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How to sell on Facebook Marketplace: a simple guide

4-minute read

How to sell on Facebook Marketplace: a simple guide
Simply Business Editorial Team

Simply Business Editorial Team

7 September 2021

Facebook Marketplace is a platform for online selling that’s similar to other listing sites such as Craigslist, Gumtree, and eBay.

Marketplace allows users to buy and sell the likes of – well, almost anything actually – within 500km of their location. So, if you love a garage sale or flea market and have stuff to sell, then Facebook Marketplace could be the perfect side hustle.

Here's our guide on how to sell on Facebook Marketplace, including how to use it, rules you need to follow, and pros and cons for small businesses.

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace allows users to list items for sale to people in their area.

It’s excellent for local selling as users can browse listings in their chosen area – from 1km away to 500km – and once they see something they like, they just click ‘message seller’.

Popular products to sell include:

  • furniture (particularly if it’s small and easy to transport)
  • clothing, shoes, and accessories
  • books
  • sports equipment
  • baby clothes, supplies, and children’s toys

That said, Marketplace is definitely more targeted to the individual seller simply having a clear out. If you’re a small business looking for an ecommerce platform, Facebook Shops is probably more suitable as it has integrated payment and delivery options.

Seller taking a photo of clothing

How to use Facebook Marketplace – a guide to selling

Using Facebook Marketplace couldn’t be simpler. To get started, open Facebook, sign into your account and follow these seven steps:

1. Open Marketplace – on desktop find Marketplace in the main menu and go to ‘create new listing’. On the mobile app, hit the little Marketplace logo at the bottom of the homescreen (it looks like a shopfront). You’ll be asked ‘What are you listing?’ and you need to select a category.

2. Choose a ‘listing type’ – this will be either: Item for sale, Vehicle for sale, Property for sale or rent, Job opening.

3. Select photos – if you’re on the mobile app, you’ll be able to select from your gallery or tap the camera icon to take a photo, edit it and then continue with your listing. On desktop, just upload your photo from your computer.

4. Add information about your product – this includes name, description, category, price, and tags.

5. Confirm your location – this is so that your ad appears on Facebook Marketplace for people in your area.

6. Choose whether to share the listing – you can post it on your profile or list your product in a group you’re already a member of – the Facebook Marketplace Community page is a good one to try. There’s also a tick-box option where you can hide your posting from friends.

7. Publish your listing – on the app you’ll tap ‘Post’ and your listing will be live, on desktop you’ll click ‘Publish.

You can edit your listings in ‘Your listings’ and if you want to reach more potential buyers, you can pay to turn your listing into an ad.

Keep an eye on your notifications for messages, and once you’ve reached an agreement you’ll need to arrange collection and payment.

Payment options

With no in-built payment option, cash is the most secure option here. You could use an online payment service like Facebook Pay or PayPal, although this leaves you open to scams. One to watch out for is a fake payment email from your supposed buyer, so always check you’ve actually received the money in your account before sending the product.

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Facebook Marketplace rules

Your listing must comply with Facebook’s Commerce policies.

Facebook Marketplace rules include:

  • never listing prohibited products (such as adult products or services, alcohol, animals, digital media and electronic devices, events, vouchers)
  • your product must be a product (not a service, news posting, or joke)
  • your listing must not infringe intellectual property rights of a third-party (e.g. copyright)

Facebook Marketplace also introduced additional advice for buyers and sellers during coronavirus. This includes making sure you’re following local health and safety guidelines, organising items to be delivered, and cleaning items before you sell.

Services can’t be listed on Marketplace

You can no longer list services on Marketplace. Whereas previously cleaning businesses, window cleaners, plumbers, and gardeners could all list on Marketplace, they now have to be an approved service and use Facebook Shops instead.

Facebook Marketplace – pros and cons

Make sure you’re aware of some of the benefits and Facebook Marketplace problems before you get started.

Pros

  • no Facebook Marketplace fees for buyers and sellers – you can add as many listings as you like without having to pay a penny
  • greater level of trust between buyer and seller – you can check out their Facebook profile, send messages, and understand a bit about the person you’re dealing with
  • convenient and prominent – with billions of users engaging with Facebook on a daily basis, Marketplace is probably the king of spontaneous shopping
  • easy to use – something you can’t say for all listing sites. The interface is minimal, it’s intuitively easy to get started, and most people are already ‘signed up’ before even clicking on it

Cons

  • no in-built payment method – Marketplace is designed for local pick-up or so cash is usually the safest option
  • no buyer protection – Facebook doesn’t offer buyer protection like other marketplaces such as eBay
  • safety concerns – as you’ll often need to arrange face-to-face delivery this can come with risk for shoppers and sellers. Make sure you check their profile and report anything suspicious
  • primarily designed for individual selling – the platform's arguably more useful for people clearing out their homes and trying to make some extra cash, rather than professional sellers earning a living

Do you have any more questions about how to use Facebook Marketplace? Let us know in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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