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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Wed Feb 8 2012 10:19:41

Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?

By: Julia Wilkinson
Sponsored Link
With the hype over the Facebook IPO, we've heard a lot of stats. One of them is if Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third largest, at almost 850 million users. With those numbers, way beyond the crucial "critical mass" metric that makes for a successful Internet company, it's surprising that Facebook's Marketplace isn't being used by more people.

When I asked some of my online seller friends if they use Facebook Marketplace, the replies included, "Have never used it," "Never even thought about it," "I tried it with my jewelers' loupes but it did nothing," "Nope - wasn't even aware of it - just use regular fb," and "I don't even know what it is. LOL." It doesn't help that Facebook moved Marketplace from its more visible place as part of its main platform to an app where it's harder to find among a sea of other apps.

But the Marketplace app, powered by Oodle, which runs an online classifieds/marketplace at Oodle.com provides an easy, quick, and not least importantly, free way to list anything. (You can connect to Marketplace by connecting your Facebook profile to the app, or you can login at Oodle.com). And soon it will be branching out to a "Circles" model, similar to Google Circles, which will give users more flexibility in buying and selling. (Read more about Facebook Marketplace's Circles in today's EcommerceBytes NewsFlash story, Selling to Your Circles - The State of the Facebook Marketplace.

Currently, when I view the Marketplace app on Facebook, with my location set to my town of Alexandria, VA, I mainly see car and real estate ads. It seems to have caught on here more with professional sellers, although Oodle CEO Craig Donato says, "We definitely haven't courted professional sellers.  The focus has predominantly been private party/casual sellers. Our outreach to pro sellers to date has been in the apartment rentals and cars verticals." Donato, who lives in the Silicon Valley area, says he sees lots of listings around him, so there may also be regional differences in listings.

It may also be that when people come to Facebook, they mainly come to socialize, check their friends' newsfeeds, and see what funny animal video is going viral that day. But I think it's a shame this selling resource is not being used more -- it has a built-in base of potential users, unlike many of the smaller selling marketplaces which struggle to catch up to the huge number of eyeballs eBay and Amazon brings. And did I mention it's free?

The Circles feature may bring more users to Facebook Marketplace, with its added controls over whom you can sell to, and even buy from. I hope so, because I think this is a selling platform that could be a great alternative to what's out there now, if enough people would just discover it.

What do you think about the Facebook Marketplace? Have you sold there, or if not, would you be comfortable selling there? Would the ability to specify which groups of people you could post listings to make a difference in whether you would post items there or not? Post a comment here!






Comments (17) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 8 11:36:10 2012
The expression, ''Never mix business with pleasure'' comes to  mind.I know you can have a separate facebook account from your personal one , but they can get intermingled VERY easily.  Do I want my  customers to see the childish rantings, swearing and gross outs of friend's kids or political or religious views? No way.
I'm missing out on sales but I don't like hustling acquaintances for sales.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       Web Site
Wed Feb 8 12:35:31 2012
Hi 10 year seller, that's interesting you say that..I was just thinking that is probably one of the reasons too..I was calling it ''The Amway Factor'' in my mind, as it makes me think about how for some people selling to their friends can make them uncomfortable. Thanks for your input! - Julia
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Wed Feb 8 15:00:43 2012
I should try it.
But there are so many things to do, and not enough time.

I did find that Facebook ads got me some views to my website, but they are VERY expensive per click, unless you are selling high priced legal services.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: bentley283 This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 8 15:51:24 2012
I have a Facebook page for my business with 2000 likes.  I have tried Facebook ads and the Marketplace without a single sale. It seems the people that like to post on my Facebook page are not the same people that are buying my items. In my opinion, you are better off putting your advertising budget elsewhere.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 8 23:40:08 2012
It doesn't seem very businesslike, plus I agree that friends and family hate being "hit" on with sales pitches especially from someone they're close with. That's emotional pressure. I could be wrong, but I don't see this as the sales wave of the future.

Frankly, I delete many posts on FB of people who post things I don't care to see.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: mastoyshop This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Feb 9 03:29:55 2012
Personally I dont have a problem posting my stuff on fb. It is a part of my life. People friends or other have never complained. usually my buyers are Not my friends on fb but people who searched google for an item and it showed the fb post. as far as 'circles' goes.. that will suck
Google+ uses Circles.. Just saying
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: JoyfulA This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Feb 9 07:22:54 2012
I left Facebook about a year ago. Too much privacy threat, too many least-liked relatives and grade school peers, too many obnoxious people commenting on my friends' timelines.
And I wouldn't want to sell to friends anyhow. I'm more the type to give a friend something they like than to sell it to them.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Feb 9 08:02:09 2012
Because it doesn't work

