Woman Tries To Sell Bookcases on Facebook Marketplace—Doesn’t Go As Planned

A New York woman has learned about the potential pitfalls of Facebook Marketplace after an unusual encounter with a potential buyer who wanted a little more than just the bookcases she had on offer.

In recent years, Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular peer-to-peer shopping platform. Figures published by Capital One in September 2023 suggest that as many as 1.212 billion online shoppers purchase something on Facebook Marketplace every month.

Shoppers on the platform equate to around 40 percent of Facebook’s 3.03 billion monthly active users, with an estimated 485 million people logging into with the sole purpose of going on Facebook Marketplace.

But despite evidently being a widely used and popular platform for buying and selling, the occasional bit of miscommunication or downright confusion can still occur between buyer and seller.

That might explain what happened to Grace, a woman from New York City, who recently listed her “relatively new” white IKEA bookshelves on Facebook Marketplace.

“They are nice,” she told Newsweek. “We unexpectedly scored really cool MCM bookshelves that will really tie our apartment together and now the IKEA ones are sitting, disassembled, in our 400 square foot apartment, while we wait for someone to take them.”

As it turns out, selling the bookcase has proven difficult with Grace admitting there has been “zero interest” so far. “For living in such a populated area that has so many options to transport items, it is absolutely maddening to actually sell things,” she said.

The Facebook marketplace listing where it began.
Grace posted a listing on Facebook Marketplace for someone to come and take her bookcases. But one interested party wanted a little more than that.


However, at one point it looked like Grace may have found a possible buyer. When someone got in touch to ask: “Hi, is this available?” she didn’t think much of it at first.

“People rarely follow up past the first interaction, so I really don’t pay attention or put much stock in the initial ‘Is this still available?'” she explained.

But when they followed up with another message, she thought she had found a buyer. Then she read what they wrote: “Do they come with the books also[?]”

At this point, Grace sought to clarify things, responding: “No lol, just the shelves.”

Initially it seemed as though the would-be buyer understood, replying with a simple: “ok” that seemed to bring the conversation to a natural conclusion.

That was until they returned again later to inform her: “I will take them if they come with the books.” Grace replied: “They don’t come with the books,” but the buyer was not about to take no for an answer.

“But I am only taking them if they do,” they said. “Do we have a deal?”

It was around this point that Grace began to realize something was up. “I thought wow, this is incredible stuff,” she said. She also began to grow suspicious that this was all part of some elaborate prank. “When he just kept going at it I was like surely this is a troll,” she said. “I tend to be someone people mess with a lot.”

But when she checked the buyer’s profile, she was stunned to see that he appeared to be a legitimate Facebook user. “They have their own listings and actual post history, it’s a real account,” she said.

It was clear they were struggling to accept what Grace was saying. “The shelves are for sale,” she reiterated. “Not the books.” The would-be buyer responded, “I’m confused” and the conversation ended there.

Grace later shared a screenshot of the interaction to her X, formerly Twitter, account gracecamille_ describing the buyer as being in possession of “a brain that should be studied.”

Some have suggested she could have avoided any confusion by removing all of the books off her bookshelf before taking a picture as part of the online listing. That’s not something she’s ever planning on doing though.

“This is so much work, absolutely not, she said. For now she’s still watching and waiting for someone to show an interest in the bookshelves, having set her sights a little lower when it comes to finding a buyer.

“I have now posted them on the Facebook Free Stuff group for our neighborhood and have had zero bite,” she said.

Newsweek has reached out to Meta for comment over email.

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