The growth of e-commerce and social media points to a never-ending trend: the purchase and sale of products over the internet. However, when we talk about selling online, many people think they need to have a virtual store. Know that you don’t need your own platform if you want to start selling online. Platforms like Amazon, E-bay and, more recently, Facebook Marketplace, are simple and affordable ways for you to also sell using the internet and social media.
Whether you’re a company that wants to attract more customers or a person that just wants to sell things they no longer use, buy and sell platforms are a shortcut to your online store. In this post, I want to share some of my experience using Facebook Marketplace to sell items for other people and things I no longer used. From this experience, I’ve separated some practical tips for you to sell more on Facebook Marketplace.
You can be inspired by these tips to promote your business sales. You can also use these tips to create more effective listings and, who knows, make extra money with things you no longer use in your home or business.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Buying and selling groups were the first “informal” buying and selling channels within Facebook. With the arrival of Facebook Marketplace, groups are still used, but they have fewer resources than the marketplace.
The Facebook marketplace is a buying and selling area within the social media. In it, you can find products for sale in your region and you can also promote your own products. Let’s say you have an item in your business that you no longer use. Through Facebook Marketplace, you can promote this product using the platform’s resources and make a sale.
How Does Facebook Marketplace Work?
In general terms, Facebook Marketplace is where you can exhibit your products. So far, it is not possible to make or receive payments there, as it is done on an e-commerce site, but I will give tips on how to receive payments for your sales later.
Through the platform, you display what you want to sell and, if someone is interested in your listing, they can reach out to you through Facebook Messenger. Payment and delivery need to be agreed between you and the buyer, as the role of Facebook Marketplace is to only make the listings available.
What Are The Facebook Marketplace Rules?
When it comes to the marketplace, as it is with Facebook and Instagram ads, there are rules that need to be followed in order for your products to be displayed. In this link, you can find the Facebook Business Policies.
There is a list of items that cannot be sold on the marketplace and others that can be sold, but with restrictions. I recommend saving this link to your favorites and checking it out from time to time, as the rules may change. Some items are prohibited for obvious reasons, but others may come as a surprise to you.
What You Can’t Sell On Facebook Marketplace As Of 2022:
- Adult Products: You must not promote the purchase, sale or use of adult products.
- Alcoholic Beverages: You must not promote the purchase or sale of alcohol.
- Animals: You must not promote the purchase or sale of animals.
- Body parts or fluids: You must not promote the purchase or sale of human body parts or fluids.
- Digital Media and Electronic Devices: You must not promote the purchase or sale of devices that facilitate or encourage unauthorized transmissions of digital content or interference with the functionality of electronic devices.
- Discrimination: You must not unfairly discriminate or suggest a preference for or against people based on personal characteristics, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, marital status, disability, and medical or genetic condition. Qualifiers must comply with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination. This includes, among others, discrimination involving housing listings.
- Documents, currencies and financial instruments: You must not promote the purchase or sale of documents, currencies, financial instruments and virtual currencies, real or fake.
- Gambling: You must not promote the purchase, sale or facilitation of online gambling for money or value, including digital currencies. Online gambling includes betting, lotteries, sweepstakes, casinos, fantasy sport, bingo, poker, jackpots in a virtual environment.
- Hazardous Materials and Products: You must not promote the purchase or sale of hazardous substances or materials.
- Human exploitation and sexual services: You must not promote any form of human trafficking, prostitution, escort or sexual services.
- Supplements for ingestion: You must not promote the purchase or sale of supplements for ingestion.
- Jobs: Commercial product listings must not promote employment opportunities. This prohibition includes employment opportunities that describe products or associated business models, as well as employment opportunities that are misleading, deceptive, fraudulent, or have an unclear business model.
- Medical and Health Products: You must not promote medical and health products and services, including medical devices and smoking cessation products containing nicotine.
- Misleading, Fraudulent or Offensive: Listings must not contain deceptive, false, deceptive or offensive products and offers.
