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Sellers Choice 2021 Marketplace Ratings: Facebook

Facebook

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Facebook came in 10th place in the 2021 Sellers Choice Awards, slipping one spot from last year. Facebook is becoming a staple for selling larger items locally, but survey respondents felt that communications from the company was sorely lacking.

In January 2021, 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.

Facebook - 2018 Sellers Choice Awards

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Would you recommend:

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

Facebook came in 10th place in the 2021 Sellers Choice Awards.

Facebook offers a few ways to sell, but most think of Facebook Marketplace as its primary buying-and-selling channel. That was again the case this year for sellers participating in Sellers Choice.

Facebook Marketplace is similar to an online classifieds site (sellers can also list on private buy/sell groups), but as we reported in the fall, the company launched Facebook Shops last year as a solution for sellers who want to set up a full-scale digital storefront.

At least one seller who rated Facebook Shops, as opposed to Marketplace, indicated it was not ready for prime time. It will be interesting to see if and when Facebook reaches traditional sellers with its Shops offering.

For now, sellers said Facebook Marketplace is inexpensive but lacking tools. Among the complaints: no way to relist, and “no category choices that fit what you’re selling.”

Some sellers said you must advertise in order to get sales. Note that Facebook offers sellers the option of paying to promote (“boost”) posts, or to create ads through its Ad Manager. “While boosting a post is still considered an ad, Facebook ads are created through Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions,” according to Facebook’s help pages.

“If you promote and market yourself well on Facebook, you could make some money with no outrageous fees and shipping fees,” a seller wrote.

One seller said it’s easy, and things do sell, but it’s run by “bots” with no customer service – as a result, they said it’s not a site for serious sellers.

Good for selling locally, another seller said, adding, “It’s currently functioning in much the same way Craigslist did, but without the privacy. Yikes.”

One seller said they were unable to list coins, which are prohibited, even though they saw other sellers listing coins on Facebook Marketplace.

One seller said selling through Facebook private buy/sell groups was easy (“the groups themselves make the rules and function privately) and they saw it as a way to avoid the pain of collecting sales tax. “Members sell/buy from one another as private individuals without the intervention of sales tax which makes for a much better buying experience,” they wrote.

Facebook received a 5.69 in Profitability; a 4.09 in Customer Service; a 4.01 in Communication; and a 5.89 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.43 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

FB Marketplace is my “go to” place as an individual seller. It easy, and I can broadcast my merchandise across multiple local sites all at the same time. Very good experiences with the buyers, as well as Facebook’s communications.

Facebook Marketplace has a lot of shoppers! There are still some bugs to work out though (like not enabling a buyer to calculate postage, a seller can’t give a partial refund, a seller can’t delete a post of something that has been sold via Marketplace, etc.)

It is very easy to list on Facebook, and I do sell a little. It’s very easy to use, and I don’t pay any fees, so it is very profitable and I can sell my items cheaper.

I’ve sold several personal items on Facebook Marketplace, but I’ve never sold anything for a profit. The items I sold were items I no longer needed, and I sold them for far less than what I originally paid for them. I’ve bought several items on Facebook Marketplace as well.

Good exposure and no fees for large items, i.e camping trailer and furniture, that are too large and cost prohibitive to ship.

I love the Facebook market, I wish it would send your items for sale across the country and world. They would be a real power house if they did.

You can sell fast nationwide and locally. They really need to come out a live customer support communicate with the agents fast. One more is the rating, I notice that when a buyer and seller communicate you can rate them without any transaction.

I have only sold on Facebook through private buy/sell groups and not on their marketplace. This is extremely easy as the groups themselves make the rules and function privately. Members sell/buy from one another as private individuals without the intervention of sales tax which makes for a much better buying experience.

Facebook’s customer service and communication still are lacking. Customer service is nearly non existent. But communication has vastly improved with letting us know when we have a sale. Marketplace account page is easy to navigate. Sales of HOT items move quickly. We are selling 10 items to 1 on eBay and even better than Mercari. Ease of listing is quick and simple. Can choose local meet ups for larger items and shipping to pick up more interested buyers. We only ship on our own using PirateShip.com, but Facebook will also let you use their shipping labels. We import all of our listings from eBay to Facebook Marketplace using the List Perfectly app. For simplicity in listing and quick turnaround in sales, our number one preforming site right now has to be Facebook Marketplace and local group selling pages.

