If there ever was a close competition between physical and online stores, the pandemic definitely tipped the balance in favor of the latter.
That reality has both good and bad implications, depending on what lens you look at it through. But if you’re someone who’s interested in exploring online spaces whether as a buyer or a seller, you’ll find that many benefits await you.
Commercial platforms for all kinds of products abound online. You’ve probably heard of one of the more popular ones: Facebook (FB) Marketplace. With Facebook being among the top social networking sites across the globe, FB Marketplace continues to generate buzz, especially as more businesses and consumers migrate online.
If you’re curious about how to sell on Facebook Marketplace (and how to buy items as well), this quick guide is right up your alley.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Launched in 2016, Marketplace is an e-commerce platform integrated into the Facebook app as a free feature. It was originally developed to capture the essence of the buy-and-sell group model on Facebook, but it eventually morphed into something bigger that makes buying selling, trading, and discovering items within local communities easier.
As one of the more beginner-friendly platforms connecting buyers with sellers, Facebook Marketplace sports a simple look that attracts first-time users who are otherwise intimidated by complex interfaces. Simplicity is undoubtedly its charm.
How to Set Up a Marketplace Account
There’s no need to stress over how to get Facebook Marketplace as it’s most likely already within your reach. All you need is an active Facebook account, and you’re all set!
To access the platform through a desktop browser, log into your active Facebook account and look for the storefront icon with a ‘Marketplace’ tag on the left-hand navigation pane. Just click on it and you’ll find yourself directly in the platform.
Accessing FB Marketplace through your mobile device is just as easy. After logging into your Facebook account, click on the hamburger menu on your screen (top-right for Android and bottom-right for iOS) and look for the storefront icon. Tap on it once to open the platform.
You can also just opt to type in ‘Marketplace’ on the homepage search bar if the extra tabs and icons confuse you. The first search result is usually the correct one―but make sure it’s accompanied by the iconic storefront.
Once you’ve found your way in, you’re ready to buy and sell!
Read more: Best Products to Sell Online as a Side Hustle This 2022
How to Buy on Facebook Marketplace
You can browse different items for sale on Facebook Marketplace right off the bat. The platform greets you with image tiles of items posted within your vicinity, so you can see straight away if there’s anything worth your while.
For a more targeted search, adjust your location and radius to capture all listings in your area. You can also choose among various categories―from antiques and collectibles to electronics and vehicles―to further narrow down your search.
Filter options that rank results based on your specified price range and item condition are also available. If there’s a specific item that you need to find, searching by keyword is also an option.
When an item catches your attention, just tap on the corresponding image to view all available details about it, including price, item condition, product description, seller information, approximate location, and additional photos.
You can save the listing for later, make an offer, create an alert for similar listings, or chat the seller for more information.
Facebook Marketplace doesn’t facilitate payments or deliveries, so you need to arrange purchase details directly with the seller. You can use online banks or mobile wallets like GCash, PayMaya, or Coins.ph to pay for your items. Some sellers also allow cash on delivery or cash on pick-up.
For deliveries, you can confirm with your seller which methods work best. Typically, you can book online courier services such as Grab, Lalamove, or Mr. Speedy. Longer-distance deliveries can be accommodated through LBC Express, JRS Express, J&T Express, or even bus shipping.
Read more: How to Start a Dropshipping Business in the Philippines
A Word of Caution When Buying on Facebook Marketplace
Since just about anyone can list an item on FB Marketplace, it’s inevitable that there’ll be a few bad apples among the bunch. It’s up to you to discern the legitimacy of a listing by checking the seller’s Facebook commerce profile. Is the seller rating high? Does the seller have badges to boast? Are the reviews favorable?
Some legitimate sellers who are new to the platform understandably have commerce profiles that aren't too convincing, so this isn’t the be-all and end-all of assessing the legitimacy of a listing. Still, it’s a logical place to start. You can do more digging around to make sure that you’ve covered all the bases.
How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a two-way street. The same way that you can score great deals from the platform, you can also make serious money selling stuff.
There’s no need for any accreditation. Fees are also not a problem as you can list items on the platform for free. All you need is something worthwhile to sell, and you can start turning your clutter into cash.
