Facebook started out as nothing more than a website where you can connect with your friends. But then they realized one important thing that is happening in the world. Fewer and fewer people are now buying from brick-and-mortar stores. Before the age of the internet, people have limited choices.
Today, a new generation of people are emerging. These are called Gen Z or Generation Z. They are often children of millennials or children of people who belong to Generation X. These are people born between 1995 and 2015. Studies show that these people only buy products from physical stores about 9% of the time, and the rest of their goods are bought online.
Facebook knows this, and therefore, it launched the Facebook Marketplace. It is an online extension of the website where you can post your items for sale, for free, and then wait until somebody inquires how to pay the product from you. Im going to show you how to sell on the Facebook marketplace in this guide.
Why is it important, and why should you use it?
Why Should You Use The Facebook Marketplace?
The number one reason why you need to sell here is traffic. Facebook is an international social media site. Today, it does not seem normal for a person not to have a Facebook account. It is one of the first things that a person signs-up for online, next only to signing up for an email address.
And because there are billions of people using the platform, the audience is not a problem. People do not have to go to another platform, like eBay, or Amazon, to make online purchases. They just have to launch the Facebook app, and it is up to you to market or advertise your products on that platform.
According to CNET, more than 800 million people are now using Facebook Marketplace per month to browse for goods. And according to Mark Zuckerberg, 2.2 billion people use the service every day, which means you have access to this 2.2 billion people to sell to every day.
What Is The Facebook Marketplace?
The Facebook Marketplace is like Amazon or eBay. The main difference is that it is connected to a person’s Facebook account. Whether the person is on desktop or mobile, the marketplace icon is just sitting there, waiting for him to click it.
If a person clicks that icon, Facebook will take him to the marketplace where he can browse for products. He also has an option to search for a specific product, or search randomly by using the categories at the bottom left, or he can search based on the location of the product.
If there is a product that he is interested in, he only has to hover his mouse on product thumbnail or photo, and he has the option to share it, save it, or message the seller. If he clicks on the Message icon, a pop-up will appear and allow him to choose from default questions, or type his message.
What Categories Does The Facebook Marketplace Have?
There are ten major categories in the Facebook Marketplace. In the future, we can expect the company to expand it.
For now, these are the product categories:
- Home and Garden
- Home Sales
- Clothing and Accessories
A shopper can click on each one, and then the site will show items that belong to that category. There are also sub-categories, as shown below. However, one cannot really help if some merchants post their products in the wrong category. In this screenshot the category that was clicked is Clothing and Accessories, and yet there is an ATV loading ramp that shows in there.
What To Know Before Selling on Facebook Marketplace
The marketplace has rules that you should know. Facebook has what it calls Commerce Policies. This page on Facebook shows what you can and cannot do. This policy section has the rules for Marketplace, Facebook Shops, Buy and Sell Groups, and Instagram Shopping.
For example, you can only sell physical goods. If you are in the service industry, like cleaning a house, you can only post this service if Facebook gave you written permission.
Here is a quick guide on the Facebook Marketplace policies:
- Photo and product description must match
- Selling animals is not allowed, including posts about adoption
- Healthcare products are not allowed
- Items that show before and after photos, like those usually shown on diet pills commercials, are not allowed.
- Illegal drugs, recreational drugs, tobacco products, and prescription drugs are not allowed.
- Food supplements are not allowed.
- Adult services like pornography, child pornography, body parts and fluids, gambling, and highly sexualized products are not allowed
- Real, virtual or fake currency like bitcoin is not allowed, including digital media, subscriptions, and digital goods.
The important thing to remember when selling on the Facebook Marketplace is that your product must be:
- Not illegal or does not promote vices like smoking, drinking, sex or gambling
- Not fake
- Not a ticket or a gift card
To learn more, you must visit the Facebook Commerce Policies and review carefully if your product is allowed.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Facebook
As mentioned earlier, the main benefit of selling on Facebook Marketplace is traffic. You do not even have to drive traffic to your product because it is Facebook that does it. If a buyer clicks on a category, your product will show on his feed if your locations match or if his search matches your product category.
- No listing fees – Facebook does not charge you any fee if you list your item
- Can be integrated into other platforms – you can integrate this sales channel with BigCommerce, Shopify, Zentail, and other e-commerce platforms.
- Personalized experience – Facebook has a program that matches the buyer’s interest with your product; you can also take advantage of the messaging system so you can reach out to a potential buyer.
- No security – there is no online payment method on Facebook. The buyer and seller must discuss how they want to transact
- Fast shipping – Facebook requires that you ship the item within three days after the purchase, and the buyer must receive the item in seven days. This is difficult, considering that you have no control over shipping delays.
