Global sales through social commerce platforms are expected to triple in growth within the next two years. A study by Accenture estimates the amount to reach a staggering $492 billion by 2025. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of tapping into this growing social commerce opportunity and maximizing your selling potential on Facebook Marketplace.
Launched by Facebook in 2016, Facebook Marketplace was initially intended for person-to-person transactions similar to what eBay and Craigslist do for their users. It allows individuals or casual sellers to find local buyers for their items, both new and used. It serves as an ideal clearinghouse for unwanted household items, allowing you to turn clutter into cash. It also allows you to gain profit from hidden gems you uncover in thrift stores.
However, Facebook Marketplace is not limited to individual sellers. It also opens opportunities for growth to creators, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, artisans, and business owners. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, Facebook Marketplace presents an opportunity for retail arbitrage. You can purchase products with high demand and resell them with a markup online. You can also build your own brand by creating your own private label.
Market studies show that 59 percent of social buyers are more likely to support small businesses and 63 percent are more likely to purchase again from the same seller on social commerce platforms like Facebook Marketplace. This means that whether you're looking to declutter your home, engage in retail arbitrage, or showcase your creations as an entrepreneur, Facebook Marketplace offers a versatile selling space for you.
Selling on Facebook Marketplace comes with a range of advantages that make it an appealing platform for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals alike. Let's explore the key benefits of utilizing Facebook Marketplace for your selling endeavors.
Facebook Marketplace does not charge subscription fees or referral fees. This makes it an excellent option for new entrepreneurs and small businesses that have limited budgets for marketing or for setting up eCommerce platforms. With less overhead costs, sellers can maximize their profits.
To become a Marketplace seller, all you need is an active Facebook account or Facebook page. The process of setting up your Marketplace account is pretty straightforward. Simply follow the steps and provide the required information. We’ll go through the setup process in the next section.
The Meta platform offers an extensive market reach for sellers. Largely driven by Instagram and Facebook Marketplace, Meta dominates the social commerce landscape. This year, an estimated 65.7 million users are expected to make at least one purchase on Facebook. This wide market reach enhances the potential for making successful sales online.
Aside from the staggering 2.99 billion monthly active users on Facebook, other internet users can see your Marketplace listing. When you publish a public listing, it also becomes visible in Feed, Search, and other places beyond Facebook. This increased visibility increases the chances of your listings being discovered by potential buyers, thereby boosting your selling opportunities.
For users in the United States and the United Kingdom, Facebook Marketplace provides a seamless shopping experience through its native checkout functionality and payment service called Meta Pay. The onsite checkout feature streamlines the purchasing process for buyers. For sellers, this means fewer barriers to completing a sale and increased convenience for their customers.
With these enticing prospects in mind, let's move on to the practical steps of setting up your Facebook Marketplace shop and creating listings that captivate potential buyers.
Selling on Facebook Marketplace as a casual seller is a straightforward process that allows you to list your items and connect with potential buyers in your local area. Let's walk through the steps involved in selling on Facebook Marketplace:
Log into your Facebook account and click on the Marketplace icon. This will create a new Marketplace account specifically for selling. This account will be separate from your personal Facebook profile and will enable you to manage your listings and interactions with buyers more effectively. You can also view insights that can help you sell better and earn more.
Once you have a Marketplace account, you can start listing products for sale. Go to the Marketplace and do the following:
Keep track of the availability of your products by marking their status appropriately. From your Marketplace dashboard, go to “Your Listings” and click on “Mark as.” Choose Available, Pending, Sold, or Shipped from the dropdown menu.
“Available” means the item is still up for sale. “Pending” indicates that the sale has not been finalized yet. Once the sale is complete, the item should be marked as “Sold.” Once marked as “Sold,” the item will no longer be visible in the Marketplace. Other interested buyers who previously inquired about the product will receive a message that the item has been sold.
If you've marked a listing as sold or pending, you can change it back to available if the sale falls through or you have more items in stock.
