Throughout the pandemic, my social media feeds have been filled with friends donating, selling, and buying secondhand items. Chock it up to boredom while sheltering-in-place or an easy route to make an extra dollar, resale is on the rise. And the current leader of the pack: Facebook Marketplace.
Launched in 2016, Marketplace was established to bring all Facebook users a one-stop-shop for their shopping needs. In partnership with Facebook Messenger, buyers and sellers can communicate about product, price negotiations, and delivery and pickup schedules. Unlike Craigslist, where things are kept quite anonymous, the Marketplace is connected to a Facebook account — allowing the potential customer to scope out who they are doing business with before they commit, adding an extra layer of safety. In addition, Facebook Pay makes a more seamless transaction, although they do allow all forms of payment.
Because Facebook is completely free to join, sellers do not get charged a fee. This is huge in the resell industry, and slightly unheard of. You can sell whatever your heart desires, from TV’s, clothing, furniture, cars and even houses!
The platform was created to be extremely user-friendly with only two steps: make an account and enter product details.
Step 1: Make an account
Open up Facebook, either mobile or desktop, and select Facebook Marketplace from the main menu and select “sell.” You will then select from the four main categories: items, vehicles, homes for sale or rent, and jobs.
We should note that their requirements for items are tangible, physical products. On their approved list are: clothing and accessories, home and garden, electronics, and deals.
A couple of examples: Xbox, couches, gently-used vinyls, bookshelves, baby gear, cleaning gadgets, etc.
Items that the site won’t except include weapons, animals, drugs, dietary supplements, real or fake currency, healthcare products, etc.
Step 2: Enter in product details
Once you’ve verified what category, you’ll upload a photo, title, price, condition, location and description. Then hit publish to make your listing visible to everyone on Facebook.
To stand out, take professional quality photos of your items and provide detailed descriptions. And by the way, if you are selling items you are required to ship within 3 days.
Weighing your options
With all things, there are definitely pros and con’s to the Marketplace.
- Extended reach. A startling 75% of Facebook’s 2.4 billion users check Facebook daily.
- Smart algorithms. Facebook has a way with algorithms. They are designed so that people near you will see your listings, indefinitely. And if that doesn’t work, you can easily share listings across Facebook groups to increase visibility.
- Quick and easy listing process. In just two steps, you can get access to 2.4 billion users.
- Secure transaction. Not only does seeing people’s profiles create a safer transaction, but all buyers are covered under Facebook’s Paycheck Protection policy.
- Facebook account required to ship. A rather obvious one, you must be a Facebook user.
- Limitations on volume sales. Annoyingly, you cannot simply add a number to your product listing if you have multiples of the same item. The con here is adding each listing, separately.
And if you’re still not convinced, below we break down the differences between Facebook Marketplace and it’s three top competitors.
eBay vs. Facebook
For starters, eBay is based on an auctioning model. Of course, you can set a final price with the Buy it Now feature but often people will want to negotiate and bid. Also, eBay charges a 35 cent fee for over 200 listings a month, and takes a 2% to 12% cut on each sale.
Craigslist vs. Facebook
Like we shared earlier, Craigslist provides zero background information on their sellers, which is a huge safety concern.
Amazon vs. Facebook
The only real thing Amazon has on Facebook is their quantity. It is much easier to sell large sums of product on Amazon than Facebook. The catch though – Amazon charges a monthly fee to all professional sellers that sell more than 40 units per month. And if you sell under 40 units, they will take a 99 cents of each sale.
So there you have it. The choice is yours, but Facebook Marketplace has a lot more benefits than negatives.
In related news, did you know CVS sells clothing?