Facebook came in 9th place in the 2020 Sellers Choice Awards, up two slots from 2019. It still offers a local classifieds platform, but Facebook is expanding the ways sellers can reach buyers.
In January 2020, EcommerceBytes readers rated 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.
Ease of Use:
Would you recommend:
Facebook came in 9th place in the 2020 Sellers Choice Awards.
When you think of selling on Facebook, you probably think of Facebook Marketplace, which has a Craigslist vibe – no fees, and meeting locally with buyers to seal the deal.
But as we previously reported, the platform is evolving when it comes to ecommerce and payments. Facebook now allows sellers to ship Marketplace orders in addition to meeting with would-be buyers in person, and it lets people sell in groups and set up shops. (See this August 10th EcommerceBytes article for a breakdown of Facebook selling options.)
That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that some respondents are describing their experiences with Facebook Marketplace, others with Facebook Buy-Sell Groups, and others with Facebook Shops – and some sellers may be using all of those methods to sell, some of which incur fees, some of which do not. Sellers also addressed advertising options.
One seller said they liked the fact that there were no fees if their items sold locally (or paid through messenger) and a 5% fee if shipped through Facebook Marketplace, but they noted it took “wayyyy tooo long” to get the money from Facebook, which processes the transaction in those cases. Another wrote, “If anything goes wrong, they have NO customer service.”
For years, online sellers participating in Sellers Choice have mentioned safety as a top concern when selling locally on sites such as Craigslist. That concern is echoed by those selling on Facebook, though some believe the social networking platform has an edge.
For example, this year, a seller wrote, “It’s safer because there is more communication between buyer and seller. You can check out a person on FB before you decide to purchase from them at their home, business or meet somewhere in public.”
But other sellers remain wary, such as one who wrote, “This is easier since you are linking people up directly by name, however there is still a sketch factor to this.”
Some of the sentiments were also similar to those selling on sites like Craigslist: “There are many flakes, people asking “is it available” then never replying back, and lowballers,” wrote one, who added, “But it’s definitely worth using.”
Getting paid is an issue for some – “Seller needs to find ways to get paid. It’s fine though, really fine. I just wish I could have reach to buyers from across the world, or else there is but I didn’t notice.”
Sellers wished for more tools and features to make managing listings easier. “Make notification of items selling better,” said one. “Sold items are hard to find and stay on the site indefinitely,” another said.
“I wish that the mobile version included all the same seller options as desktop. Often a specific listing edit can ONLY be made from a desktop computer,” a seller wrote.
“Marketplace could sure use some improvements, like allowing us to edit a listing and have it edited to all of the same listings in all of the selling groups too,” wrote another. “When posting to a group, it is hard to see how many groups you have posted in for that item unless you click on it and shows where the item is at. There needs to be a better way,” wrote another seller.
One seller said Facebook should rethink its policies about ads, explaining, “After so many renewals, FB requires you to completely reconstruct the ad. I understand that FB does not want the ad to just be renewed forever – there should be a point where the seller should be directed to reconsider their price or description, etc.”
Some use Facebook solely for exposure. “We simply use it to get our name out there, and hopefully they’ll check out our website from there,” said one respondent.
One of the benefits of selling in niche Facebook Groups is the built-in demand – “Great for finding groups that are item specific to sell items,” explained one seller. “Vintage toys, Raggedy Ann figures, Harley Davidson items, etc. These people in these groups are looking for items and ready to spend $$$ to get them.”
Numerous sellers said Facebook’s policing can be problematic. “They won’t allow things to be sold if animal or soldier related. Even if toys like a toy horse or GI Joe. Even when you contact them and explains it’s a toy. Frustrating to say the least,” a seller wrote.
Another seller said, “Facebook’s algorithm marks a lot of items as prohibited items, even when they are clearly not (for example, a handbag was flagged as a “weapon, alcohol, live animal, or illicit substance”). And when you request an appeal, not only is it denied, but they never say why the item, such as the handbag, is being construed as one of the banned items.”
