Facebook Unveils Marketplace: Zim Facebook Users To Benefit

Facebook launched a classifieds advertising service called Marketplace joining other companies in the industry like Graigslist and eBay.

The latest product launch appears to be a modest step into a classified advertising market currently fought over by eBay, Craigslist and more nascent startups such as LetGo and OfferUp – the latter recently valued at $1.2bn.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

But with the official launch of Facebook Marketplace, through which users can list items for sale or search the area near them for things they want, the company could be attempting to use its gargantuan audience of 1.71 billion monthly users to upend the local sales market completely.

Facebook says that already, “more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month”, using informal groups like this one set up for people in Hackney, London.

According to market watchers, this service in its infancy has the potential to add around $5 billion per year in revenue for Facebook. Marketplace is a huge growth opportunity for Facebook, but a lot of that potential growth relies on the platform’s ability to process payments in-house and charge a transaction fee.

Facebook Marketplace is a photo-stream of items for sale, so your first picture needs to be eye-catching — or, at the very least, well-lit and in focus. Your pictures don’t need to be professional — it’s a mobile app, after all — but it’s worth it to spend some time getting the right ones.

You want to get the most for your stuff, but you don’t want to alienate people with outrageous prices.

To get a ballpark figure for how you should be pricing your items, check completed listings on Ebay — you may not get quite as much for your stuff (Ebay offers more protection for the buyer, thus buyers are often willing to pay more upfront), but this will give you an idea of where you should start your listing.

One has to list each item separately.Maybe you’re moving and you have a slew of items to post. You might be tempted to combine them all in one mega-moving-sale listing, but if you can spare the extra minutes, you should list each item you’re selling separately.

Because Facebook Marketplace is primarily picture-based, you only get one picture to capture the heart of your potential buyers — they’re not going to swipe through 10 photos just to see if you have the pieces they want. All of your listings are associated with your Facebook account, so just mention that you’re having a moving sale and potential buyers can browse through your listings. 

two-photos-facebook-marketplaceThe big difference between Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is the fact that Facebook Marketplace is linked to your Facebook profile. This makes Facebook Marketplace a little more credible, because people can see your picture and learn your name (and perhaps other information, depending on what you choose to share) instead of making a completely blind purchase.

While Zimbabweans are used to posting their classifieds on Facebook’s ad groups, this paradigm shift comes as a boon to the individuals who own them. As for those who used to wait for their ad to be approved, they no longer need that.

Leading online classified ads companies posting  acting as middlemen on Facebook ad groups can see this as an opportunity for them to advertise for them as their audience has been widened. Wires


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