Since October 2016, the Facebook Marketplace
has been available in the U.S. The program's purpose is to connect buyers and sellers with one another via ads for online sales. However, the platform does not allow for payment and presents other limitations. Continue reading to discover the platform and all that it offers.
How the Facebook Marketplace Works
The Facebook Marketplace was deployed in 2016 across the United States, Australia, and in the U.K. It has been positioned as a strong competitor of peer-to-peer sales websites, like Craigslist, which collects roughly 49.4 unique monthly visitors.
The platform makes available for its users products for sale in their areas. The organization of the peer-to-peer communication is similar to that of Craigslist and other companies that offer comparable services.
While it is available via a mobile application, the service is also accessible through its dedicated Facebook interface
. It is important to note that Facebook sales groups
have retained their webpage and will remain separate from the Marketplace.
Contrary to some other popular marketplaces, the one proposed by Facebook provides neither a payment nor a delivery solution for those who trade using its service. Rather, it simply acts as the channel through which the contact is made between buyers and sellers, leaving the logistics of the exchange in their hands.
Since Paypal's integration to messager, Marketplace users could make use of it to perform payments. By clicking on the Paypal button in the app, users can send and request payments related to their Marketplace sales.
Benefits and Limitations of Facebook Marketplace
One of the advantages of the Facebook Marketplace is to facilitate the connection between buyers and sellers. The interface allows visitors to search by category and by distance around their current location. Buyers can also limit the geographic distance from which they may be located.
Facebook also makes use of its social media profiles to allow for a more transparent exchange: all buyers have access to sellers' profiles. Its Messenger service is used to facilitate the communication between the two parties.
One of the biggest limitations of the service is the lack of payment and delivery management options that are proposed. Paypal's integration can help to remedy this issue, especially since it provides an assured payment experience.
Another limitation is the fact that neither buyers nor sellers can give or receive ratings, so it is difficult to judge the credibility of others using the service.
Using Facebook Marketplace as a Professional
The current format of the platform is not specifically adapted for professional use. For example, professionals do not have a dedicated space on the Marketplace and ads cannot be linked to a Facebook shop. They also may not accept payments through a dedicated payment service; they can, however, use the Paypal capability integrated in Messenger.
The largest benefit remains increased visibility in a given geographic area. To benefit from this, professionals must use their proper name and their personal profiles, as Facebook does not allow for the use of the company name as a profile name.
The Marketplace is especially relevant for certain business sectors, like real estate and personal services, since it allows for a first contact with BtoC clientèle in the seller's area.
Image: © Facebook.