EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 375 - February 08, 2015 - ISSN 1528-6703     14 of 14

Sellers Choice 2015 Marketplace Ratings: Facebook

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2015, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 12,000 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Facebook
Year Established: 2004
Description: General social networking site
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Summary:
Facebook came in twelfth place in the 2015 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. This was the second year we opened up nominations to social networking platforms, and just as last year, Facebook and Pinterest received enough nominations from readers to make it into the final list.

But, just as sellers reported last year, Facebook is not a primary sales venue despite their best efforts to generate sales. Rather, it's a marketing tool for the most part, though it's difficult for sellers to track the results of their efforts.

Sellers report some success in driving traffic to their own websites, marketplace shops, or to their retail locations. However, Facebook made some changes in 2014 that make it harder for posts to be seen on followers' news feed, and respondents said they felt the effect of those changes.

Some sellers use Facebook groups to drive sales, including local yard sale groups.

Facebook received a 4.05 in Profitability; a 3.59 in Customer Service; a 3.62 in Communication; and a 4.62 in Ease of Use. It received a 4.05 from sellers when asked, "How likely are you to recommend Facebook as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?"

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I use Facebook to drive traffic to my sales platforms and websites. I think enough of it that I am now testing paying for ads to my webpages and websites. It has potential as does its other company, Instagram.

Easy to use and is user friendly. There is money to be made here and gets a lot of traffic.

Local "garage sale" groups are a must and far surpass Craigslist!

Facebook can only really be effective if you have a large number of your customers already on Facebook to promote new products to when released. Needs to be used with a selling site like eBid to enable the sales to take place.

Because my Facebook links go right to my Amazon and fineartamerica shops, I can't tell how many sales are related to Facebook, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything. Good for local tag sale pages and car selling. Not good as far as selling as a business

Facebook isn't really set up as a selling site (as you know), though I have sold on their on local pages. Items do sell quickly there, as there are so many folks on it on any given time.

Facebook is easy to use and generates a lot of traffic, but conversion sales are low.

It wasn't meant as a selling venue and is a pain in the butt to use as one, but it is up and coming because of the traffic it draws, the lack of rules and NO fees.

Excellent place to expose your business!

Facebook has helped me promote my business on its own page and promote finding more likes at a price I can afford and use when I need it instead of a monthly charge that might not help like I have found with some of the sites previously mentioned. Thanks Facebook!

I don't think I sell much off of my Facebook page, but I have sold several things through various groups and from posts on my personal timeline.

Advertising is great, but Facebook has a way to go before becoming a stand alone selling site.

Easiest way to sell things locally also it is free, also it is safer then Craigslist

Easy to use and list items and can reach a great potential customer base. Feedback from customers is great but very little help from Facebook on anything.

Very easy to use but not very sophisticated. Decent site for larger items.

If you are in private groups selling is great.

Don't really sell on FB but have a free page and that has gotten me some business contacts and brought people to me.

I sell from time to time in local groups on FB.

Fairly new to selling items on Facebook. Sold many things, but buyers are unpredictable.

One of the simplest ways to sell. Very profitable and easy. Kind of a pain if you have technical issues because you are using the platform in a way that it wasn't intended.

Facebook is a great selling site, it just requires a lot of time/maintenance answering questions, with every post is not a sale.

Easy to use but really depends on the type of product you're selling.

I often receive inquiries on my Facebook page and some of the changes that have made recently are making it easier to use to sell.

Facebook is great for driving traffic to a retail location, but not so much for selling directly.

I rated customer service and communication low because there isn't any. FB is a social media and not geared to be a selling venue. That being said, I have sold more on FB than I have anywhere else because fans can see new items, etc. on a daily basis.

They have a ways to go.

Advertising on Facebook returns negligible returns despite the fact that audience can be targeted as well as location. Not worth the cost of advertising

I tried to contact Facebook and I could not find a number to do so. I find boosting a post brings people to the site but if I can't find a category to fit it in it is useless. Need other apps to use this service. Brings people to my site but I can't comment on profits at this time as it has only been a month

Spent over $1,000.00 to promote my items thru Facebook which resulted in zero sales

I have a business page set up and I believe I have only sold one item through it.

