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Sellers Choice 2018 Marketplace Ratings: Facebook

Facebook

9th Place Finisher - EcommerceBytes 2018 Sellers ChoiceFacebook came in 9th place in the 2018 Sellers Choice Awards. There are numerous ways to sell on this marketplace, though the focus remains on local selling (or advertising) for now.

In January 2018, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 10,000 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 10 online marketplaces included in the survey.

Facebook - 2018 Sellers Choice Awards

 

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Customer Service:

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Facebook
Year Established: 2004
Description: General social networking site
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Summary:

Facebook moved up one spot from last year to take 9th place in the 2018 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. Facebook also gained higher grades in all categories compared to 2017 and appears to be moving in the right direction as an accepted platform for online merchants.

There are several different ways of selling on Facebook, including through a seller’s business page, Facebook Live video broadcasts, member-formed Facebook Groups, and Facebook Marketplace. Some sellers actively try to sell on the venue, while others use it as a form of advertising.

Some of the comments from Facebook sellers echo those heard about classifieds site Craigslist, such as those describing it as a good place to sell locally along with warnings to be careful of meeting up with buyers in-person.  Some sellers pointed out a major difference between the two sites: activity on Facebook is linked to your profile, which some said they did not like, preferring the anonymity classifieds sites offer.

While many people like the freedom of selling through Facebook without interference from the venue, some pointed to the fact that it’s missing features you generally find on ecommerce platforms (no customer service, no way to deal with non-paying buyers, no way to import listings, for example).

Some respondents said Facebook pushes them to pay to advertise – “They want to bully me to promote my posts,” wrote one seller. Said another: “We continue to advertise on FB simply because we’re already out there and don’t want to lose the momentum and followers we already have. However, profits from FB ads have minimal at best.” Several said the effectiveness of ads have been decreasing over time.

Facebook received a 4.82 in Profitability; a 4.15 in Customer Service; a 4.11 in Communication; and a 6.04 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.24 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

Love it – there is no communication or CS to me as a seller – but I’m not sure there needs to be as long as you sell items that aren’t restricted. It’s easy to use – and stuff moves.

Easy to use but no customer service or seller protection

Facebook has a lot of selling options, buy sell trade groups, the marketplace, shops. I think facebook could give a lot of other venues a run for their money, in fact, I think they already are.

Join local groups or open your own group. Lots of opportunities to sell. Always have to deal with those few deadbeat buyers that will stand you up or not respond, but the majority are pretty good about meeting up. Have sold lots of items on our local group pages of course it has to be items you are pretty well willing to sell at yard sale prices or just above. Good way to move larger items you would not want to ship. Like that they have added the new Facebook Marketplace.

LOVE facebook. Facebook is what selling for myself should be. NO interference.

Facebook is the new future, there is nothing you can say about Facebook that would convince me otherwise. Engagement is based on the person that markets the products, Facebook is an excellent platform to take your company to new heights never seen before.

I sell a lot on FB. I have pretty good success with the things I have listed on there but there’s no customer service or communication with FB per say.

Can be more profitable on other sites, but is a good way to sell lower priced items that are hard to ship. No communication from Facebook. Definitely worth trying.

FB has a lot of glitches in the system. I think most of the communication gets ‘cut off’ during the back-and-forth of messaging. Again, it’s FREE~~and I’m not going to argue with that. I have made more sales on FB, even with the communication issue, than E-Bay. Go figure!

It’s very easy to sell on Facebook. You need to price items higher then you want because most everybody wants to bargain excessively. Facebook is good about sending messages or notifications regarding selling. However there is no way of reporting feedback. For example It would be nice to report people who are no-shows.

Selling on Facebook is awesome. It’s pretty much the same as Craigslist except I think it inspires more trust because people can see who you are. As with Craigslist, no fees, you meet someone at Starbucks and you get cash!! Such a great way to sell things!!

More and more selling groups on Facebook, more collectors using Facebook for purchase.

Selling is time-consuming to find right groups to post in. Have had some success. Like being able to set my terms and talk to my customer without a middle person. It’s more personal selling.

It is good exposure for an existing shop just like any of the many other sites like Pinterest, Instagram etc. I use it for directing traffic not so much to sell on.

I find less flakes on Facebook than Craigslist, which is why I use Facebook now. Setting up a store is easy. Importing your stuff is not so easy so that could use improvement. I like listing in selling groups, which seems very effective. There are lots of options in ways to sell on Facebook, which is nice.

I use Facebook, but I hate how it’s connected to my personal profile and if any problem were to happen, they can close everything?? Also the facebook page I manage for my business is CONSTANTLY bombarding me with push notification ads using my own photos and products. They want to bully me to promote my posts. NO I don’t care. I don’t care if anyone except for my followers sees my post at all. Just leave me alone Facebook. 🙁

Facebook has been the hardest platform to sell on. Despite having a background in technology, I struggled to get my store up and running, and I still have questions that I haven’t been able to answer. Unless I’m missing something, Facebook customer support doesn’t exist, or they make it extremely hard to find. I’ve never been able to talk live to someone at Facebook about any issue ever. Their help pages are full of old or incorrect information. Finally, Facebook users seem to be looking for the cheapest possible price for any item, so it is currently my last resort for selling. Would not recommend unless you’re desperate.