Another said that while it was “very profitable to sell” on Facebook, “getting into Facebook jail is pure hell.”
Facebook received a 5.42 in Profitability; a 3.93 in Customer Service; a 3.95 in Communication; and a 5.97 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.39 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
Like Craigslist, Marketplace is good for those large items that you don’t want to ship. It would nice to make changes to your ad that would update across all the groups at once. Selling within a group is okay, but could be alot better for selling multiple items from one seller, like a booth or store. The newsfeed style of listing really doesn’t work that well. You should be allowed to join a group as a business.
Facebook is a natural extension of your life if you use FB as I do. Now I primarily use FB for info on selling (with groups) and marketplace. I like you can see info on the seller/buyer.
Facebook has not been especially helpful to me. I’ve sold a few items referenced from facebook, but not many. I’ve also tried their ads, but they’re too expensive relative to sales, and their ad platform is only beneficial for those who are willing to make a large investment.
Good for local targeted sales. But I wish that the mobile version included all the same seller options as desktop. Often a specific listing edit can ONLY be made from a desktop computer.
Facebook has the highest number of eyes on listings locally. Better than Craigslist. Higher prices can be fetched and things generally sell faster. Craigslist is easier and faster to list, delete, renew, and change prices on inventory though. Overall the profit margin and eyes on listings on Facebook make it the best selling site.
Facebook selling platform is still in its diapers, but I’m happy they came into the business, a bit late, but better late than never. They still don’t have a substitute payment method, or any for that matter, so the seller needs to find ways to get paid. It’s fine though, really fine. I just wish I could have reach to buyers from across the world, or else there is but I didn’t notice.
Facebook is an easier way to sell because it’s free and it’s safer because there is more communication between buyer and seller. You can check out a person on FB before you decide to purchase from them at their home, business or meet somewhere in public.
Even though facebook have not been profitable for me last days, ads are too expensive, but it has some potential. It’s a good platform and we just need to optimize our things.. I definitely recommend it.
I’ve sold a few things on Facebook but it’s not as profitable compared to the amount of advertising I do there for social media and their marketplace. I haven’t seen any big bucks rolling in.
FB has a good social media marketing. However, they need to improve the scams and hacking and risks associated with the site. Sell at your own risk
I’ve only sold a few things on Marketplace. Again, this is easier since you are linking people up directly by name, however there is still a sketch factor to this. But in the future I will probably use this more.
Facebook drives traffic. There is no doubt about that aspect of the platform. Not too hard to use and multi account access means staff can post product as well without giving them keys to the whole account.
There are no fees. Great way to sell large items.
One of my favorites, though the meetups can be rough, and reliability of buyers is very hit and miss. But love the opportunity for selling odd items locally for little effort. Plus the social media aspect allows you to have some confidence of who is behind the sale, unlike Craigslist.
Listing and selling was easy but potential buyers can be flaky because they aren’t committed as they pay when you meet if ever. Also, they have an auto ‘we have a problem with your listing’ when there is absolutely nothing wrong. It doesn’t like certain words. Hard to get it resolved. I was listing Agatized ancient coral and jewelry. supplies.
No cost to sellers – you can list items for local customers – has nice features to pay for customers – get to see a person’s profile – picture of person available – instant chat helps.
Very profitable to sell there. However, getting into facebook jail is pure hell when their automatic way of screening tosses you out for selling dog head walking canes, a mannequin, and other items that a person should not be blocked from marketplace for. And, no matter how much you try to get back on marketplace, they say they are reviewing your items, case, but I really don’t think that they do from all the others who I have spoke to that have been tossed out too. I realize they need to keep it safe there but to toss your items out and then block you for general merchandise they are well known for. Many unhappy used to be sellers that are now blocked are very frustrated with their system.