I'm trying to get it going but find that if you don't have $$ to let them promote, it's a long slow process. Not giving up however.

We have shopping enabled via our Facebook page, though we have never made a sale from it. It's zero cost and maintenance, however, so I don't mind keeping the store.

Facebook is only good for word of mouth selling. It's not a great tool to build a business selling items. Your posts fail to get attention much more rapidly.

I still don't understand how to reach my audience on Facebook. There's too many pages, groups, events and who knows who actually sees what?! It's confusing for advertising, but it's a way to connect with others and let people know what you have...even if I don't know who's really seeing my posts!

While I have tools in place for sales through FB, I have yet to make a sale on Facebook

I used to get responses from people on Facebook. Now, rarely a like or share and certainly no buys for over 2 years. I often post items there for a few days before posting on eBay - waste of time.

I think it is a good exposure for the business but you won't make a sale unless you pay Facebook for advertisement.

It's good for getting your business our there but not much for actually making sales.

Although I do promote my items on Facebook, listed items and unlisted items and I have yet to find any firm evidence that anyone I am marketing to on FB has purchased from me.

I've listed a few items on FB and have only sold one of those items. From what I understand, FB doesn't communicate with anyone and they are next to impossible to contact. The ease of use is a 9 or 10 - snap a few photos of your item(s) and post on FB along with a brief description. Easy!

You don't actually sell stuff on Facebook do you? I advertised for a while through Facebook with basically no results. No customer service that I could see and somewhat complicated fee system. I don't think too many people actually click on Facebook ads because they're basically garbage scam sites.

This has been ok for my mom as a seller on a group for local classifieds but other than that I am not impressed.

I have had no success selling on Facebook, although I have never purchased ad space. I do not foresee doing so in the future. It makes me too vulnerable to having my personal information seen by the public.

Facebook has POTENTIAL. I have not made money yet on Facebook.

Facebook is a newcomer when it comes to ecommerce. They only recently allowed "sellers" to post product and service listings that referred to anything outside of FB. I've used them for marketing to other members, but it was always in a roundabout way. Now we can sell direct. For me it's still a bit too new to rate as a selling site.

Hard to list, bad customer service, and no sales.

Business pages not being seen. Too many changes. Have to pay to advertise which is a huge waste of money. Was hoping this was the "future of on line selling" but sadly not to be unless you are a major big huge company.

Ok to get the word out to friends and family but unless you pay for advertising (which is not worth it) not a venue to sell on just to promote on.

Facebook is better used to drive traffic to eBay or a website but doesn't have a good ecommerce venue to use. Shopify is crap and there isn't much else.

I have my items there but get very little traffic and sales. I don't promote my Facebook much, but I should get more results.

Have only made one sale in two years via Facebook. Seems to be a waste of time.

Not much different than just running a classified ad. You just put something out there and hope the right person at the right moment sees it.

I post on Facebook however I believe that Facebook is mostly ego driven, those that post are mainly talking to themselves! I have only had a few sales and those were items that I wanted to move fast so I put low prices on. When I price things "normal" for the market I get few hits. I mostly use Facebook postings to drive potential customers to my Etsy shop.

Another site that has potential. You have to have a plethora of friends to make any headway with this venue. I just use it to advertise my items on Bonanza. I doubt I ever made a sale as a result of it.

People seem to use to pass time not serious buying, ask questions, never show up after making appointment to pick up

Well you have to reach a significant level of friends before it really kicks in and benefits you so it's a slow process from the beginning - my friends have topped 2000 and I see much more activity and my products that I post receive a worldwide audience. The trick with Facebook for me is to not get overwhelmed and treat it like my website or eBay and just hit it once a day.

Have a store page on Facebook for several years and have yet to figure out how to access it myself, much less how to direct potential buyers to it.

Spent a lot on advertising and generated a lot of views but no sales.

Very slow unless you spend a fortune promoting.

Does not lead to sales as I thought it would. Has been a waste of time for us.

Too many questions about items; people like the item but don't end up buying. Say they will show to pick up never do, seems like just lunch crowd in work passing time on their phone. We belong to over 10 selling/buy /yard groups on Facebook.