If you’re not sure about where to begin, there are many pandemic-proof business ideas or home-based business ideas out there that you can try. The world is your oyster, as long as you do the bare minimum of adhering to Facebook’s Commerce Policies.
Follow these easy steps:
- From the FB Marketplace landing page, click on ‘Create New Listing’ if you’re using a desktop browser or ‘Sell’ if you’re on a mobile device.
- Choose your listing type from three categories: Items, Vehicles, and Homes for Sale or Rent.
- Add high-quality photos of what you’re selling, showing multiple angles for transparency. You can upload up to 10 photos for items, 20 for cars, and 50 for homes.
- Fill out all other important fields in your listing, including the title, price, description, product tags, and location. Fields vary depending on your listing type.
- You can choose to hide your listing from Facebook friends by turning on the corresponding toggle button. You also have an option to boost your listing after publishing.
- If you haven’t enabled the ‘Hide from Friends’ option, you can cross-post your listing to different Facebook groups. Otherwise, your listing will only be publicly available on Marketplace―which still covers a wide scope as anyone on and off Facebook will be able to see your product posts.
- Click on ‘Publish’ after double-checking all the information you entered. Your listing won’t be immediately available to the public as it will have to go through a standard review, which may take between a few hours to a few days. You’ll get a notification once your listing is live.
Although Marketplace doesn’t require much from its sellers, you should still make sure not to compromise on the important stuff. Be diligent, honest, and responsible―these are all part of the art of successful entrepreneurship.
For a quick video tutorial, you may also refer to this YouTube video on how to use Facebook Marketplace.
Tips to Improve Your FB Marketplace Listing and Sell Successfully
If you wish to go beyond the basics, here are a few more selling and posting tips to consider:
1. Name Your Price
Always include your actual price upfront. Don’t list your item as free unless you’re truly giving it away. Also, PM is not the key.
2. Use High-Quality Photos
Make sure that the photo you upload on the first tile of your listing is eye-catching as it will be used as the default thumbnail for your post.
3. Give Complete and Accurate Product Descriptions
Do you only allow meet-ups? Do you require payment first before delivery? Include as much information in your listing as possible to avoid unnecessary back-and-forths with potential buyers. This covers not just information about your product but also your preferred payment, transaction, and delivery methods.
4. Don't Be Vague About Your Listings
Be transparent about the condition of the item you’re selling. The fastest way to lose customers is to surprise them with hidden product flaws that you weren’t able to disclose.
5. Manage Your Customers Expectations Regarding Shipping and Deliveries
Add a disclaimer about delivery or shipping if you don’t want to be accountable for delays and damages by couriers. You must be able to give your buyers reliable shipping options so they can confidently push through with their purchase.
6. Boost Your Listings
If you have the budget for it, boost your Marketplace listing to reach a wider audience. You can also share your listing to Facebook groups to broaden your reach.
7. Learn More About Facebook Marketplace
Do your own mini market and competitor research. Browse the platform to see how similar listings are priced. What makes your product better? What’s missing from your post? What do your target customers respond to?
Keeping Track of Your Facebook Marketplace Transactions
From the Facebook Marketplace landing page, you can click on the profile icon to view your commerce profile, recent activity, and other personalized information such as your approximate location and saved sizes for clothes and footwear. You’ll also find here everything you need as a buyer and seller.
As a buyer, you can view your:
- saved items;
- recently viewed items;
- similar listing alerts; and
- tags, shopping interests, sellers, and shops that you’re following.
As a seller, you can view your:
- Marketplace followers;
- listings, including the chats for each post;
- Marketplace insights that provide a view on how your listings are doing; and
- options for quick actions such as deleting, renewing, relisting, and boosting your posts.
As the pandemic continues to push interest towards Facebook online selling, FB Marketplace will remain a mainstay for many budding entrepreneurs, established businesses, and all types of consumers. This platform is among the easiest places to start your own buy-and-sell business as it doesn’t require a lot to get you started.
Now that you know the fundamentals of using the platform, why not try it for yourself? You’ll never use Facebook the same way again.