- No items for sale: You must not promote news, humor or other content that does not offer any products for sale.
- Prescription Products, Medications and Drug Accessories: You must not promote the purchase or sale of prescription products, drugs or related items.
- Products with overly sexualized positioning: You may not have products or services positioned in a sexually suggestive manner.
- Recall Products: You must not promote the purchase or sale of recalled products.
- Services: Services should not be organized into lists.
- Stolen Goods: You must not promote the purchase or sale of stolen items.
- Digital Subscriptions or Products: You must not promote the purchase or sale of downloadable digital content, subscriptions and digital accounts.
- Third Party Infringement: Listings may not contain content that infringes or violates third party intellectual property rights, including copyrights or trademarks. This includes, but is not limited to, the promotion or sale of counterfeits, such as goods that copy the trademark (name or logo) and/or characteristic details of other companies’ products to imitate a genuine product.
- Tobacco Products and Related Paraphernalia: You must not promote the purchase or sale of tobacco products or related items.
- Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives: Classifieds cannot promote the purchase, sale or use of weapons, ammunition and explosives.
How To Access Facebook Marketplace?
If you already have a Facebook account, you will be able to access Facebook Marketplace. On your computer, just click on the marketplace icon available on the left side of the screen or at the top.
If you want to access the Facebook Marketplace app on your cell phone, just access the Facebook app on your cell phone. Then look for the Marketplace icon or click on the “three dots” in the lower right corner of the screen.
A menu with more options will appear and in it, you will find the Marketplace access icon.
How To Sell On Facebook Marketplace?
If what you’re going to sell complies with Facebook Marketplace policies, you can start posting your listings right now. Each product offered will have a page with all the information you enter and the photos you will use to show what you are selling. There are some tips on creating your listing that will help you sell even more. Below I share some strategies to increase your sales.
An important point is that when you create a listing on Facebook Marketplace, it is linked to your Facebook profile. In this way, all communication between you and the interested parties will be based on this profile. If for some reason you don’t want to use your personal profile, I recommend that you create a profile just for this purpose. However, the “less real” this profile is, the more distrust the buyer is. In this way, evaluate if it is worth creating a unique profile for your sales or if using your personal profile is better.
How To Create A Facebook Marketplace Listing For A Product
Step 1. Access the marketplace and click on “Create new listing”;
Step 2. Choose the type of item you will use (sell an item, a vehicle or rental property);
Step 3. Add photos of what you’re advertising. You can add up to 10 photos.
Step 4. Enter a title for the listing. Preferably something short that makes it clear what the listing is about.
Step 5. Define the price of the item on sale;
Step 6. Choose the product category and condition. You may be asked for additional information depending on the type of product you’re selling;
Step 7. Provide a description for what you are selling;
Step 8. Show the location of where you are or where your store is;
Step 9. If what you are selling is in more than one, select the option “Advertise as In Stock”. If the item on sale is something unique (a chair that you no longer use, for example) select the “Advertise as a unique item” option.
Step 10. Click on “Publish” so the listing goes for an analysis and, when approved, it will appear in the marketplace.
Now, if you are going to advertise a property or a vehicle, the information you need to provide is different. However, filling in the data is not difficult. What will make a difference is how you fill in.
Boost Your Facebook Marketplace Listings
If you are a business or want to use the marketplace to sell your products, you can use Facebook Marketplace Ads. By using it, you will boost your sales by investing in paid campaigns and ads that run within Facebook platform.
Just like you can run ads in the newsfeed, videos, and Messenger, the marketplace is just another place to show your listings. It is not yet possible to create a classified and promote it on the marketplace.
Once you publish an item on Marketplace, you will see a Boost button on your listing. When you boost a Marketplace listing, it turns into a Facebook ad. So more people nearby can see what you’ve posted.
To boost your listing:
Step 1. Open the items listed on the Marketplace.
