TL;DR Facebook Marketplace is the new hyper-local marketing feature launched on your Facebook Mobile app. This new feature allows users to buy and sell products in their area. It is expected to compete with existing listing/classifieds and e-commerce sites such as Craigslist, e-bay, Etsy. Read on to know all the details.
Facebook has always proved to be a great marketplace. Thousands of e-commerce sellers have already utilized it to successfully sell their products so far. Around 450million users are already using Facebook groups to sell, buy and barter products/services. But these transactions have always happened by the cooperation between the buyer and seller. Facebook is not involved in the process. In 2007 Facebook tried to regulate this process with the new Facebook Marketplace. In 2009 the feature was handed over to oddle, another classifieds listing website. Eventually, the feature disappeared.
Facebook has given new life to Facebook Marketplace a couple of days ago. The all new Facebook Marketplace is a new Facebook feature that allows you to discover, buy and sell products in your area. This is Facebook’s attempt to regulate the peer to peer selling that already exists on Facebook.
In the words of Sarah Sewell, Speaker, e-Commerce Business Consultant running a website called the Joyful Entrepreneur – who has had the opportunity to use Facebook Marketplace immediately after it rolled out:
I’m impressed with the rollout of FB Marketplace, I feel it is a great venue for sellers wanting to grow more into their local market. It seems similar to Craigslist but safer as you can check out profiles before meeting to exchange a product for money. Conversation is also recorded within the marketplace area of the app. Overall I think it’s a great opportunity for handmade sellers to grow their businesses in a new way.
Where is it available?
Facebook Marketplace, as it is aptly named is a peer to peer selling platform where Facebook users discover, buy and sell products in their area. You can sell anything on Facebook Marketplace as long as it complies with their product policy. Facebook is not involved in the financial transactions or in the shipping process.The Marketplace is Facebook’s version of Craigslist, a popular listing, and classifieds website. Facebook is taking on e-commerce websites like e-bay and Etsy with its new feature.
How can you search for products on Facebook Marketplace?
The Facebook Marketplace opens with photos of products in your vicinity. To search for a particular product, you can search for a keyword and filter the results based on location,category and price.
How can you buy items on Facebook Marketplace?
Once you find items that you are interested in, view the details of the products and the seller. The most important advantage of Facebook Marketplace over websites such as Craigslist is credibility. You can view the Facebook profile of the seller. Getting to see Facebook profile pictures, personal details etc. of the seller puts a human face behind the transaction and increases the credibility of the seller.
After viewing all necessary details. If you have decided on the product then you make an offer for the product with the “Make Offer” button. You can also approach the seller through direct messaging via Facebook chat. If the seller agrees to your pricing, then you go ahead with the transaction. As mentioned already, Facebook does not aid the payment/delivery process.
How to sell your items on Facebook Marketplace?
If you decide to sell one or more of your items on Facebook Marketplace then take a photo of the product. Add the photo of the product from the camera roll. Add necessary details such photo, description, and price.Post it so that all people in your vicinity may be able to see your products.
How do I keep track of my transactions on Facebook Marketplace?
Your Items section in Facebook Marketplace allows you to keep track of all the items that you have bought/saved so far. In this screen, you can see the products you bought/sold/saved and also all the messages that you have had with people.
What went wrong?
Facebook Marketplace was launched on Monday 3rd October 2016. As soon as it was launched, several products such as illegal drugs, animals and guns started appearing on the products page. Due to an error from Facebook, the products were not filtered according to the commerce policy of Facebook.
Weird product photos from babies, guns to pregnant girlfriends started appearing on Facebook Marketplace. Facebook apologized for this problem and assured that a fix would be put in place soon.
Great technology can fulfill its potential only when used right. Facebook Marketplace is a new feature that is here to facilitate the peer to peer to selling. Facebook might introduce a lot of new restrictions and filters to regulate the products. Yet for the feature to reach its true potential, we the users should maintain the necessary decorum on the platform.
Tips to sell better on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace might have faced quite a number of issues on its launch but eventually, it will be back. It is better to be prepared to embrace the new platform and use it effectively to drive up sales.
Here are some tips to sell better on Facebook Marketplace:
Great product photography (as always)
The first thumb rule to sell on any e-commerce platform is great photography. This holds good for Facebook Marketplace as well. Follow these rules to get some eye-catching photos which are the first selling point for your products.
- Maintain bright lighting. If you do not have proper lighting in your house, use natural lighting
- Keep the product in focus
- Use at least three photos of your products from different angles
Optimize your profile
The most important USP of Facebook Marketplace is that the buyers and sellers are going to be able to see each other’s Facebook profiles. Thus to gain credibility as a genuine seller, you must ensure that your Facebook profile is properly optimized.
Make sure to have the following things:
- A proper profile picture
- Proper details in profile
- Contact Information
- Add photos of happy customers (if you have already made sales on Facebook)
List each item separately
Though you might have a host of items to sell on Marketplace, make sure you make separate listings for each item. Never go for a group listing where you bundle up a group of items in a single listing.
The reason behind this is simple. Separate listing helps in finding interested buyers for each separate product and price offers for separate products tend to be better this way.
Facebook launches several new features such as the Facebook Instant Articles from time to time to rapidly increase the amount of time, users spend on the site. Facebook Marketplace is yet another attempt by the social media giant to eat into other e-commerce websites audience. Though Facebook Marketplace has been facing some major setbacks right from its launch in 2007, it is sure to come back very soon. It has a major advantage over other service platforms because of the credibility that Facebook can provide. This will make it noteworthy competitors in the classifieds/listings domain. It is also expected to be a strong competitor for e-commerce companies such as e-bay and Etsy. Every e-commerce seller should get prepared to embrace this new platform and get the sales you deserve.
Have more questions on the marketplace? Add them to the comments and let’s discuss.