When Facebook opened its desktop site to third-party sellers, it seemed like a win-win for users and businesses. Users would have more options when buying things, while businesses could expand their reach.
But in practice, the rollout has been rocky. With this many people using Facebook on mobile devices and with ecommerce growing at such a fast pace, it was just a matter of time before we saw an increase in peer-to-peer sales on the platform.
Whether you’re thinking about becoming a vendor yourself or are just looking to protect your personal information from getting into the hands of strangers – here’s what you need to know about buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace is the company’s third-party marketplace where users can buy and sell from each other. It’s similar to Craigslist and other online marketplaces, but it has the world’s largest user base. The service was initially launched in the UK in 2016 and expanded to the US, Australia, and New Zealand in 2017.
Before the third-party marketplace was launched, Facebook had a “Buy and Sell” feature, where users could list items they wanted to sell to their friends. With the introduction of a wider audience, Facebook needed to build a more robust and safer platform.
Facebook Marketplace Safety Tips
The best way to ensure that you have a safe and secure experience when buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace is to follow these rules.
- Don’t share personal information. Never share your social security number, address, or any other sensitive information. Keep that information to yourself and for your friends and family.
- Ask for references. If you’re buying from a stranger, ask them for references from friends and family. If they are a business, ask for their business information.
- Meet in a public place. Try to meet in a public place, like a cafe or library. If you feel the need to bring someone with you, go with a friend or a family member.
- Use common sense. If something feels fishy, trust your gut.
How to Buy on FB Marketplace
If you’re interested in buying on Facebook Marketplace, this is how you do it:
- Search for what you want to buy on the website.
- Click “See All” to see all the items for sale.
- Click on each item that you want to buy and write a message to the seller.
- Add the item to your cart and pay for it using your debit card or PayPal.
- Wait for the seller to respond and confirm the purchase.
- If you’re happy with the purchase and the seller, write a review for both their item and them as a seller.
- If you’re not happy, try contacting Facebook.
- If all else fails, you can dispute the purchase with your debit card company.
How to Sell on FB Marketplace
If you’re interested in selling on Facebook Marketplace, you start by creating a free listing, adding a picture and description of what you’re selling, and setting a price. You can also make your item “Flexible” to let people know you’re open to offers.
You can also set your item as “Private” which means only those you approve can see it. Once you’ve created a listing, you can choose to accept online payments from people who want to buy your item using PayPal. Facebook will take a small cut of the money from each sale.
Here are the steps you need to follow to list your items for sale on facebook marketplace.
- Open the Facebook app and click on the Store icon at the top of the page.
- At the top left side, click on “Sell”.
- Select a type or category for the product you want to sell.
- Add the images of the items you have on sale.
- Type a title for the item.
- Enter the price of items.
- Click on “NEXT”.
- Make a choice of the groups you would like to advertise your marketplace to
- Click on “POST”.
Who Can Buy and Sell on Facebook Marketplace?
Anyone can buy and sell on Facebook Marketplace if they are over 18 years old. There are no restrictions based on location, so you can find people who live nearby or across the globe.
Facebook does not allow minors to use the platform, so people looking to sell items directly to minors need to use the “Buy and Sell” feature.
Can you get scammed as a seller on Facebook Marketplace?
As with any online marketplace, there is a risk of being scammed or having your payment not go through. Facebook has a dispute resolution team that you can contact if you have an issue with a transaction. Scammers also try to trick users into sending money or giving out personal information.
One way they do this is by offering to pay with a “money order.” Never accept a money order as payment for anything. It’s not like a check, and it’s not a guaranteed form of payment.
Another way scammers try to trick users is by tricking them into posting their personal information on the Marketplace. Scammers will ask you to send them your shipping address or other personal information. They use this information to try and access your accounts.
What are the rules for buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace?
As with any online marketplace, Facebook has rules in place to protect both buyers and sellers.
- You cannot sell certain items, like drugs, weapons, or alcohol.
- You cannot sell certain items that pose a health or safety risk, like foods or supplements that haven’t been approved by the FDA.
- You cannot sell cars unless you are an authorized car dealer. – You cannot sell items that infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights. For example, you cannot sell a knockoff version of a brand’s product.
- You cannot sell illegal services.
Should You Use Facebook Marketplace?
If you’re interested in buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For starters, Facebook is a free platform, so you don’t get the same guarantees that come with a transaction using a service like eBay.
You also don’t have the option of leaving negative feedback for a seller if they don’t do what they’re supposed to. You can report the person, but it’s up to Facebook to take action, and they don’t always do that.
The current state of Facebook Marketplace is a bit of a mess, but it has the potential to be a really useful and beneficial tool for people who want to buy and sell online, particularly if Facebook can clean up the issues it’s currently facing.
As with any online marketplace, it’s important to follow these safety tips and to be extra careful when dealing with someone you don’t know. In the end, it’s up to the users to make Facebook Marketplace work.