Very profitable due to low fees. easy listing. easy transactions. Cons are mostly customer-related (no-shows, non-communication), not a fault of the Marketplace.

Facebook’s item posting can be tricky at times. I had my fair share of problems at times posting a certain item or photos not posting correctly. Other than that its services are adequate and easily usable to new sellers. Have not been contacted by Facebook for any reason, so my opinion is neutral in that area.

Facebook states they don’t allow coins or currency to be sold in their marketplace, however, there are ads for sellers all over the feeds that sell fake/counterfeit coins. We have notified them several times about this problem, yet there is more and more of these sellers. We listed a few inexpensive coin sets on Facebook Marketplace and they tagged our listing stating it violated their policy. We would not recommend Facebook to sell for people in our field.

Facebook is easy, but too many people do not show up to get the items because there is no consequence when purchasing and not showing up. Should be 3 strikes you’re out.

I used Facebook to sell some lightly used items that I no longer needed. Never needed to use any Customer Service features. I also don’t sell regularly, so I don’t consider myself “profitable.”

Local selling has been my savior during the off & downtimes of my other venues. I can sell larger items too heavy to ship, handmade items, and pretty much anything I want. I’ve purchased some profitable lots as well. The downsides are no shows, low ballers, the marketplace currently flooded with out-of-area scam/Wish-like sellers, and meeting strangers. But overall it puts money in my pocket.

It seems to be the newest selling platform. People are already logged on to FB via their phone or laptop, so it’s easy just to jump over to Marketplace. Also, Marketplace items show on the sidebar of the FB page. I don’t care for their shipping option and I don’t care for the new set-up. Not geared to laptop-only people.

Facebook needs work as a marketplace. Store items built one by one, ridiculous. Editing is difficult, suggestions are very annoying, Facebook wants to control everything. Have no idea how to view my “store” as a buyer or what buyers see when they come up on one of my items. Their business page/store/instagram integration changes as soon as you learn how to navigate the mess. If you don’t buy Facebook ads, the store is invisible. Few sales only when I tag an item from my store on a promoted post. Needs work.

People think that you should give everything away. They want it free even though an item is new and you try to sell 1/2 price, they don’t want to pay that and want it for $1.00 Also say they want something and never show up or reply.

Facebook now wants your bank account if you charge for shipping – and that is an absolute deal breaker for me. Plus, if their AI bots detect that something is amiss and it is not, there is no way to fix that. It’s stupid therefore and unreliable as a venue.

The listing format sucks. No category choices that fit what you’re selling.

I hope Facebook gets better at this. It is the most unintuitive place I’ve seen to set up a shop of sell on Marketplace. That being said, Marketplace sells product. My shop however is dead as a doornail unless I pay advertising to get people in – not so inexpensive as they try to make it sound with their low FVF. FB also has a really bad habit of banning conservatives – so I’m not too keen on trusting them with much of my business if they might pull it based on something I might say on my personal page.

My experience with Facebook marketplace – it is effective, but it’s definitely not my style of a platform. It does expose your items to a tremendous amount of people, but many of them are pranksters, hustlers or hagglers. It is my last choice as a seller.

We do sell stuff on Facebook and it’s fairly easy to do. The problem is there is absolutely ZERO customer service. NONE. So it’s not really a site for serious sellers to sell on. Because everything is run by “bots”. And if you run into a problem you’re basically just twisting in the wind.

Okay for big stuff I prefer to sell locally. Marketplace has MUCH potential (massive, easily-targeted audience) but needs major tweaking. Nice that there are no fees but that can’t last, right? It’s currently functioning in much the same way Craigslist did, but without the privacy. Yikes.

I have a Facebook shop, purely for the Instagram shoppable Posts, and even that doesn’t link up properly. Zero customer service, you just get automated messages, never received any emails from them. Other than it being a shell for the Instagram posts, I see no benefit in it at all, Facebook is outdated and geriatric as platforms go, it is unwilling to update or evolve like other major platforms. I dislike its moral high ground. Very invasive as sites go, do this here, tell us this, tell us that. It’s a real pity that they took over Instagram, great business play by the company but a shame for Instagram users. The shop I have does nothing, I don’t advertise and don’t intend to either.