Marketplace is a good spot to sell larger items you do not want to have to ship at today’s awful rates and people can see you – much safer than Craig’s List
You can get sales on Facebook in marketplace when you place a few paid ads on facebook to generate that needed traffic. Facebook is a growing platform and I believe many Google Adword customers will be switching to Facebook ads because they are tired of Googles expensive non responsive click ads that prices for most industries have been pushed to the sky.
Pretty easy to use once you can find a legitimate buyer. Lots of questions and flakes. Similar to Craigslist in that way.
The current go-to site for local sales. Your profile is already made, people feel safer with your picture and it’s super easy to list. But their filtering on certain categories and items is a little sensitive. “Like selling a dart board without darts – it’s not a weapon!”
My newest location for selling. They eventually could be a threat to eBay. Right now, it reminds me of the early “wild, wild west” days of selling on eBay.
Facebook Marketplace is very easy to use and the option to meet or mail is very nice. As long as you do not break any banned item rules, you’re fine. Facebook does not interfere with the selling transaction. There is lots of traffic and usually does not take more than 2 or 3 days to sell an item.
Facebook marketplace has become a really excellent place to sell certain types of items. Their communication is good, their customer service except by email nonexistent.
I’ve been using FB Marketplace to sell used items and it works well. I don’t believe there is any customer service offered. I feel it’s safer to sell on FB Marketplace than CL as CL is more anonymous whereas you can check FB seller profiles.
Facebook is decent, though the number of people reached for the price paid for ads continues to go down. That’s just a money grab, which affects my decision about how much to spend with them.
Facebook is a good platform. Great for local and shipping nationwide is picking up. Can’t wait until more items are shippable. But could work on the payment payouts. Make them a bit quicker for payouts. Also make notification of items selling better.
It’s nice because its sell to sell. But you don’t get as many customers. You have to meet your customer in person to make sells. Customer flake a lot.
Positives include that it’s a largely used platform, and there are no listing or selling fees. The downside is that you often have to coordinate meeting with a stranger to get the item to them. And Facebook’s algorithm marks a lot of items as prohibited items, even when they are clearly not (for example, a handbag was flagged as a weapon, alcohol, live animal, or illicit substance). And when you request an appeal, not only is it denied, but they never say why the item, such as the handbag, is being construed as one of the banned items.
They banned an ad of mine for arbitrary reasons, then offered no explanation. I lost business.
I list a lot of things but rarely make a sale. I think the people where I live are too broke. but even when I offer shipping I don’t get anyone interested. A lot of time wasters who are interested but never buy.
Have had listings on Facebook for over a year now. Have not sold one thing.
My experiences with FB have not produced any significant results with my customers. I communicate with them through personal email more successfully.
Everything changes too often to keep up with. The system doesn’t make sense and we have no sales despite a full catalog
I don’t get much for $10 exposure here at all. When I write to customer service they don’t answer how I can create a group or watchers for everyday videos I have on there. I’m very sad.
No charges except for advertising to promote your site. Really very very little communication or seller support.
Sold items are hard to find and stay on the site indefinitely. Therefore, large groups are difficult to keep clean. Not a large audience for items. Very, very few sales.
Facebook has too many rules with placing ads, too many rules with uploading products, too many rules with running a business page and/or using your profile page as a business page… I sell lingerie and they were always blocking my pics and ads. Yet Victoria’s Secret was never blocked, and Fredericks of Hollywood always ran ads…something is wrong with their algorithm, because I sold the exact same lingerie as larger companies, but I was always getting blocked. Go figure?! I just quit using them. Unfortunately FB has such a large customer base, that if you can work it, it would be profitable.
If a posting does not immediately go ‘live’ the system does not tell you. It looks like it is there, but you are the only one that can see it. I had to take screenshots of my listing and repost the screenshots. Did not go live until 3 days later. Very strange.
