We all see those trading groups on Facebook where you can easily buy and sell your stuff, and with over 450 million people trading through Facebook each the company decided to create Marketplace.
In a blog, Mary Ku, Director of Product Management said:
“To help people make more of these connections, today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”
To get started with Marketplace you have to tap the shopping icon at the bottom of your Facebook app. You can search for items for sale by filtering them according to price, location and category, and you can even save items you like to return to them later if still available. The sale post also give a seller profile so you can see what they look like as well their contact details, for a safer transaction. You can send a message to the seller directly from the sale post if you’re interested in buying their item, but Facebook will not facilitate payments through its app. Buyers and sellers will have to make their own payment agreements outside the app.
Facebook has shared instructions for posting items in Marketplace:
- Take a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll
- Enter a product name, description and price
- Confirm your location and select a category
There is a ‘Your Items’ section where you can see your transaction history, your sale posts, saved items and messages you sent. If sounds like an inexpensive way to own a store, you don’t need to rent a shop when you can sell online to a possibly wider network than you would owning a physical store with little or no foot traffic. If you don’t mind owning a store, this is an additional marketing platform for goods you sale. So either way, you win some.
But there are some problems. On the day it was launched Facebook was already apologizing for some of the posts that were put up, such as ‘Illegal drugs. Dogs. Guns. Sexual services. Baby hedgehogs. Selling all of these items and services on Facebook goes against the site’s commerce policy. And all of them were available on Marketplace on Monday,’ as shared by the New York Times.
Marketplace sounds like a potential eBay and Amazon contender seeing as the Facebook app has over a billion downloads, but we’re yet to find out how Facebook is making any money from this.
Is it available in Zambia yet?
Facebook has said ‘Marketplace will be rolling out to everyone over 18 years old in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. We will continue expanding to additional countries and make Marketplace available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.’