How Facebook Marketplace Works

Facebook Marketplace has grown exponentially because it capitalizes on the interactions already existing on Facebook. Plus, it’s free and features new and preowned items. Although Facebook Marketplace is housed in a familiar domain, using it isn’t straightforward. Also, you need to know the rules and regulations that apply so as not to violate them.

How Facebook Marketplace Works

This article explains everything you need to know about trading on Facebook Marketplace.

Understanding How Facebook Marketplace Operates

Facebook Marketplace has a simple user interface that’s easy to operate once you understand it. It has an option where anyone, a one-time seller or an established business, can list items based on category and location. Also, it has a search feature, which buyers can use to look for items in a specific category.

For sellers, Facebook Marketplace has auto-suggesting features that help with pricing and putting products into the right category. The platform also enhances your image lighting to make it more visually appealing to buyers.

When a prospective buyer searches for a product, Facebook algorithms scan their location from their profile and display similar products for sale in that locality. The marketplace also uses machine learning to translate the listings to the buyer’s preferred language.

If a user chooses to buy a product, they can contact the seller directly through Facebook Messenger. From here, they can discuss and mutually agree on shipping and payment methods because Facebook doesn’t have a built-in payment feature. When the seller successfully ships an item, Facebook charges a 5% commission.

Selling Products on Facebook Marketplace

Selling products on Facebook Marketplace requires you to have an active Facebook account. However, you should add a personalized profile picture and cover photo to make your listings appear more credible.

Once you have your account ready, you can proceed as follows to make a listing on a desktop:

  1. Launch your browser and log in to your Facebook account.
  2. While on the Facebook home page, navigate to the top and tap the “Marketplace” icon (the third option).
  3. When it loads, navigate to the Marketplace side pane to the left and tap “Create new listing.”
  4. Choose the type of product you want to add to your listing from the options. You can select items for sale, vehicles for sale, and properties for sale or rent.
  5. Next, add details of your product listing. Start by tapping “Add photo” to upload your product image from your device. You can add up to 10 photos.
  6. Enter the product title and price. If you want it to be free, enter the price as zero. Next, tap the “Category” option and select where your product fits in the drop-down menu. Also, hit the “Condition” option and select the age of your product.
  7. In the next sections, provide more details and a product description. Also, add descriptive tags in the tags section to improve your product visibility.
  8. Select the delivery methods from the options available.
  9. When you finish, hit “Next” and tap “Publish.”

The above method also applies to the mobile app. But for the first two steps, do the following:

  1. Launch your Facebook app and select the “Marketplace” tab.
  2. Tap the “Sell” button in the top left corner and follow steps four to nine above.

Once you list your product, a Facebook Marketplace assistant will contact you after a while to gather updates about your product in the marketplace. When you get the message, you can choose if you sold it on Facebook, if you sold it elsewhere, or if it’s still unsold.

If you select you sold the product on Facebook or elsewhere, another message will prompt you to mark the product as sold. For an unsold product, you’ll get an option to renew the listing to make it more visible.

Rules to Observe When Creating a Product Listing on Facebook Marketplace

Online trading is delicate, and Facebook Marketplace has rules that sellers must comply with when listing their products. Violating them can result in Facebook rejecting the products or blocking you from the marketplace.

When listing your products, ensure they meet these requirements:

  • The products are tangible: Facebook Marketplace only supports physical items. You can’t list news, jokes, lost and found posts, and other digital products.
  • The description should match the product’s physical state: This rule aims to promote transparency. If you sell a product that doesn’t match the description you provided in your listing, buyers can report you to Facebook.
  • You can only list products approved by Facebook: Not all products are acceptable in Facebook Marketplace. The platform stipulates which items sellers can list and not list. These guidelines ensure that items sold on Facebook Marketplace are legal, unharmful, appropriate, and adhere to community standards.

Buying Products on Facebook Marketplace

If you have an active Facebook account, here’s how you can purchase a product from the marketplace:

  1. Launch your Facebook app on your smartphone or log into your account on your desktop browser.
  2. Tap the “Marketplace” tab at the top to find product listings.
  3. Hit the “Categories” menu at the top if you’re using the mobile app or in the side pane if you’re using a PC. Tap the category you want to browse. This will allow you to find the product you want fast.
  4. Scroll down to look for the item you want, or type a description in the search bar at the top.
  5. Once you’ve found your desired item, tap on it to see the photos, product description, cost, when it was listed, and seller details (their Facebook profile).
  6. You can express your interest in the product by messaging the seller in two ways:
    • Hit the “Message” option to send a custom message to the seller.
    • Tap “Send” to send an auto-generated message that says, “Is this available?”
  7. Sending any of the messages will automatically direct you to Facebook Messenger. Once there, you can engage with the seller and ask for more details about the item and negotiate the price.
  8. When you agree on the price and other terms and feel comfortable to proceed, you can arrange a safe and public meeting place to inspect the item and complete the transaction.

Buyer Beware

Although most transactions on the platform are legitimate, it’s important to be cautious and prioritize your safety. Scammers use the platform to list irresistible deals, aiming to attract unsuspecting buyers. Don’t fall into the trap.

  • View the product before paying: You should plan for a meeting with the seller in an open place to verify that the item they’re selling is real and in the stated condition.
  • Don’t use any other communication channel but Facebook: Keeping your conversations on Facebook provides a record for reference should the product fail to meet expectations.
  • Compare the price with other similar products: Some sellers might overprice the product or ask for additional money not included in the charges. Researching the market price will ensure you buy products fairly.

Expand Your Trading Horizons

What stands out about Facebook Marketplace is that it features new and second-hand products. If you’re a buyer, you can find cheap products in good condition. Alternatively, if you’re a seller, you can dispose of products you no longer use. The best part is trading happens within the same area, so it’ll be easy to access the product physically before committing to buy. Nonetheless, you ought to remain compliant with their trading policies and be thorough in your dealings, as users have reported incidents of fraudulent traders.

Do you use Facebook Marketplace to buy or sell? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments section below.

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