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Facebook Marketplace, the big kahuna, is a huge marketplace for reselling. With 2.8 billion active Facebook users, you can only imagine the power their marketplace holds. We cover the basics of using this platform, as well as pros and cons so you can decide how you will leverage Facebook Marketplace for your resale business.
You can just as easily find cars and gardening equipment for sale as you can find the latest iPhone, Nintendo Switch, drone model, or KitchenAid Mixer. Yes, it’s that diverse. This marketplace can be an asset for your resale business and works for just about any category. Even for those online reselling businesses, you can find quick inventory options on your local Facebook Marketplace and then resell that literally anywhere else.
Another popular option to resell online is listing items on Facebook Marketplace. Think of this like having a yard sale on social media so all of your friends and others in the area are able to see your goods. This is good for those living in cities or populated towns. A few notable perks of Facebook Marketplace is: The process is straightforward and easy to navigate. Plus, it’s totally free to resell your items and the promotion is already built-in. However, do consider the following when posting on Facebook Marketplace: The site is run by volunteers so help isn’t always reliable. And buyers don’t necessarily want to pay full price for a listing so haggling is normal on this site.
There are many ways you can utilize Facebook Marketplace for your resale business. Here are just a few highlights:
Inventory sourcing is a big part of running your business. As a seller, you want to make sure you have a steady supply of inventory to list and sell. You might find some hidden treasures on Facebook Marketplace that you can easily flip or resell yourself. If you’re in the home goods category, this is extremely common with furniture and thrifted, vintage items. Or, you can quite literally find whole pallets up for purchase that have probably been bought through a liquidation auction.
You can change the settings on your definition of “local,” which we go into a little more detail down below, but for those starting out, this is a major selling point. You don’t have to calculate and think too hard on shipping costs and how it will play into your budget for sourcing inventory if you’re able to do local meetups.
Getting alerts and notifications from interested buyers is instant, especially with Facebook Messenger installed, you can easily communicate, share additional photos, and answer any questions.
We said it already, but we’ll say it again. You can sell pretty much anything on Facebook Marketplace. From rollerskates to AirPods, old textbooks to house plants. The filtering will allow you to easily navigate between categories like apparel, electronics, garden & outdoor, and office supplies, among others.
Your commerce profile is what interested buyers will see when they click on your listing. From here, other listings you’ve shared will be visible, as well as any reviews left by buyers and sellers. There is the option to click through and view your full profile (based on your privacy settings) so consider how professional this may appear.
The simplicity of Facebook Marketplace and the huge potential buyer base are great highlights, but believe it or not, there are even more pros to this marketplace.
No fees! That’s right. Unlike most reselling platforms like eBay, Amazon, Poshmark, Mercari, among others, Facebook Marketplace is free! This is a big benefit if you are just starting out. Especially if you don’t know whether a particular item will sell or not, it’s less commitment.
More listing options mean more chances to sell your inventory or cross-list items. If it doesn’t sell on one of your other platforms, you can bet there’s a buyer on Facebook Marketplace who will snag it quickly.
There’s nothing very fancy about listing on Facebook Marketplace. Snap a picture, describe it, select your category, verify your location settings, and set a price! You can even share the listing to other pages you’re a member of for more users to see.
You can change your location and radius on Facebook Marketplace. Your radius can range anywhere from 1 – 500 miles. Consider how far you’re willing to travel and/or ship items.
If you want to get some extra eyeballs on your listings, Facebook lets you turn it into an ad. You can choose to boost the listing, set a budget, and decide how long you want the ad to run. Of course, with the ad dollars you spend here, you have access to performance insights.
You can toggle this setting on or off if you know you will be unavailable or away. This lets buyers know they won’t be able to place an order or start any new conversations with sellers.
These messages can be customized under settings and allow for quick replies and queries. The generic messages for buyers and sellers are, “Is this still available?” and “Yes, it is available. Are you interested?” respectively.