Way too much competition. No support whatsoever. And now they want us to pay for advertising, so they're not sharing our pictures.

I have seen no profit from my biz page there at all. Granted I don't much time in it either.

Lookers only, no buyers. Getting through to FB for help is impossible.

Facebook is no longer a platform for selling but rather a website to promote your items.

Not many sales on Facebook. It's hard to use and has tons of tracking and spyware.

I have just recently begun selling on a FB site, but have had no sales yet.

Charge dearly for ads and does not generate sales. Also do not respect the limits of spending on ads that the seller sets and charges abusively.

Have a free ad - don't try to sell there but have gotten some customers from the free ad.

Customer service is the worst I have ever seen / one time our account was locked out and we received a reply 6 weeks later, for marketing of other services products it's great / but selling direct / not so much.

Facebook has killed reach for small business pages.

I find all the yard sale pages are high priced and no one seems to think their items are yardsale quality. They are more retail minded than anything else. So no real deals there.

No results. Zero. Zilch. Too many other competing venues. My FB friends are always looking for big discounts or free stuff.

I have a little store on Facebook and it does not bring traffic or buyers - not recommended

Facebook is super easy to use if you are technologically inclined but try getting a response from anyone at Facebook that works there, and you'd have better luck asking your dog for help. They do not respond at all unless you are inquiring about an issue that will make them money. Views are not what they used to be over there. When they started charging you to promote your posts and only showing your posts to all of your followers if you paid them, my views went from 40-100 views per post down to like 1-8 views max, and most other sellers said the same thing. No one comments or likes posts anymore because out of my 578 followers only 1-18 see my posts in any given day, and it's a proven fact that only like 3% of users comment and like so with only 18 people seeing my posts that doesn't give much opportunity for likes. Facebooks greedy need to charge for post views has ruined this for us sellers. Never made a single sale on there since these new changes.

I sell to people who read my posts but it is only occasionally.

Facebook is one of the venues that I'm working diligently to grow my presence on. It's a nice way to dovetail my on-line venues with my brick & mortar venues.

I've sold a few items on FB. But the constant re-posting of my entry on the timeline is a pain in the backside. I'm not paying for ads on FB. Paying for views is a joke. I want my ads to go to real people who can buy my items. Not go to click farms in Egypt or Indonesia.

I have sold no items via Facebook although I have a FB retail page with all 400plus of my items. I have had more sales via my Twitter account.

I've been on Facebook for a very long time and although I have tried to use the site for selling, it has never generated either views or sales.

Easy to use, but since I don't have an actual "FB store," I use my business page to promote items on other venues.

They are not MEANT as a selling site.... there is no support, they try to suppress sales as much possible from the small guy.

Sold one or two items in item-specific collector groups.

Facebook has been a good advertising tool over the past years, and has brought me a few customers, but Facebook's new changes are causing less views. It's hard to sell if your post aren't showing in newsfeeds. Facebook ads are way too expensive. For these reason I would not recommend Facebook as a sellers site, but only as an advertising tool.

In about 2 years I never sold anything using Facebook, I still put some items on now and again, but it does feel like a waste of time.

Tried a FB Store and hated it! They wanted too much money too. (Unless I wanted to commit to a year up front - no way!) And forget about listing anything on your personal page, b/c they want $2-5 bucks to boost your post. A very GREEDY and sneaky company. I can see them almost as bad as eBay in the future!

We sell lots of items on local community selling pages and local weekly Facebook auction pages. My biggest complaint about Facebook is that Customer Service just does not exist. I have a business page for our eBay listing linked to my personal page, if I want to connect my eBay listings so they show up as I list them they show up on my personal page not on my business page where I want to link them too. I have tried for months to figure out a way to correct this and cannot. I don't want to bother friends and family with all the items I am listing, but if they want to go to my business page I want new items that are being listed to show up, and people that are coming to business page from other sites I also want to see these items so they will hopefully click on the link to our eBay store

My Facebook ads reached all the people I wouldn't be interested in having it reach. Received a lot of strange friend requests from my ads and company page.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the EcommerceBytes Blog.


About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.


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