People selling on Facebook do so because it’s a lot cheaper (free) than it is on eBay. Here in Australia not many people sell new things mainly all second hand on the BSS sites (buy, swap ,sell). It’s great for second hand goods but the market is too flooded for many people to sell new goods. (Who can ever get in touch with Facebook???)

Easy to list on Facebook Marketplace. But not good for sellers that are willing to ship because they limit the exposure of your items to local areas.

The problem with the Marketplace is that they don’t let you put a contact phone number. Each day is full of false people who are interested but never follow through.

Facebook is easy to list items, but there is no action for non paying buyers. The only customer service is if someone reports a listing and an autobot removes it. There is no way to contact an actual person for items erroneously removed.

A little better than Craigslist, but I don’t like having things linked to my profile.

Facebook is up front in indicating that they do not involve themselves in the transactions, so I think that it is too unreliable to sell through here, even if you only accept PayPal.

There’s potential here, but Facebook’s bots are a nightmare. I don’t see Facebook giving sellers freedom to sell, they are too into controlling what is seen and how it can be used.

Sales are rare & when you do sell something you have to sell it cheap. Too many flaky people on FB, don’t follow thru when they say they’re interested in something.

I pulled all of my listings due to the fact that I got swamped with tons of low-ball offers for items that have actually been appraised for more than the offers I got. I mean… who would take $10 for a piece of $250 antique furniture?? I didn’t.. never again.

I have a selling page on FB, the only problem is now they are charging same or more fee for my campaign but the interaction, traffic and likes go lower all the time.

Easy to use, but promotional fees are going up and up, and the way listings are fed to customers is just getting more expensive. Hardly a free social network.

Seems like there is so much stuff on FB things get lost because there are not categories just thousands of pictures.

Facebook selling is easy but I have not found it to be an effective platform. Perhaps my category, jewelry, is harder to sell.

Too many tire kickers, inventory checkers, and other flakes mixed in with too many nonsense conversations.

I sell in various FB groups. My sales volume has decreased there in the last year or two. It used to be that just about EVERYTHING I listed would sell and now, for the most part, I’m lucky if 25% of what I list sells. So either people aren’t seeing it (entirely possible) or, what I think, is that there are just SOOOOOOOO many selling groups on FB and shoppers join hundreds of them which means they probably don’t see posts from most of them.

I have started selling some items on Facebook this past year. The biggest hiccup I have had is with trying to edit photos after an item is posted, or the lack of a way to “bump” an ad back to the top after it has been out there for a while (a price change, description change, etc. should do this – I’ve only found that deleting and re-creating the ad are the only way to “bump” it). The buyers have all been good so far, but there is a lot of noise (not really interested people, but they make it seem like they want to buy) to deal with. I choose to only use the local buy/sell groups, to try and weed some of that noise out. I do not list on the broader Marketplace, yet.

I do have a FB business page and group, however, you really have to work at directing potential buyers. I think a lot of people use it because it’s free, however, FB limits the amount of fans that see your daily posts. So while you may have 500 people who follow your page, only 20-50 may see any post at any given time. It’s a good thing they don’t charge because it would be a big rip-off if they did.

Worst selling experience ever. Sellers leave sold items listed and/or are slow to respond to questions. Express an interest in items but never show up to purchase.

Having been an Admin on two local FB selling groups I have mixed opinions on the venue. It is very good for selling certain items locally, IF the buyer shows up. I find it a good place to sell items that can’t be shipped, i.e. furniture, appliances, etc. Communication with FB is NIL. I contacted them several times about issues and never received even an automated response. Selling on FB is very time consuming. Listings have to be “bumped” at least once a day if you want your items to be seen. Living in a very rural farming community, I was highly disappointed that FB stopped allowing posts for the sale of livestock. You can’t even post “Free to Good Home” listings for domestic animals. I’m sure they think they have good reason for not allowing animals to be posted, but I’m just as sure the “powers to be” have never lived in a rural farming community and how much this “rule” hurts the livelihood of many rural Americans.

Impossible to use their paid ads. No communication. Have pretty much stopped using after trying very hard for a long time.

I sell once in a while on FB, but mainly use it just for advertising my other stores! I don’t use customer service mainly because they only nag me about buying ads which I’m not going to do cause I’ve heard it doesn’t do any good! I tried selling via live, but I kept getting cut off about 10 min into my feed; then I’d lose what customers I had, so why bother?!! FB doesn’t want us to make money but they DO want to make money OFF of us thru their ads!!

I like it because there are no FVF but it can be shady meeting up with people who you don’t know. I have had no bad experience with meeting buyers so far but do get nervous about it even in a public environment. Also FB fees to promote your store is outrageous so the chance of buyers viewing your items is next to none other than those on your friend list basically because they are your friends. Great for selling local items that are low cost items but FB needs to give more options in which buyer sites you can post your items in.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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