Pretty simple - I've tried it - it's cumbersome and there simply is no traffic whatsoever - if Facebook wants any seller to take them seriously they need to step up their game. Their certainly not going to be the next ebay or Amazon

If the shopper is a facebook user - their broke - they've spent the entire day posting useless dribble and lost their job because they can't do anything else apparently

Real people with real lives aren't on facebook except to share pictures with a very few select crowd  
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Thu Feb 9 08:23:52 2012
@10 year seller: I agree. I keep my business completely separate from my personal life, so I'd need a separate account for that. I don't even like posting to some blogs via Facebook, since I don't like to share all my opinions with my Facebook friends, who vary if their political or other leanings. It's getting harder to follow that old saw of not talking about politics or religion if you want to avoid arguments. I prefer to keep those views to myself and if I discuss them online, I do so anonymously. I've hidden people who kept posting political views I disagreed with or who prayed at me nearly every day, so I prefer not to do that to others.

Likewise, I don't want that sort of thing associated with my business. Friends and family may choose to be customers, but I don't want to be pushing that in their faces (or facebooks :-)

Facebook doesn't make it easy to use multiple accounts, so I have to use a different browser for all my business stuff to keep them from accidentally being mixed up. I'm not sure if I'll pursue the Marketplace or not. I've got enough to do with all my other venues at the moment.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
       Web Site
Thu Feb 9 09:16:51 2012
This is the first I've read of it.  I did try their other SMM brainstorms (business page, paid targeted ads, yardsellr) without much luck.

And as I (just now) went over there to check out the FB Marketplace link, again - I have to log in and probably link my profile account to this thing, where everything I do is posted on my wall.  No thanks.

Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: SunflowerAntics
       Web Site
Thu Feb 9 09:46:30 2012
Personally, and for a lot of my friends - we are tired of the mighty ''facebook'' being THE place to be.  Tracking your actions on the net...stalking their members...nope, not for me.  I have got'n off Facebook along with family and friends...we are not following the ''Pied Piper''.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: FidoSysop
       
Thu Feb 9 11:01:15 2012
Guess it depends on what you are selling.

I have picked up several new clients by increasing my presence on Facebook.

This guy seems to be doing well selling cars on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Miami-Cars/170620276375003

And my friend Steve Arrendale said collector cars are smokin hot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Corvettes-and-Muscle-Cars/162807613
752147

I
would think no matter what you are selling Facebook would be a good venue.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Thu Feb 9 11:36:43 2012
I have no intention of selling on Facebook. Most of the reasons have already been stated: Keeping business & personal separate, not approaching friends & family for sales, etc...

  I opened a FB account mainly as a venue to communicate with a son in the military. As it turns out, we are able to communicate outside of facebook much more than we use facebook.

Then there is the worry about the questionable & offensive getting mixed up with business. My name is one that can either be male or female. Even with privacy settings maxed (I hope, never quite sure on the settings) - I still have received explicit messages from women? wanting to show me a good time. At least thankfully, THAT has not happened with eBay messages - Yet.  
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Thu Feb 9 15:20:24 2012
“If the shopper is a facebook user—they’re [probably] broke—they’ve spent the entire day posting useless drivel and lost their job because they can’t do anything else apparently.”

I would wholeheartedly agree with that simple summary. Between facebook and the mindless computer games that some are addicted to, is it any wonder that western civilization is on the cusp of going down the gurgler—no plan for “tomorrow”; gee, just like the eBafia and PreyPal.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri Feb 10 13:34:16 2012
Years ago people spent their lunch hour browsing on ebay, now they spend it on Facebook.

Facebook HAVE to sell ads, it costs a LOT of money to run their servers.
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 14 20:56:49 2012
Because it's a great way to get your house robbed, thats why no one uses it!
Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?   Why Aren't More People Using Facebook Marketplace?
by: Gypsy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Feb 20 18:08:55 2012
I had quite an experience with FaceBook Marketplace last year. A potential buyer turned out to be a major scammer. This person tried to get me to agree to cash a check for $3,000. I was told to take out the cost of the items I had listed for sale (both of which were listed for a total of $10.00 plus S&H) plus a commission of an additional $20 for myself. I was then instructed to send the balance of the money to them via Western Union. This person not only sent me the $3,000 check by Federal Express but when I didn't respond to his emails, threatened to turn me in! It just so happened that a branch of the bank that the check was drawn on was right in my town. I took the check to the bank with all of the correspondence from this person and the bank informed me that this person was part of a huge ring that was swindling people out of their money. The bank refused to tell me what happened to this person but thanked me for turning him in.


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