I don’t use Facebook anymore as they are too restrictive and have way too many rules and regs to do businesses with them and the fees were getting to high to justify the costs.
Pain in the ass dealing with removed Ads that allegedly violate FB Policy. When Removal Appealed 100% of the time the Ad is Reactivated. 2nd in Sales to eBay.
Facebook ease of use is somewhat difficult especially with Facebook ad campaign. For potential buyers reach, Facebook is probably the best I have used but it is too expensive.
Listings are automatically analyzed by algorithms which result in a lot of the items inexplicably being suspended with a vague explanation. There is NO HUMAN interaction, even when you write and beg for a human to contact you to explain their logic.
I have nearly a hundred items for sale on Facebook only two items have sold in the past three or four years and I had to ship those items people say they’re interested or they want it and they never show up never call never complete the sale. A lot of time answering questions that are already in my details and a lot of time answering that it’s still available when I plainly state that it’s available as long as you can see it. They knock your items off for example a rat for Halloween they think you’re selling a live animal even if you put Halloween decor. Not profitable to me at all.
They won’t allow things to be sold if animal or soldier related. Even if toys like a toy horse or GI Joe. Even when you contact them and explains it’s a toy. Frustrating to say the least.
Facebook has been easy to list and sell, but not good for anything listed for more than a few weeks. They are restrictive about items and trying to communicate with a ‘bot that it isn’t what they think it is gets very frustrating.
They have a lot of restrictions and they can delete your items without real investigation of complaints, they have too many rules that limit religious freedoms on many items.
I started off selling on facebook market place and made some nice money on there. But there are many flakes, people asking “is it available” then never replying back and lowballers. But it’s definitely worth using. Also facebook has no local selling protection or communication which is why I rated facebook communication low.
Facebook is free and better than craigslist at the same thing. But it falls far behind eBay or Bonanza. The communication is terrible. Items are pulled for by automatic programs and when you appeal you never get an explanation. I had tarot readings that had pictures of wolves and I think they thought I was selling live animals. Just dumb. But it’s free and I have made sales there. The thing is the buyers all use the “friend” thing to make sales much more high maintenance. On eBay or Bonanza people just buy. On Facebook they are “interested” and want to discuss it forever before telling you they have no money now and asking you to hold it for a month. If you do, they usually don’t buy it anyway. Facebook sales are very time consuming.
Too many people competing, and they’ll message on your item and undercut you, and then another person comes along and undercuts them, and by the time you’re done, the price is less than the value of the item paid. It’s good for buyers I suppose, but not so much for sellers. We simply use it to get our name out there, and hopefully they’ll check out our website from there.
The Groups and Marketplace seems to be overrun with the same types of items and you have to really watch whom you conduct transactions with. You would think that Facebook profiles being so interwoven into someone’s life cons and scams would not happen as often, but they seem to happen frequently. Customer service is the worst. They don’t listen nor help. They allow counterfeits and they continually dismiss anyone they don’t agree with. Facebook has a large audience so selling on it is fair. But many that are scammers keep inventing new ways to scam buyers to a point buyers are always looking for a reason to complain or bash someone publicly. That platform for sales is just too social based on opinion but immuring facts. It’s saturated with the type of buyers and fellow sellers that cause major problems on major selling platforms. Too much of the drama in the Groups or Marketplace or pay a fortune to have very little exposure while making their algorithms stronger and more intuitive. Advertising on Facebook is crazy expensive if you do it correctly and really the only business model they offer that’s even worth a second look.
Easy to sell in Yard Sale groups. I try not to list on Marketplace as I will get messages from 6 different states. They need to improve their search results as far as location goes. I have had no communication/customer service with FB as a seller.
Facebook is so over saturated that people are now not paying attention to the ads. It can be challenging at times to find where to edit your page. I have in the past asked for help and never got a response.
