Find out more about Facebook Marketplace and how to use it effectively
E-commerce is a flourishing business. It is a great way for small-scale entrepreneurs to save money on physical premises. Prosperous sellers can easily expand their business globally. Moreover, it gives a chance to every consumer to get rid of the old, unused, or redundant items without leaving their house or starting a garage sale. The latter opportunity is increasingly important for environmental sustainability as well as the household economy.
However, the desire to sell things often faces obstacles. People don’t want to spend time on registration at various marketplaces or money on the listing. Therefore, social networks come to the rescue. For instance, Facebook Marketplace successfully functions in 50 countries all over the world. It helps to sell stuff locally while building a very personalized client base.
How Facebook Marketplace started
Basically, the users of Facebook have been using the platform for trading purposes for a long time. They created buy-and-sell groups or separate business profiles to do that.
By 2016, the number of people regularly selling and buying on Facebook has reached 450 million. Thus, the management decided to facilitate the process by introducing the Marketplace.
Initially, it was available only to the citizens of the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. Nevertheless, the feature quickly proved its popularity and got expanded to 50 countries and a desktop version.
Furthermore, the listing categories have been supplemented. Today, Marketplace users are not limited to small objects. They can sell vehicles, properties, etc.
Back in April 2019, the annual F8 conference brought some exciting news for the Facebook selling community. The conference announced that shoppers would soon be able to ship Marketplace items anywhere in the continental US and pay for their purchases directly on Facebook. Moreover, today, in 2020, when listing an item on Facebook Marketplace, community participants have the option to offer shipping. Thus, you can create a new listing with the usual information and select “offer shipping” at the bottom. A salesperson will be paid once their customer receives the ordered item. Facebook also promised that they soon will enable the new feature – live broadcast of the items. The live streaming also implies that salesmen will be able to answer any questions the purchasers have about the goods while watching live streaming.
How to use Facebook Marketplace
Marketplace navigation is extremely simple. You can find a store icon in your app or the desktop version.
If you wish to sell an item, you click on the “+” button. The seller needs to take a picture of an item, add its description and price, confirm a location, and save the listing. Placing an offer is free of charge. The listing has to stick to the community policies. Otherwise, it won’t get approved by the moderators.
The buyers can search for specific items or browse by category. They may use filters to select the seller’s location, price, rating and other details. It’s easy to find the deals closest to you where you can save on shipping. You can also add some listings to favorites and buy them later.
The buyers and sellers can communicate via Messenger or exchange their contact phone numbers. Currently, the two parties have to agree on the mode of payment and shipping without any help of the platform. The new features are expected to change that in the future. Nevertheless, many people find it quite safe as they get access to each other’s profiles.
Marketplace is available to most people 18 and older in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.
You can use Marketplace on iPhone 5 or later, Android and iPad with the help of the Facebook app or on your desktop.
Tips for Facebook Marketplace users
Recommendations for sellers
- Before placing items for sale, make sure that it complies with Facebook trading rules.
- Never send an item without receiving full payment for it.
- Use real-life photos when you list. Pay proper attention to extra details, such as good light and clear background. Show an item from different sides, especially possible flaws and imperfections.
- Write an honest description. Anticipate which details buyers will be interested in. List them right away, so that you don’t receive tons of questions later.
- Clearly inform the buyer of the delivery time, delivery service (i.e. FedEx, UPS, etc), delivery status, and information for its tracking.
- Check the rating to see if the purchaser is trustworthy.
Tips for buyers
- Check the seller’s profile in the Marketplace from which you intend to make a purchase.
- In order to have no doubts about the condition of the product you are buying, send a message to the seller and ask for additional information or a detailed photo.
- Discuss the preferred payment method with the seller. Furthermore, do not hesitate to offer to use the payment services that guarantee the protection of the purchase. Make sure that it will be available for your transaction.
- Choose a competitive price by comparing similar offers in your region. However, remember that when the seller offers the goods for “extremely good price”, there may be a reason for it.
- Don’t share too many personal details. Be especially careful with banking information.
- Meet in public places for completing a transaction. Don’t bring strangers home without utter need.
- Check the rating to see if the seller is trustworthy.
Pros & Cons
➕ It’s simple and free to use.
➕ You know who you’re buying from or selling to. Not only the name, but also their personal profile is available to the public.
➕ You can check if you have common friends, etc.
➕ The social network is extremely popular so you’ll get access to an enormous client base and a wide range of sellers.
➕ Feedback here is highly personalized.
➖ No payment solutions or shipping options are available now.
➖ The listings need to be updated manually. There’s no automatic closure of the deal.
➖ You may encounter many dishonest sellers or frauds. Purchase here is your personal responsibility. Facebook is not a mediator.