Shipping and checkout on Facebook is limited to certain geographical regions. If this is not available in your area, you must arrange shipping with the buyer yourself.
If you are a casual seller, consider arranging for local pickup or meet-ups so the buyer can inspect the item and complete the transaction in person. If you intend to ship items instead, make sure the shipping details and fees are clear before finalizing the sale.
If you need to delete a listing, go to “Your Listings” and look for the listing you want to delete. Click “More” and choose “Delete.” Take note that listings that are pending or sold cannot be edited or deleted on the Marketplace. If a label has been generated for the listing, it also cannot be deleted.
For business owners, Facebook Marketplace can be an effective sales channel that maximizes your reach and visibility. It also offers tools that can make sales and marketing processes more efficient. If you are in the US, it even enables you to streamline your selling process through in-app checkout on Facebook.
To begin selling as a business on Facebook Marketplace, you need to set up a Facebook Shop. If you do not have a Facebook Page yet, create one using the shopping template. This will allow you to use the Shop section to sell your products to Facebook users.
For US sellers, there are several options for checkout that can be accessed through the Commerce Manager. You can choose Checkout on Facebook and Instagram, Checkout on your website, or Checkout with messaging. However, Meta has recently announced that Shops without Facebook and Instagram enabled will no longer be accessible by the 24th of April 2024. So, “Checkout on your website” may not be available in the coming months.
To enable in-app checkout, you’ll need to change the settings in your Commerce Manager dashboard.
To receive payments, provide your bank account details during the setup process. You must also indicate a return policy for orders placed and fulfilled in-app. During the initial setup process, account approval may take up to 48 hours. After this, you can change the checkout method anytime and the changes are applied immediately.
To ensure that all eligible products from your shop are visible on the Facebook Marketplace, you need to enable the feature. Go to Facebook Commerce Manager > your Facebook Shop > Settings > Business Assets. Select “Enable Marketplace” to start selling. The steps are similar to that for casual sellers.
To increase the chances of attracting potential buyers who are most likely to convert, boost your listings. Go to Marketplace > Account > Your Listings and select the listing you want to boost. Set your target audience, daily budget, and the length of your campaign. Check the ad preview and payment summary. If you’re satisfied with the preview, click “Promote now.”
To increase the visibility and success of your Facebook Marketplace listings, there are several strategies you can employ. Implementing these techniques can optimize your listings and maximize potential revenue.
One of the key factors that can influence a buyer's decision is the price of the item. Research similar listings on Facebook Marketplace to understand the market value of your products. Adjust your prices accordingly to ensure they are competitive and attractive to potential buyers. Consider offering discounts for bundled items or running limited-time promotions to create a sense of urgency and encourage faster sales.
When creating your listings, make use of descriptive keywords and relevant tags. These elements help potential buyers find your items when they search for specific products or categories on Facebook Marketplace. Include important details such as brand, model, size, condition, and any unique features. By optimizing your listings with appropriate keywords, you increase the chances of your items appearing in relevant search results.
Facebook groups that cater to specific interests or local communities can be valuable platforms for promoting your listings. Join groups that align with your products and share your listings there. However, always ensure you follow the group rules and guidelines when promoting your items. Engage with the group members, answer questions, and provide additional information to generate interest and trust.
Expand the reach of your Facebook Marketplace listings by cross-promoting them on other social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, or Twitter. Create visually appealing posts with captivating photos of your items, accompanied by a brief description and a link to the Facebook Marketplace listing. Encourage your friends, family, and followers to share your posts to increase visibility and attract potential buyers who may not be active on Facebook Marketplace.
Leverage Facebook's advertising platform to reach a broader audience and boost visibility. Set a budget, choose your target audience, and create engaging ad content to maximize your ad's effectiveness. Monitor the performance of your ads and make adjustments as needed to optimize their impact.
