market is becoming the source of all good things that spark joy!”

So here’s our pick of what’s out on the Perth Facebook Marketplace at the moment – what we’d nab, and also, Nelly’s awesome guides on how she’d style some pieces and in what kind of setting to get a great look for less. “Certain items are more than we would personally pay – but they are beautiful and were available at the time of putting this together,” says Nelly. “But I always think when it comes to buying secondhand online, the best deals are usually made by being patient. I set myself a price I don’t want to go over, and I wait… the concept of Slow Decorating is key to cheap deals!”

So here are our picks! Look, Nelly doesn’t agree with all of mine, but hey, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, right? Enjoy.

(Also, if you’re looking for an interior designer to help you pull your own curated, individual look together, I recommend Nelly regularly. You can her via or check out her Insta ).

The item that sparked this post. I so badly wanted this linen cupboard. And it’s $20. Do I have any room for it, anywhere? No. Do I need it? No. Do I love it? Yes. It’s such a pretty shape and colour. I could see it in a children’s room.

Oh I love this. And what I love about it is that the light rattan sides and back would help disguise any ugly under-desk computer stuff, cords etc, but they don’t weigh the piece down and make it look heavy. If your study/home office is open-plan with the rest of the house, it’s a desk that would add to your home’s style, not detract from it. It’s beautiful and $450 is decent for something like this.

I think this is cute. It’s a nice cane, not a yucky blah orange-y cane. I see it in a bedroom with a little white fluffy throw against crisp white walls, or with a colourful pillow and an oversized plant or a little mother-in-laws tongue. OR I’d have it outside on a (protected) deck with a little side table. I’d also reupholster the pink cushion. Nelly thinks it is too expensive, but she is brutal. I like it though. It will look great on the veranda of my Colonial mansion in Sri Lanka when I have one.

Watch