Facebook Marketplace vs eBay

Facebook Marketplace and eBay work similarly for online buyers and sellers. However, each has unique features to differentiate itself from competitors and to cater to the needs of the target buyers and sellers. 

Facebook Marketplace vs eBay

If you’re weighing up whether to use Facebook Marketplace or eBay, you’re in the right place. This article reviews both platforms to help you make an informed decision. 

Exploring Facebook Marketplace and eBay Features

Although Facebook Marketplace was only introduced in 2016, it’s become so popular it can now compete with eBay, which has existed since 1995. Both platforms allow sellers to list new or used items but they differ in the following aspects.

1. Products You Can List

Facebook Marketplace and eBay have similar categories of products you can list, whether new or old. Currently, eBay has 12 parent categories, while Facebook Marketplace has 18. However, each has subcategories that increase the products you can list. 

Regarding organizing categories, eBay has done a better job than Facebook Marketplace. For instance, the “Family” category on Facebook Marketplace doesn’t specify the kind of family products you can find or list. 

Also, both platforms have rules regarding product restriction. Facebook has 29 rules, and eBay has 69. Before listing your items, it’s good to check if they meet each platform’s requirements. For instance, neither platform supports perishable items like food or items that could cause harm, such as firearms and drugs. 

One product listing difference, however, is on digital products. Facebook only supports tangible items, while eBay allows users to trade collectibles. You can sell sports cards, antiques, rare coins, and Pokémon cards. 

2. Charges on the Seller

To maximize profitability, you should pay attention to the charges a platform imposes on you. Generally, eBay charges have many layers that could overwhelm a seller, while Facebook Marketplace is fair and affordable. 

Listing items on eBay isn’t free. First, you must pay a monthly subscription fee for using the platform, ranging from $7.95 to $349.50. Each month, you get 250 free listings. If you exhaust them, you incur $0.35 per listing. Also, on every order you complete, eBay deducts a predetermined percentage depending on the category plus $0.30 per order. That’s not all. You can incur more costs if you use eBay shipping and product promotion.

Conversely, listing items on Facebook Marketplace is free as long as you have an active and verified Facebook account. For any complete sale, Facebook Marketplace claims a 5% commission or a flat fee of $0.40 if the product price is below $8.

As such, Facebook Marketplace is more favorable, especially for a one-time seller who seeks to dispose of items they no longer use. eBay, on the other hand, might be ideal for well-established businesses. 

3. Types of Listing

Facebook offers one type of listing: fixed price listing. You create a listing, add product details, and set the price that buyers can use to compare with other products on the platform or elsewhere. eBay, on the other hand, has three types of product listings:

  • Fixed price listing: This is similar to Facebook Marketplace listing and runs until you sell the product. You can sell multiple items on this listing and use out-of-stock control when you sell all your items. 
  • Auction listing: This option allows you to list one item at a time. You can set the base price and let aspiring buyers bid. The buyer who places the highest bid gets the item. The auction can run for up to 10 days, and you can’t use out-of-stock control when you sell the product. 
  • Classified ad listing: This allows you to list items on eBay and complete your transaction outside the platform when you find a buyer. It’s ideal for products such as properties that can’t be shipped and traders within the same locality. You incur a monthly cost of $9.95 to use this listing. 

4. Selling Features

There’s a noticeable difference in how Facebook Marketplace and eBay handle the selling process. First, let’s discuss branding. eBay has more robust tools that help build your brand and integrate marketing strategies. Because of the fierce competition on the platform, it has a page where you can purchase shop templates to distinguish your brand from others. Once you establish your shop, you can use paid ads and SEO strategies to push your products to the top of search results.

Although Facebook Marketplace also uses ads to promote products, it doesn’t offer business branding options. This limits the ability to establish a reputable business on the platform. Also, it doesn’t collect buyers’ details, which limits follow-up and marketing efforts. 

Regarding shipping and payment, eBay offers shipping services anywhere in the world. This allows you to transact even with people outside your locality. Also, it has integrated payment methods like PayPal, cash on delivery, and credit or debit cards. When a buyer pays, eBay holds the money until they receive the item, promoting integrity on the platform. 

Conversely, Facebook Marketplace only facilitates listing. The burden of shipping and collecting payment lies on the seller. This opens room for inauthentic dealings, which could harm the buyer or the seller. 

Finally, Facebook Marketplace integrates only with Facebook Messenger for smooth communication. Conversely, eBay has over 270 integrations to help in facilitating communication, selling, processing payment, managing inventory, and more. 

5. Sellers’ Safety Protection

If you’re selling online, you’ll encounter manipulative and abusive buyers from time to time. Having protection from the platform you’re using protects the reputation of your business. 

Since eBay is more involved in selling, it has better seller protection policies than Facebook Marketplace. Here are some of the ways eBay protects sellers:

  • Protection against abusive buyers: eBay will side with you if a buyer damages and returns a product or demands an item you never listed. Also, if such a buyer comments negatively on your shop, eBay will remove the comment. You also have the option to block an abusive buyer. 
  • Protection against situations beyond your control: Sometimes, you might do everything required of you, but an event such as bad weather derails shipping efforts. If a buyer complains to eBay over late delivery, they’ll take no action against you. 
  • 50% refund deduction: If a buyer damages or uses a product before returning it, eBay allows you to deduct 50% of the refund amount to cover the decreased value. 

Facebook also offers protection to sellers in the following ways:

  • Delivery protection: Although there are no regulations specifying how a seller qualifies for this protection, Facebook Marketplace states that sellers have protection over claims of lost, damaged, and stolen goods.
  • Product description: When listing a product on Facebook Marketplace, you describe its condition and add photos to support the information. If a buyer reports that your product doesn’t match the description, the burden of proof lies on them and not the seller. 
  • No returning items: Unlike eBay, where buyers have a return policy, Facebook Marketplace doesn’t support product returns. It expects buyers to do their due diligence while inspecting the product. As such, sellers don’t have to refund any money after completing a transaction. 

Make Your Evaluation

Facebook Marketplace and eBay both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, your trading needs should dominate when evaluating which one to use. Facebook Marketplace is better when you want to sell products locally and fast. On the other hand, eBay is ideal when you want a global reach and is most suited for well-established businesses that can cover the seller charges without impacting their profitability. 

Which is your go-to marketplace, eBay or Facebook Marketplace? What made you choose one over the other? Let us know in the comments section below.

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