From spooky pies to an Elon Musk-shaped headphone stand, you can find a lot of weird things on Facebook Marketplace. When not used as a fun source of entertainment, Facebook Marketplace is a goldmine for small businesses.
What started out as a virtual flea market has now become an exceptional ecommerce contender. Successful sellers like A Little Design Company or Tulips Art Shop have taken advantage of the burgeoning Facebook Marketplace. They expanded from online storefronts to a social media ecommerce platform, which broadened their reach and helped them find new customers.
With 1 billion monthly visitors, Facebook Marketplace provides sellers with ample sales opportunities and very little cost. Whether you’re looking for a place to start your business from scratch, grow your brand, or just make some extra side-hustle cash, investing your time in Facebook Marketplace is a wise choice.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace is a feature of Facebook in which users can buy, sell, and discover products. Buyers and sellers on Facebook Marketplace have the ability to filter products by category, location and price, among other features.
Facebook Marketplace is also completely free to join. Other platforms like Amazon and eBay charge sellers a fee for listings. Although there is no listing fee, Facebook does take a 5% selling fee per shipment. The platform is also user-friendly and does not require many steps to start selling your products other than creating a Facebook account (if you don’t already have one) and uploading your product details.
However, unlike other platforms, Facebook requires that both sellers and buyers have a Facebook profile, which helps minimize safety issues. Both parties have the opportunity to check out who they are doing business with prior to the transaction.
Although this doesn’t guarantee that all scams will be avoided, it can add a layer of safety that platforms like Craigslist do not have.
If this is your first time ever exploring Facebook Marketplace, here are some quick steps to get you to the right place. If you’re on a desktop, select the Marketplace icon at the top of the Facebook homepage.
If you’re on mobile, you can find the Marketplace either on the bottom menu of your app or by selecting the menu to see more options.
Some sellers use Facebook Marketplace to start their small businesses. Others use it as a supplementary source of income or an extension of their current e-commerce storefront. Whichever route you may be on, Facebook Marketplace will be a great addition to your sales strategy.
Why sell on Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace offers sellers an easy and user-friendly way to sell a wide variety of items, reach their audience, and make a profit. As of this year, there are about 300 million Americans using Facebook who spend, on average, about an hour a day perusing the site. So why not meet them in their favorite online hangout spot?
Facebook is a good place for those who are interested in retail arbitrage, the practice of buying products and then reselling them at a higher price.
Another advantage of selling on Facebook Marketplace is the ability to communicate directly with customers. Facebook Marketplace uses direct messaging within an interface that many users are already familiar and comfortable with.
From the user’s perspective, Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to track and save the items you find in Marketplace, as well as throughout Facebook’s shops.
These saved items will later appear on the user’s home page either as a post they see while scrolling through their feed or on the sidebar, as seen below. This way, if a customer isn’t ready to immediately purchase your items, they’ll get consistent reminders until they are ready to do so.
Users can also see the history of their orders all in one place. If they liked purchasing something from you once before, chances are they’ll locate you and connect with you again.
What are the rules for selling on Facebook Marketplace?
If you’ve ever wondered to yourself, what can I sell on Facebook Marketplace? The answer is a wide variety of tangible items, with some restrictions and caveats.
Accurate product descriptions
When entering information about your products, the description must always match the images and cannot include before and after images. Also, if you plan to ship your items, you are required to ship within three days of the sale to ensure delivery occurs as promised.
For example, if you’re selling a vehicle, you should include as much information as possible about the car, including any issues the car might have. This might seem counterintuitive; however, most people expect older, used cars to be imperfect. Being upfront about this can create more trust with your potential buyer. You may also want to include details on your car’s maintenance history to better inform your buyer of all the work that has been put into your car.
What you can sell
Facebook only allows sellers to sell physical items. This means you can’t sell jokes or news, and you can’t create “in search of” listings. Some popular item categories and items sold on Facebook Marketplace include:
- Family (baby products)
- Home goods (rugs, paintings/art, light fixtures, seasonal home decor)
- Home improvement supplies (tools, building materials)
- Sporting goods
- Toys and games
What you can’t sell
The following is a non-exhaustive list of prohibited items:
- Adult products or sexual services
- Body parts and fluids
- Digital media and electronic devices
- Drugs and supplements
- Event tickets
- Gift cards
- Healthcare items (thermometers, first-aid kits, etc.)
- Subscriptions and digital products
- Weapons, ammunition, or explosives
- And more…
You can learn more about Facebook’s selling rules on their Commerce Policies page.
How to list something on Facebook Marketplace
Listing an item on Facebook Marketplace is an easy and user-friendly process.
Create a new listing
First, you’ll need to decide which listing category your product belongs in.
On desktop, select the Marketplace icon at the top of your homepage, followed by the “Create New Listing” button on the left-hand side.