Marketplace could sure use some improvements, like allowing us to edit a listing and have it edited to all of the same listings in all of the selling groups too. If an item sells it can be marked as sold in Marketplace and it will be marked sold in all of the groups it was listed in, so to edit a listing should be just as easy. As it is, it’s easier to mark something as sold and then start all over with a new listing for the same thing, with the edits that need to be made.
If you’re a large company with a big budget and recognized brand, FB’s probably great. But as a small biz, it’s next to impossible to actually make money advertising on FB.
Too many no-shows. They need to have a button where you can write a buyer even if they don’t show up for a sale as a no-show. That would include buyers to say they’re going to meet you at a certain time and five minutes before you’re supposed to be there to meet they say they are not going to show. This happens way too many times. Then you could set your ratings monitor to not allow anyone to reply to your item if they have a bad score of no-shows
Facebook is awful. The format is terrible, people don’t know where or how to respond, they try to insert themselves in between, feed you ads. If anything goes wrong they have NO customer service. It’s like a “suggestion box” and you never get any reply or indication anyone read anything or will be taking any action. I really have no idea what the draw to this is – it TERRIBLE, jumbled, unsortable, uncategorized. WHY are people using this over craigslist, offerup, letgo, etc? Did I say it’s useless? It is. It’s designed to make you look at paid ads, or pay for ads. Nothing else. God help us if this ever gains any traction, especially with payments or remote sales.
Facebook needs to make the site easier for sellers to sell their items as well as do the same for the many groups online. Their system to set up an item for sale should be like most seller sites easier then how Facebook has it set up. I find it annoying when posting at Facebook an item for sale locally and you receive over 50 or more scam notes. If a buyer clicks on your item for sale it triggers a note “is your item available” stupid and a waste of time. When posting to a group it is hard to see how many groups you have posted in for that item unless you click on it and shows where the item is at. There needs to be a better way.
My biggest struggle with selling on Facebook is the difficulty of managing and renewing ads. After so many renewals, FB requires you to completely reconstruct the ad. I understand that FB does not want the ad to just be renewed forever – there should be a point where the seller should be directed to reconsider their price or description, etc. Craiglist has a similar strategy, but the Craigslist interface is better for this.
Too many “no shows” and inquiries that are not interested, items pulled for stupid reasons (crocs shoes pulled due to no animal selling) and pages are now flooded with paid ads and people promoting businesses. I’m tired of seeing mattress overstocks, lawn services, and beauty shop ads.
Facebook’s policies are overreaching in my opinion. They want to dictate MY store’s return policies and want wayyyy too much access to customer billing information etc., I only use Facebook to advertise and for local marketplace sales for a few items as a result. I should have the ability to set my own return policies and/or a non-return policy for my own store.
I tried Facebook for antique/vintage jewelry auctions this last year. I couldn’t get many to attend (17 to 18 were the average) and of those that did, they generally didn’t want to pay anything near what items were worth. The only thing I can say is that I got rid of a lot of excess merchandise.
Prefer to sell items that are shipped but also do local meet ups. NO customer service is just the way it is with Facebook, you have a problem you figure it out. Must be willing to deal with low ball offers and No-Shows on meet up items. Easiest way to sell larger items. Great for finding groups that are item specific to sell items. Vintage toys, Raggedy Ann figures, Harley Davidson items, etc. These people in these groups are looking for items and ready to spend $$$ to get them. Wish Facebook marketplace was separated into 2 areas, one for stores and stuff from China and one for just local postings.
Facebook needs to solve some of its ridiculous algorithm issues that disallows harmless items because of a keyword used. Customer service is nonexistent. No fees if sold locally or paid through messenger (gotta love that), only 5% fee if shipped through FBM but wayyyy tooo long hold on the money !! However great amount of people looking at items.
Selling on Facebook means groups, and groups means meetups where you sell to others in your group, so it mostly means swapping stuff with people you already know instead of selling merchandise to a wide field of buyers. Not a good way to profit.
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.