Facebook recently announced that it would be taking on eBay with the introduction of its new Buy and Sell feature built into Facebook. One big gripe for many of us second hand sellers is that we constantly have to share our Gumtree links on Facebook to gain more recognition. As great as Gumtree is, what if Facebook was your new second hand online marketplace?
Zuckerbook (Mark Zuckerberg) and his company are testing this new buy and sell feature in Australia currently. A limited selection of users have been given access to the new area of Facebook to trial it out after the success its had elsewhere in the world. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, then you can hopefully expect to see the new option popping up in your Group feature area very soon. I guess you're also wondering once this does become available, what can I expect to see within the new feature? Well, keep reading to find out.
Facebook’s Buy and Sell function will contain all the usual features you'd have come to expect in similar services such as eBay and Gumtree. You will be able to control price, location, description and also mark items as still for sale or sold.
Considering that the majority of people I know are on Facebook daily, I can see this being an opportune time get exposure for your items. Gumtree and eBay generally only tend to attract people when they are specifically looking to buy something, whereas an item for sale that pops up on your Facebook feed can be a convenient reminder that you need to buy something or at least spark an interest in it.
The new Buy and Sell feature is also practical because there are no new apps to install, no new website layouts to navigate, your items are exposed to people within close vicinity (reducing your risk of a Nigerian postal scam) and most importantly there are no advertising or selling fees to pay.
There are over 600 million Facebook users around the world, making the company and its website a very powerful marketing tool for your sale items.
The soft launch mode of the new feature also shows that Facebook will feature its own deals and sales section too. Generally speaking, a quick browse will generate a list of the usual rubbish you would find on Gumtree or Trading Post, but among them there’s also some useful, well priced items as well. When arriving within the new area, you have a search bar which drops down into a list of all the similar types of categories you'd get within eBay, e.g. Art, DVD’s, Furniture and Vehicles etc.
The more prolific Facebook users within other countries will probably have already noticed the ‘Sell’ button that the company added to official Sales groups in February. Clicking this allows you to post an item for sale and requires you to complete the following details: description, price, pick-up/delivery details and a picture.
If you are the admin for one of these Facebook groups you will need to make sure you enter your group into the Sellers list by completing the online form. Facebook enables a seller and a buyer to find each other, but does not take any responsibility for money involved (or involve itself in any other way whatsoever either).
Finally, from my experience of selling on eBay and Gumtree, I quite like the idea of selling on Facebook. It gives you a much better idea of who is buying from you because you can see who that person actually is by name and you can also check their profile for authenticity. This plays into Facebook’s favour because sites like eBay and Craigslist provide the buyer and seller a certain level of anonymity, making the sales process a bit more mystical at times. Ultimately, I really hope that selling on Facebook helps people across the globe avoid all those exceptionally annoying Nigerian scams that plague the majority of auction sites in today's market.