On mobile, select the Marketplace tab and then the profile icon to find the option to select the “Create New Listing” button.
Choose your listing type
Your choices are “Item for Sale,” “Vehicle for Sale,” or “Home for Sale or Rent.”
Fill out the product information
If you select an “item for sale,” this includes photos of your product, a title, price, description, category, condition, and an optional SKU number. You may also add the brand type and color if applicable. To optimize your product’s success, make sure to use tags and descriptive words that your potential customers would use when searching for your product.
Facebook’s AI makes selling easier for sellers and provides them with tools that set them up for success. For example, it gives sellers auto suggestions for relevant product categories and pricing. It also automatically enhances the lighting of their uploaded product images and translates listings into the user’s preferred language.
Confirm the location of the item you’re selling
Add your delivery and shipping method. If you are shipping and getting paid through Facebook, you can expect to see the payment in your bank account about 15-20 days after the item is marked as shipped.
List your items in relevant Facebook groups
Facebook groups give you the opportunity to reach a broader audience. You have the option to share your listing to relevant groups that you are a member of.
Facebook also suggests other groups you should join and share your listings to.
After this step, you’re ready to publish the listing!
Learn more about featuring and selling your products on Facebook:
Optimize your customer experience
If you want to increase your sales and reputation on Facebook Marketplace, you’ll have to invest in the customer experience. Ecommerce success relies heavily on a combination of customer satisfaction, social proof and timeliness.
Do your research
Facebook Marketplace has a section called “Today’s picks.” These items can give you an idea of the more popular, in-demand items currently trending on Facebook Marketplace. They can also indicate what types of images, descriptions, and keywords are more likely to attract customers.
You may also want to check out what’s trending on other major online selling platforms that provide data, like Amazon and eBay. There is a lot of information out there when it comes to the best products to sell online.
Consider what they do well and what could be improved. Your product listings should emulate their tactics but include improvements that will help you outshine the competition.
Remember that Facebook’s algorithm shows buyers products that are similar to ones they have already viewed or searched for before. It can help you make better decisions when listing products. Clear images that look similar to other popular products will be easier for AI to interpret and then correctly position your product in a user’s search results.
Respond quickly to messages
To increase your chances of a sale, respond to inquiries as soon as possible. A timely response can be the difference between a buyer selecting your item or moving on to a different seller.
Timely responses are also important for future sales, as satisfied buyers are more likely to rate a seller highly.
Facebook rewards sellers that provide great customer service by adding badges to their seller profiles. Both your messaging cadence and user ratings determine whether Facebook will give you a badge.
For example, those who reply to at least 80% of their messages in under an hour will receive a “very responsive” badge. Those who receive high ratings will receive a “highly rated” badge. These badges provide social proof that can sway a customer’s buying decisions.
Build a trustworthy seller profile
Since customers are most likely going to check out the seller’s profile, it is in your best interest to make sure that profile comes across positively to your potential customers.
Create a trustworthy and engaging “about” section that provides the user with enough information to decide to do business with you. The more you sell on Marketplace and the more positive reviews you get, the better your seller profile appears to customers.
For example, Tulips Art Shop has built a great reputation and earned high ratings. Through consistent images, affordable pricing, and straightforward customer-centric messaging, they have earned their top spot in Marketplace. Moreover, when you view the profile of the person who listed Tulips Art Shop products, you are met with someone who seems trustworthy and includes positive and engaging content about Tulips Art Shop.
Create an online storefront
In order to sell on Facebook, you do not have to have an online storefront. However, an online storefront can make a potential customer feel secure purchasing your products. Whether they find your storefront through a quick Google search or from your Facebook profile, the fact that it exists can help give them peace of mind.
If you don’t have an online storefront yet, consider creating one for the long-term benefits and reputation-building qualities it provides. You can create an online store on a service like GoDaddy to make it easy to connect your online storefront to Facebook and start selling socially.
Stand out on Facebook Marketplace by honing your brand image
Ecommerce businesses that perform well have learned how to sharpen their brand messaging and voice to attract the right customers. Strengthening your brand image can improve how your customers perceive you when they’re browsing through Facebook Marketplace.
It can also help positively influence your customer service by shaping your communication around a unified brand image.
Not only will this be good for overall sales, but it will also improve your reputation on Facebook. If you can quickly, efficiently and accurately respond to customer inquiries while also increasing brand trust, you’ll be well on your way to higher ratings and more badges.
Facebook Marketplace offers you many avenues to show off your brand and stand out among a sea of random individuals, established businesses and everything in between. The competition may be high, but more competition can motivate you to provide better quality products for your consumers. Once you do that, combining the lessons of this article and a commitment to reinforcing branding strategy will help you dominate Facebook Marketplace.