Step 2. Click on Boost.
Step 3. Set the total budget.
Step 4. Choose how long the ad will run.
Step 5. Choose the payment method.
Step 6. Preview the boosted listing.
Step 7. Click on Boost.
The ad will run on Facebook News Feed and Marketplace.
Tips To Sell More On Facebook Marketplace
Always use quality photos
The images you use to illustrate your listings make a huge difference. Many people only post 1 photo or images they get from Google. I find this ineffective, because the person wants to see as much information about what they are buying. Take multiple photos and use the 10-image limit per listing. It takes more work, but the more information your customer has to make the decision, the better. Take close-up photos showing the details of what is for sale. Use a neutral backdrop to bring out the colors and details. Take care of the lighting and the environment so that the photos look as professional as possible, even if you are using a cell phone. Know that most people don’t take care of it. This carelessness of competitors will give your listing an edge, as it will look much more attractive.
Use The Scarcity Mental Trigger
Mental triggers help draw people’s attention to your listing. They will be attracted by a good image, but the description and title of the listing will play the role of conversion. In my listings, I like to use words like: “last unit available”, “discount”. Sounds like simple things, but this activates buyer scarcity and it often works.
Tell The Reason Why You’re Selling It
Another trigger I like to use is the why, the reason I’m selling the item. This usually works for used products, but may work for new products. When I sold some company computers, I always put the reason for the sale. When it’s an electronic, people might think it’s for sale because something’s broken. In this case, he always stated that the reason for the sale was the exchange for another model. For example, reason for sale: I am going to exchange this Windows computer for an Apple one.
Be Specific In The Description
Be specific in your listing description. Tell in detail what the product is, how much it weighs, how much it measures, what materials. Also make it clear how the person can pay, whether they can use a card, transfer, cash payment. If they need to pick it up, if you make delivery, how much does the delivery cost or what is the address for pick up. Avoid too much rambling, but giving details helps eliminate a lot of repeated questions people might ask before they buy.
Before registering a product, research in your region how much people are charging on average for similar products. See competing listings and how much are people charging. In my case, I always put the price in the listing 10% above the price I would like to sell. So, in trading, I had a margin for discount. For this to work, you need to pay attention to the images, otherwise your product may seem too expensive, even with a price within the market average.
If you have a business, it is easier, as you will probably have a card machine. Now if you are an individual who wants to sell things you don’t use, I would recommend using Venmo, Paypal or Cashapp. You can also use Facebook Pay.
Is Facebook Marketplace Safe?
This is a question I am always asked. However, with some care, I believe it is safe, both for those who sell and for those who buy. Here are some safety tips for making your purchases and sales.
Product delivery location
If you don’t have a store, you will arrange the delivery of the products with the buyer. Always avoid unfamiliar places, go to public places such as shopping malls, subway stations, buses. If possible, define the drop-off location yourself, so you know it’s a safe place. If you live in a building, for example, never provide the details of your apartment, schedule deliveries to be made during the day, at the concierge. So you know there is always someone and cameras there to help with any problem.
Never provide personal data such as full address, credit card numbers or other sensitive data. For privacy reasons, I chose to keep all conversations with potential buyers on Facebook Messenger. So, when the purchase was made, I can close the conversation and the person won’t have my phone number.
Payment of products
Do not deliver any product until you receive payment confirmation. Make it clear how the payment will be made before delivery and, if there is a problem, do not deliver anything before receiving confirmation that the payment has been approved. A lot of people can give some excuse when picking up the product and say they will pay later. Beware of this type of scam.
Believe in people
Even hearing scary stories, know that from my experience, 100% of my sales went to good people. Some stranger, less sympathetic, more direct. However, I never had any problems. At this point, I do believe that most people are good and we have to be careful with everyone.
This was my experience with Facebook Marketplace. I hope the tips in this post have helped you to see the opportunities of this platform. Hope you have good sales!