How To Sell Products on The Facebook Marketplace
There are two ways to sell on Facebook Marketplace. The first one is to use your individual Facebook account, and the second one is to integrate your already existing online store, provided that it has Facebook as one of its sales channels.
As an individual, all you need to do is to click on the marketplace icon. Once you get there, you will see a Sell Something button at the left.
After clicking that, a pop-up will open, and you need to choose between selling an item or a home. In this case, we are selecting a home. After clicking that, you can now upload the product information, the photos, select the category, and put the price.
Just click on Next and Submit after you post the item, and Facebook will review it for approval.
If you want to integrate your e-commerce website, you must visit the Sales Channel section from your admin panel. Once you get there and Facebook is allowed, just click on the button that allows you to integrate. The platform will open a pop-up where you need to enter your Facebook password, then you can choose which specific Facebook page will be connected to your store.
Once you do this successfully, all your updates on your e-commerce website will also happen on your Facebook sales channel. However, the Facebook sales channel can take more than 24 hours to update, so you just have to wait. If it does not update after 48 hours, you must contact Facebook.
Are There Successful Businesses on The Facebook Marketplace?
Yes, there are many businesses that used Facebook Marketplace to sell their items, and they succeeded. You, too, can do this, if you just take the time to upload your products on there and make sure that you make transactions easy for your customers. Since Facebook announced marketplace ads more and more businesses are using it.
At first, you will receive so many inquiries for your products. Do not fail to answer them, as you will never know who among them is going to buy. You must also offer several payment methods to your consumers, like PayPal, credit card options, or money transfer services. Do not forget to offer buyer protection, as this does not exist yet on the Facebook Marketplace.
Here are some examples of companies that made it big on the Facebook Marketplace:
This is a company that sells small plants in small pots. When it started using Facebook Marketplace, its revenue grew by 66% compared to its sales the year before. Overall, 18% of the company’s sales came from Facebook, and it even succeeded in receiving orders on Facebook twice as much as their first sales channel.
This is a car company that experienced a boost in sales after using Facebook Marketplace. After using the platform, it saw a 27% increase in its conversions from the ads it placed on the platform, plus it now has 15% more reach, meaning they can now showcase their car products to 15% more people than they did before.
Apartments List is an American company that lists apartments for rent. When it started using the platform, it was able to reach 17.5% more people, so now they can showcase the apartments for rent to more travelers. As a result, the cost of registration is 16% lesser compared to posting ads on Facebook newsfeed alone.
OpenSky is a big marketplace on its own. On its website, consumers will find almost all kinds of products like electronics, clothing, kitchenware, beauty products, and so much more. It mainly offers lots of flash deals that customers must buy right away because these deals are timed.
When it started using the Facebook Marketplace, its revenue grew by ten times more than the previous years. Also, the company observed that after a year, it now has 19 times more sales than the previous years, plus it was able to sell nine times more products than it used to before using the Facebook platform.
There are many more companies that have experienced success on the Facebook Marketplace platform. Any business person can take advantage of this huge marketplace, especially now that it is still free to list items. It is easy to use, and the only investment you need is time and effort.
Facebook Marketplace FAQ
What does it cost to sell on the Facebook Marketplace?
It is free to post and sell products on the platform. There are also no fees if you sold an item. As of now, the Facebook Marketplace is still in its early stages, and it might start charging fees in the future if it also starts adding features like the ones you see on eBay or Amazon, such as buyer protection and payment gateways.
Do you need an app for this?
No, you do not need an app for it. The marketplace is already in the Facebook app. All you need to do is to tap the icon, and then you will be taken to that page. From there, you can start adding your products and sell to customers.
How can I ensure I make sales?
The first thing you need to do is to name your product properly. If you are selling a motorcycle helmet, do not just name it helmet. You must name it with the brand and the type, like Zeus Full Face Motorcycle Helmet. If any buyer types any of those words in the search box, your product will appear in the feed.
Second, make sure you create good product descriptions and post high-quality photos. And lastly, you have to answer customer inquiries in less than 24 hours and attempt to provide information more than what was asked of you.
What are the prohibited items?
There are many prohibited items, and we cannot list all of them here. The most important thing to remember is that you do not sell illegal items, items that promote sex, violence, harassment, and hateful content. Also, you cannot sell digital goods or subscriptions, like online courses or e-books.
Will Facebook remove my listing?
Yes, Facebook will remove your listing if you violate the policies. There is also a chance that your product may not even get published. In some cases, the computer system may miss the fact that you are selling a prohibited item and it will show on the marketplace. But this will be found eventually, and you will receive a warning.
Marketplace Final Thoughts
The Facebook Marketplace is a new sales channel that any online business person must take advantage of. It is young, and there are many features from other sites that are not yet available here, but Facebook is a giant company that is surely working on these solutions. One day, it might even become bigger than Amazon or eBay, considering that Facebook is truly a worldwide app.