Passions: Why I love the weird and wonderful world of Facebook Marketplace

It may be a little like the wild west, but there’s nothing better than a Marketplace find, writes Lauren Jack.

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As someone born on the cusp of the 2000s, the internet has been a near constant in my life.

The transition from the Blackberry to smartphones took place in my teenage years, and I grew up as social media was developing. Over the years I found myself being swept away by various platforms and now have a very love-hate relationship with it.

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A few months ago I actually deleted most social media apps from my phone after becoming concerned by how much time I was spending online.

Facebook Marketplace is home to many interesting items. Image: Alastair Pike / AFP/ Getty ImagesFacebook Marketplace is home to many interesting items. Image: Alastair Pike / AFP/ Getty Images
Facebook Marketplace is home to many interesting items. Image: Alastair Pike / AFP/ Getty Images

I don’t miss the constant flow of negativity on Twitter (sorry, X) or the addictive algorithm of TikTok, but the lack of doom scrolling left me with a lot of spare time.

Enter Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook isn’t a platform I particularly enjoy. Even the angry red notifications piling up couldn’t convince me to click on the blue icon.

But then one evening, as I sat on the couch completely disengaged from The Chase happening on screen, I remembered about Marketplace, the very same place my sofa had come from.

From that moment, I was obsessed.

My purchases through Marketplace include – but are not limited to – a sewing machine, desk and even my boyfriend’s (admittedly little-used) bike.

There’s just so much to see; staple Marketplace finds such as pianos, listings where the pictures are so blurred the item is unidentifiable, objects like a can of Coke being used for scale, eerie Reborn baby dolls, and engagement rings (there are always engagement rings).

Then there are the listings which make Marketplace fun. Pictures of mirrors capturing both the item and the person taking the photo, pets helping to sell a table or toy, life-sized cardboard cutouts of people like John Cena or, one of my favourites to date, an inflatable costume of Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars with the dire warning “last chance before removing ad”.

There are also the weirder finds. Think homemade art, human hair wigs, haunting mascot costumes and unique vintage items such as a “male and female urinal by Boots” or even “German World War Two memorabilia” – and yes, it was exactly as it sounds.

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There’s always something to discover, and it’s not the latest life-hack or weirdly specific tool I “absolutely must buy” from Amazon. No, instead I get a window into the weird and wonderful workings of my community.