Facebook Marketplace has stringent policies in place to ensure a positive selling experience on Facebook Marketplace while promoting a safe and trustworthy environment for all users. Familiarize yourself with the Commerce Policies to ensure that your listings comply with them. Otherwise, you risk getting your listings removed or your account restricted. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Facebook Marketplace prohibits certain types of items from being listed for sale. These include nonreal or non-physical items, services, animals, and healthcare items. Inaccurate photos, unclear descriptions, and before-and-after pictures are also not allowed. For a comprehensive list of prohibited and restricted items, refer to the Commerce Policies on Facebook's Policies Center page.
In some cases, Facebook Marketplace may not approve a product listing if it violates the platform's policies or community guidelines. If your listing is marked with "There are issues with your product," you can submit an appeal through the Marketplace Item Appeal form. This form allows you to contest the decision if you believe your product complies with the policies and guidelines.
When selling items with shipping on Marketplace, you may need to provide certain identification details to ensure compliance. This may include providing tax identification information as required by local laws and regulations.
It's important to stay updated on any changes or updates to the Commerce Policies and Facebook guidelines as they may evolve over time. Regularly review them to avoid any unintentional violations. This will help you maintain a successful and compliant presence on Facebook Marketplace.
If you’re new to selling on Facebook Marketplace, make sure to do these best practices:
Before listing your items, take the time to research your target market and identify products that are in demand. Look for popular items and competitive prices on Facebook Marketplace to get an idea of what sells well. Ensure that the items you choose are allowed and comply with Facebook's policies. Marketplace management platforms like Threecolts can assist you in analyzing profitability, demand, and competition for specific products.
Provide clear and high-quality photos of your items. You don't need fancy equipment; a phone camera will suffice as long as the photos are well-lit and focused. Take photos from different angles to give potential buyers a comprehensive view of the item. Multiple original photos is preferred over photos from a company website.
Craft compelling and concise product descriptions that include all relevant information such as brand, model, size, and condition. Use keywords that potential buyers might search for. Proofread your descriptions before publishing to ensure accuracy and clarity. According to Accenture, clear descriptions and images are considered important features by 29% of social shoppers.
According to Insider Intelligence, Gen Z and Millennials (users aged 18 to 41) are the biggest adopters of social commerce. Consider targeting younger audiences by tailoring your listings and marketing efforts to their preferences and interests. This can help increase your chances of attracting potential buyers from these demographics.
Clearly communicate your preferred payment methods and shipping options to potential buyers. Whether it's cash on delivery, online payment platforms, or local pickup, ensure that you outline the terms clearly in your listings to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. Be transparent and provide accurate information about shipping costs, estimated delivery times, and any additional fees.
Exercise caution when sharing personal information and be mindful of potential scams. Be wary of requests for sensitive information or suspicious payment methods. If something feels off or suspicious, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. Encourage buyers to review your profile and ratings to provide reassurance and build trust.
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from your customers. Their insights can help you improve your listings and selling process. Pay attention to any recurring feedback or suggestions and use them to enhance your future listings and customer interactions.
Take the opportunity to build relationships with your customers. Provide a great buying experience, address any concerns promptly, and thank buyers for their purchases. Positive interactions can lead to repeat business and referrals, which can help you expand your customer base over time.
Regularly monitor the performance of your listings. Pay attention to metrics such as views, inquiries, and sales. If certain listings are not performing well, consider revising the description, adjusting the price, or updating the photos to increase their appeal.
Observe and learn from experienced sellers who have found success on Facebook Marketplace. Join seller communities or forums to gain valuable insights from other sellers. Ask questions and share your own experiences to help others grow too.
With over 114 million users anticipated to spend an average of nearly $1,000 annually on social purchases, the potential for growth in social platforms like Facebook Marketplace is undeniable. Now armed with the knowledge and tools to sell successfully on Facebook Marketplace, it's time to put your plan into action. Embrace the power of social commerce, go social, and watch your business thrive. With dedication, perseverance, and a customer-centric approach, you're well on your way to making a mark in the dynamic world of Facebook Marketplace.