With all those pros you’re probably wondering what’s the downside? Like with any marketplace, there are a few cons worth noting. You’ll want to carefully consider these before making the final decision to utilize Facebook Marketplace or to what extent.
If you make a sale with shipping options, Facebook charges a 5% seller fee in order to cover payment processing and customer support. But on the bright side, this fee comes with purchase protection. You can choose a prepaid shipping label from USPS, or use your own shipping label.
Free shipping is definitely a perk and might make your listing more attractive, but remember, you will be responsible for covering those costs plus the seller fee. You can also choose to have the buyer cover the cost of shipping, or avoid the seller fee altogether and meet up in person/ arrange a pickup.
Your listing will be public across all of Facebook Marketplace. To an extent, that means so will your personal Facebook profile. Some might want to keep these separate altogether. Other platforms like eBay and Amazon prompt businesses to create seller-specific accounts.
There are hundreds of posts going up on Marketplace, and it can be quite easy to get lost in the crowd. Yes, you have the benefit of categories, but with no seller’s fee, you’re likely to be mixed in with just as many regular consumers as you are with people trying to run a resale business. If this is an issue, it may be worth learning how to sell on eBay, where you can reach niche audiences.
It’s harder to establish yourself as a niche reseller. For fashion enthusiasts that are used to platforms like Poshmark, where you can customize your closet, and Vinted, where you know you’ll find amazing secondhand fashion, this can be a bummer. If you’re used to an active community of like-minded individuals, you may want to branch off elsewhere or use Facebook Marketplace for one-off items that don’t fit your typical customer base.
There is no auction function to Facebook Marketplace, so you can’t see other offers. It’s not uncommon for pricing to be set high in order to be negotiated down. Be firm in your description if you will accept other offers. Especially if you are meeting up in person, you don’t want to deal with last-minute changes, or worse, have them back out at the last minute. If you’re looking for a more consistent source of inventory – and without the hassle – you can look into selling returns from Amazon.
Due to the lack of seller fees and the massive Facebook user base, it makes sense that there is a larger likelihood for scams. Once you see something you’re interested in, you should then check what the market value is. If it seems too good to be true, you’re probably better off steering clear. And those “FREE” or $1 listings? Proceed with caution. If you’re meeting up in person, be sure to test the item to ensure you’re not buying something defective since conditions may vary.
Unless you’re using shipping or checkout on Facebook, not every purchase will be protected. If you use a peer-to-peer payment method like Venmo, PayPal, or payments through Messenger, payments won’t be protected. Neither will local pickups. Purchase protection lets a buyer request a refund if the item’s condition wasn’t accurate or was damaged during shipping. Your purchase is also protected and refundable if you never even receive the item at all. Potential customers might be hesitant to buy if they feel like they’re running the risk of losing money without the platform backing them. For more information on purchase protection, head over to this article.
If you want to make Facebook one of your business’ main reselling channels, you can take things a step further with Facebook Commerce Manager. With a Commerce Account, you set up a Facebook Shop, which is like a digital storefront, and create catalogs for your products. Commerce Manager also provides secure onsite checkout, inventory management, and payout tracking. If you need a simple way to track orders, returns, taxes, and other financial reports, Commerce Manager could be worth looking into. It streamlines all your reselling efforts on Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), and can even be synced with Shopify.
Note: Commerce Manager will charge a selling fee of 5% per transaction. These advanced features are outside the scope of Facebook Marketplace’s pros and cons we talked about above. For more information on creating a Commerce Account, visit Facebook’s Business Help Center.
Now you know the basics of Facebook Marketplace, as well as the pros and cons. What comes next? You start sourcing inventory to resell! Using B-Stock Auctions, or one of our many private, B2B marketplaces, you can source liquidated overstock and customer-returned inventory. Browse thousands of live auctions from major brands you know and love with ease. All you need to do is register and have a resale certificate and you’re good to go.