Facebook is making it easier to buy and sell in Facebook Groups. On Tuesday, it announced that “For Sale” group members can now choose the Sell feature when creating a post. This allows them to add a description of what they’re selling, add pricing, and set a pick-up/delivery location.
Sellers can also mark posts as Available or Sold and easily view their catalog of items previously sold.
It won’t come as a surprise to EcommerceBytes readers that sellers are using Facebook groups to sell through both local groups and niche groups after reading the results of the Sellers Choice Awards published on Sunday.
But sellers who use Facebook indicated they were using it more as a classifieds site than as a primary selling venue. Referring to Facebook, sellers said, “Local “garage sale” groups are a must and far surpass craigslist!” and, “Easiest way to sell things locally – also it is free, also it is safer then craigslist.”
A hint that Facebook was getting serious about ecommerce initiatives was its hiring of David Marcus from PayPal last June.
Samuel Hoang, a Product Designer on Groups Commerce initiatives, had written about the new commerce features, which Facebook launched in New Zealand in the fall. “People use Facebook in ways it was never intended. In a recent study, it was estimated that nearly 200 million people buy and sell things every month in Facebook Groups,” he said.
By allowing sellers to enter key product details such as title, price, and location, it would enable better search and filtering while also making them easier to read while browsing groups, he said.
“The structured composer and story views were rolled out to all buy/sell groups in New Zealand during the Fall of 2014. Early data points indicated positive feedback, and a wider public launch with additional browse and search features is expected in early 2015,” he wrote at the time.
On Tuesday, Facebook said the new features would roll out to all Facebook For Sale Groups in the coming months across iOS, Android and web. And Facebook Group admins who would like to participate now can nominate their Group on this page.
The company said it would continue to introduce new features in the coming months to help people in the For Sale Group community easily connect, browse and search. More information is available on the Facebook website.
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