Usually, it is said that social networks are not used to sell directly but to generate relationships: connections between people are surely the soul and value of social media. As well as a good management of Facebook pages and a good management of Instagram accounts certainly contribute a lot to it. So to deprive these sharing platforms of also being a direct tool to monetize makes it a restrictive view.
Facebook’s latest novelty in the field of online commerce arrived in Italy a few weeks ago: Facebook Marketplace is the new feature that allows you to buy and sell items within a community, just like through eBay, Subito.it or Kijiji. The Marketplace is accessible from the top left icon under Messenger in the form of a red and white kiosk.
Facebook Marketplace: How to sell directly on Facebook
Facebook Marketplace is probably an alternative and thus an evolution of all those groups on Facebook where individuals interested in getting rid of unwanted items, duplicate gifts and unused products meet, as well as buyers looking for special items. The transactions are often true giveaways, in which sellers simply get rid of too much merchandise by having the buyer pick it up, saving them shipping costs and helping them get rid of unwanted items in the process.
As soon as we find something among the offers that arouses our curiosity, we have to contact the person who placed the ad to proceed with the transaction (since the platform is used to display the products and not to sell them directly).
One of the particular advantages of the Facebook Marketplace is that it can define a very limited geographical area to focus only on goods offered in certain cities or regions.
To be precise, the main advantage of the tool is given by the possibility to define in a very detailed way your searches – by price, location and product category – while staying connected with your Facebook account, i.e. you can interact directly with your interlocutors without leaving the platform and without making any further registrations.
The Facebook sales tool is clearly aimed at minimizing time, in fact when you log in you can see the offers divided into categories, product list and location, three criteria obviously very relevant for users to choose the most attractive opportunities.
The fact that Facebook Marketplace is an integrated social media platform means that people interested in particular offers can access the profiles of the offerers to assess – within certain limits – their plausible reliability, as well as write to them directly to ask for explanations.
There is no secondary feature to the high level of default customization of the offer that the platform makes available to us based on our preferences expressed through interaction with posts and pages.
Using the Facebook Marketplace platform is very simple. Once entered, by clicking on the blue button “Sell something” and “What are you selling” you can upload the ad by defining the title, selecting an image and a description to entice you to buy.
To access from a smartphone and upload an ad, you must click on the icon on the left under “News” after which, by clicking on “Sell something” you can define :
Through the filter of the platform, you can order the alternatives offered to you and even find the products with a “free” price, that is, probably the items that someone wants to get rid of without trying to make a profit.
If you come across an item you’re interested in but don’t want to buy right away, you can save it as one of the more interesting ones and pick it up again in the future; of course, sellers can edit or delete their listing once it’s loaded.
Facebook Marketplace: Things that still need to be improved
Being a very new platform, the developments that can make Facebook Marketplace a major feature in the same way as eBay or Immito.it are certainly still to come, so the current “minimal” version is probably a base they will work on to gradually add new capabilities to the tool.
At present, the simplicity of the Marketplace on the one hand, rewards the immediacy of searches on the other, does not sufficiently stimulate the intention to compile original and inviting descriptions, so as to stand out from the competition, and is not able to highlight related products.
The local nature of the Facebook sales tool is also distinguished by the fact that you can’t search outside of 100 km from your location.
Keep in mind, however, that Facebook Marketplace is nothing more than a meeting tool between supply and demand, a showcase for those who offer and those who search for products: the social network does not exercise any real control over the validity or security of transactions, referring to the usual good rules of reasonableness to be applied in order not to run into scams.
Naturally, it is not possible to offer products of an illegal nature such as firearms or alcohol, but at the same time it is possible to report any violations to Facebook.
Facebook Marketplace: Tips for selling with Facebook
Facebook Marketplace is still in the early stages of its potential, but to get started you can already apply some simple rules to increase the exposure and chances of success of your ads.
Facebook Marketplace can be considered an excellent tool to quickly sell goods, perhaps not too valuable, but which may be of interest to people in our own city. The maximum value is therefore obtained in transactions of goods for which short distance is a key factor (e.g. means of transport, furniture, collections of objects, etc.).
If you are looking for an additional tool to sell directly on Facebook, then you can try to upload a presentation of an example of your products to get interested contacts, and maybe send them back to your site after a chat with the interested buyer to complete the transaction in the traditional way.