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Pros and Cons of Selling on Facebook Marketplace
Or, why I will never sell on Facebook Marketplace again!
Facebook Marketplace is one of those things those of us with a Facebook account (if you still have one after the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal?!) have either accidentally clicked on, or actively seek out.
Hailed as the FREE way to get rid of your unwanted goods, it’s a great way to pick up a bargain close to home.
I would argue however, it is not great for sellers, and a horrible way to sell goods and services unless you want to be ripped off. More on that later.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE?
Facebook Marketplace is a tab on your mobile app at the bottom of the screen or on your sidebar at the side of your personal Facebook account.
It’s a way to buy and sell goods and services in your local area for free.
Unlike eBay, there is no charge for listing items or a fee when you sell the item.
You do have to pay to boost your item, much like Gumtree to be seen in the search listings, but as far as I can ascertain, this is the only cost.
HOW IT WORKS
To list an item to sell on Facebook Marketplace, you navigate to the Sell Something button.
From there you can put in your item’s description, your location and any pictures and the state of the item, much like eBay.
Your item then should theoretically show up in search listings.
You will get a notification in your messenger app/inbox when you get an enquiry from a potential customer about your item.
People are pretty silly and don’t always read, so putting as much information including accurate measurements about the item will save you a lot of time answering questions back and forth.
Be prepared for people to haggle on the price as unlike eBay, people are not always willing to pay the price listed.
PROS OF FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
The pros of Facebook Marketplace are that is fairly easy to use.
If you’re familiar with how to list an item on eBay (I have a guide here if you’re not), then listing on Facebook Marketplace is easy.
You will be able to find local buyers and sellers, so that cuts down on your travel costs.
Unless the item needs to be plugged into an electric socket, I’d be wary of inviting people into your home and suggest meeting at a well lit public place to make the exchange.
You can pick up an absolute bargain through Facebook Marketplace as a buyer, I hear it’s a great way to pick up gently used baby clothes/items/toys etc as they grow so fast!
CONS OF FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
The cons of Facebook Marketplace are that anyone can know a bit TOO MUCH about you as you have to use your personal Facebook Profile.
There is a way to get around this by either limiting information about yourself on your profile or creating a new profile with minimum information for selling/groups etc.
Since it is locally based, unfortunately, people may be able to ascertain where you live and if unhappy with the product, there is a risk they may come to your door at an unexpected time.
The biggest con for me personally is people guilt tripping you into lowering the price of a high-value item because they’ve come all the way to your door knowing the price.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
Initially, I had quite a few listings on Facebook Marketplace, and despite answering questions back and forth and dealing with quite frankly really stupid people, I didn’t want to give up because it was free!
When I put my old ringlight for sale on both eBay and Facebook Marketplace, I got a lot of interest as it was barely used and it came with the original case, and I threw in a ring light filter to mute the brightness of the lights that I bought as an extra.
The ringlight did not come with a stand originally and I had sold mine to a friend previously.
I got one promising buyer who agreed to come out one evening to collect the ring light which I had listed at £60, having originally bought it at £80 from eBay.
The buyer came with her husband and daughter from what they claimed was an area over an hour away, and she kept giving me weird looks and then eventually started speaking in Urdu which I speak fluently Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God).
She queried it wasn’t the kind of light she wanted, and showed me on Amazon the one she wanted which was £180 and rightfully so.
My ring light was not as advanced and quite bright.
Then her husband came in, had a look at the ring light and she guilt tripped me into going down from £60 to £30 as she had to get a stand for it as well.
I felt sick, and honestly, I was quite peeved but I’m a soft touch so I agreed.
What annoyed me, even more, as my husband didn’t step in once to stop the transaction, but in his view, it was a learning point to show me how I should have stood my ground.
Looking back it at a few weeks on, I still feel sick and annoyed I let it go for such a low price.
WHY I WON’T SELL ON FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE AGAIN
After that experience, I decided to take down all my listings on Facebook Marketplace.
I felt so sick and annoyed, I couldn’t even look at it again.
At least with eBay, the buyer can send you an offer and it’s all easier to manage expectations if the offer doesn’t meet your expectations.
With Facebook Marketplace, the buyer is in your home and it’s much easier to wear someone down.
Secondly, with Facebook Marketplace being cash only, it’s harder to report faulty goods or get your money back if a product isn’t as described.
At least on eBay, there is a procedure to get your money back and report a dodgy buyer or seller.
Lastly, I find the clientele on eBay is just more professional as it’s a more established an regulated marketplace, unlike Facebook Marketplace which is still in its infancy.
Whether you decide to buy or sell on Facebook Marketplace, I would advise you to be wary both as a buyer and a seller and to go in with your eyes open.
WOULD YOU BUY OR SELL FROM FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE?