What is the Facebook Marketplace?

In 2016 Facebook launched its own digital marketplace that allows users to buy and sell items in their local area. The Facebook Marketplace provides small-scale commerce opportunities for individuals and small businesses who can sell to the world’s largest social networking site. It has been widely reported that there are over 450 million visits to Buy/Swap/Sell groups each month.

The best bit? It’s entirely free. Facebook do not facilitate the transaction or the physical exchange so they do not take a cut of the profits like eBay.

Facebook Marketplace for Business

If you intend to use Facebook Marketplace to run your business, you may need to apply for an ABN. Read our blog Do I need an ABN to sell on Facebook to see if this applies to you!

Take our business structure quiz now

Take this interactive quiz to see what business type is right for you.

5 Tips For Selling

1. Research

If you are not familiar with the platform it’s a good idea to take a look around to see how it works. You should begin by reading Facebook’s ‘Commerce Policies’ to make sure you do not intend to sell anything that falls into the restricted goods category. It is also helpful to take a look at posts that sell similar products to get a sense of the pricing and what kind of information to include with the post. It’s best to keep your posts short and sweet.

2. Use your personal profile

One of the major factors that has led to the success of commerce on Facebook is that is linked to your personal account. This adds an element of accountability and trust to the exchange, if something goes wrong you can report the profile to the local authorities.

Potential buyers can click on your profile and judge for themselves whether they think you are a trustworthy seller. It is easy to detect a fake account, for example if your name is a famous cartoon character, your profile picture is not of yourself or you have very few friends. Consequently, it is essential to find a balance between showing to potential buyers that you are a real person in the community without revealing too much personal information to strangers.

3. Post high-quality photos

Appearance is everything! Make sure you take high-quality photos that show the best features of the item you wish to sell. This is the first impression your item will make on the potential buyer. It is far too easy to scroll past photos that look like they were taken in a dirty garage late at night. Instead, take your photos in a well-lit space with a neutral background and take LOTS of them. The more photos the better, buyers appreciate full transparency when they are interested in an item.

4. Price competitively and know the lingo

Do not overprice your items and be prepared to negotiate. Get yourself familiar with these buy, swap and sell acronyms:

  • F (Following): user would like to keep up-to-date with the thread
  • Sold: user is first in line and has agreed to pay the asking price
  • NIL (Next In Line): user is next in line if the sale falls through
  • PM’d (Private Message): user has sent you a private message
  • WTB (Want To Buy): user is looking to buy this item or something similar
  • BNWT (Brand New, With Tags): the item is brand new, tags still attached
  • BUMP (Bring Up My Post): user would like an old post to resurface on the newsfeed
  • ONO (Or Nearest Offer): the price for the item is negotiable, but only if the offer is near the asking price.

5. Share!

Finally, you are ready to share your post to the marketplace. You can also copy and paste the link to your newsfeed to share with your friendship network. Handy tip: post in peak social media periods like evenings or weekends to increase the number of views your post receives.

Good luck!

Have more questions? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Madeleine Findlay

Madeleine is a legal intern at LawPath as part of their content team. She is currently in her second year of LLB at Macquarie University majoring in Media, Technology and the Law.