Since Facebook redesigned their interface it has become a slow, convoluted piece of junk. We aren’t big believers in social media as a sales channel, and Google Analytics bears that out. If Facebook would learn to get out of the way and let us operate a store like eCrater does, they could potentially dominate in the sales channel arena. But that isn’t going to happen.

Ok, so there are 2 sections for this account. There is the business account where I do not receive any customers. Also, I pay for “boosting”, but do not get any more customers or followers. For the Marketplace account, I do make a few sales here and there. But, difficult to get customers to commit to the purchase.

Selling is easy and straight forward but the buyers are difficult, always want product for less than its value and often waste the seller’s time with questions that don’t result in a sale. Additionally, the payout terms on Facebook are too long from the time a sale is made until the funds are deposited.

I’ve used Facebook Marketplace and local Facebook buy and sell pages successfully. Customer service response is poor – listings get pulled for no apparent reason. Buyers make contact and sometimes vanish without repercussions. I only do local sales through them.

I, now, avoid using Facebook Marketplace as it is has become filled with the worst sellers posting fake and misleading listings. Facebook as a whole has absolutely no user help or customer service. Still if you have a personal FB page and use it to link to your sales venue item’s listing it makes a good free promotional tool.

Facebook is just okay. I don’t like to spend a lot of time here because it seems to be a ‘hassle’ to sell here. People say they want items and want to meet, and then never show up. Or they don’t bring cash. Or they ask a billion stupid questions wasting your time. I have made some money here, but the wasted time is making it not worth selling.

Facebook should get out of the marketplace arena. There are no clear-cut rules and they can block you for any or no reason at all.

I hope this refers to a Facebook Shop, not Facebook Marketplace. That’s what I am rating is the FB Shop. A third grade programmer could have designed a better platform. I waited 5 months for shipping label functionality. There were no packing lists to print. My inventory would not display in alphabetic order. After working with their support team on this issue for months, their solution was that ‘inventory does not necessarily have to be displayed alphabetically’. There’s an option to sort A-Z or Z-A. Doesn’t work when inventory is manually added. The CSV bulk add tool didn’t work for a long time too. I had a lot of hope for this platform, but they are light years behind.

As a full-time seller, I hate selling on Facebook. My impression is that Facebook sees Marketplace as just another income stream and are ramping it up piecemeal. Their customer service and seller communication is non-existent. Every day I read stories about a seller who was blacklisted and has no clue what the reason is. Payouts take too long, and the whole Marketplace seems to be a breeding ground for scammers. I know some people have had good success with FMP and I’m happy for them, but the idea of investing my time in creating a significant presence there scares me.

They block your website links to force you to create ad on Facebook. Even products got removed but if you advertise the product on Facebook, there is no product removal. Worst place for selling.

Listing is fast. I don’t use their shipping service, as I have to print shipping labels (I’m disabled), and they have “pre-printed” shipping labels. Not sure if that means printed before the sale. You don’t get paid until the item is delivered. What if the post office loses the pkg?

If you don’t have any issues, FB Marketplace is more profitable than the other sites I use, and the customers are easier to work with than on other platforms. That said, seller help is practically non-existent. They took $ out of my bank account to refund a late-arriving USPS package over the holidays and won’t respond to my contact efforts. In the meantime, the customer has the product AND my money!

Facebook needed the recently updated “business” section overhaul and is a lot better than before. Looking forward to the upcoming year as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook would be able to share a “catalogue” importing listings from eBay, Amazon, Etsy etc would be quite nifty, I had already entered the “pixel” I created on Facebook on my Etsy store settings, and then BAM! nothing.

I sold a few items in FB locally and a couple requiring shipping. For the ones requiring shipping, once the sale was made, I was not able to locate the listing or see where my money was. It’s unclear to me how to actually get my money out of it and there doesn’t seem to be any customer support. I plan to keep my listings as local (cash) only because of this.

Syncing never works with Shopify. Advertising is confusing and a waste of money. Search never brings customers. Too many different pages which is confusing. Can’t any longer access my biz page from my personal page. Way too many confusing settings.

Rules & policies are hidden from the sellers. They won’t answer within a few days of posing a question. Their rules & policies aren’t broad enough to answer many questions.

I find Facebook more confusing to use. I sold 1 item out of 20 in about 2 weeks and got discouraged. They seem to worry more about getting additional revenue by buying their advertising. I lost about $100 to ads that did nothing, Very discouraged with Facebook.

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
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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