Facebook Marketplace, which hit the social media site a couple months ago, hasn’t been the e-commerce breakout we were expecting. This new aspect of Facebook is nothing more than what eBay and Craigslist have done for years. Facebook Marketplace is much like bartering and sales communities that exist all over Facebook, merged together into one place. Users can post photos of things they want to sell, and other users can buy it from them. Simple enough. It’s been called a “friendlier Craigslist” but buyer beware — there are certainly things that can still go wrong. Here we’ll review the pros and cons of Facebook’s latest e-commerce attempt.
Good Aspects of Facebook Marketplace
It’s easy to put up items to sell — One thing that is nice about Facebook Marketplace is that you don’t need to pay an additional fee or tax to list the items you want to sell. Along with this, actually putting up an item takes about a minute. It’s a very simple process. Since there are billions of Facebook users, your item is most likely guaranteed to be seen by somebody.
You can narrow your search results — You can alter your Marketplace search results based on location and item. Therefore, if you’re looking for a bike within 5 miles of your house, the search results can easily be modified to fit that criteria. One other benefit is that users who are selling can’t hide behind anonymity, as they can on Craigslist.
Bad Aspects of Facebook Marketplace
No protection for buyers — Unlike eBay, there is little protection for buyers on Facebook Marketplace. So if someone sells you something drastically different from what they listed it as, or defective, or they just don’t sell you anything at all, that’s it. eBay offers return policies, and has a feedback system for reviews as well, while Facebook Marketplace does not. So, buyer beware.
There are positive and negative aspects to Facebook Marketplace, just as there are positive and negative aspects to Craigslist and eBay. The bottom line is that this new buying/selling hub isn’t all that new, or needed.