Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Feb 10 2015 22:48:54

Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

By: Ina Steiner

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In response to the way people are using Facebook, the company launched new features to make it easier to buy and sell online.

In today's announcement, Facebook said "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, and they can mark posts as Available or Sold and easily view their catalog of items previously sold.

See Wednesday's Newsflash for more about the new features.



We asked the company for more information, here are its responses to our questions.

How do people generally pay for items sold through Facebook Groups?
The transaction completion is 100% up to the buyer/seller.

Why did you launch the composer in New Zealand first?
We chose the groups in New Zealand because they have active selling communities.

How many listings have been created by New Zealand users (and in what time span exactly)?

We don't break out the specific numbers, but there are tens of millions of Facebook Groups today and For Sale groups are one of the most common types of groups.   

Are you able to track sales? If so, any data you can share, such as dollar volume processed and sell through rates?
No, all transactions are handled entirely between the buyer and seller. Facebook does not facilitate the transactions in any way.

Can you tell me what other initiatives the Groups Commerce team are working on?

We do not have further product details to share at this time.

What advice could you offer our readers who want to sell more successfully with the help of Facebook?

Selling:
- Include pictures and a brief description of your item (color, measurements, damages, etc.).
- Specify your location to help buyers identify items for sale near them.
- Always remember to mark posts as ‘Available’ or ‘Sold’ so people in the groups can easily see what’s still on the market and sellers can keep track of their items.

Buying:
- Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions.
- Be an informed buyer. Do your own research on the items (original pricing, reviews, etc.).


Let us know what you think of Facebook as a selling platform and its new features for sellers. And how far will Facebook go with its ecommerce features?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: MrSpireite This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 05:03:00 2015

Interesting to see how ebay will react ?

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 11 06:42:35 2015

I would think that some of these Facebook groups would be particularly interesting to collectors. Great idea.  

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 10:42:09 2015

If Craigs List were to jump on creating groups, and since they are already so firmly entrenched as a local buy/sell source it would be a fantastic benefit to local users!

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 12:54:49 2015

Lesson learned long ago............... never sell anything to or lend money to a "friend".

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 14:31:27 2015

Poster "MrSpireite" asks "…how eBay will react…" to another FREE site expediting merchandise transactions.  

Two word answer:  FEE INCREASE!

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 14:34:25 2015

Note that on F/B "…the transaction complete [ie. payment & shipping] is entirely up to the buyer/seller."

Translation:  We don't force parties to use our abusive, captive payment service so you can sell with 100% safety…your money will not be taken away from you by a scammer!

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 14:47:36 2015

Facebook, No! Beware! I hate facebook it is useless for sales as far as I am concerned. They want you to pay like Google Adwords and the high cost and work involved is not good for small business.
Facebook and Google Adwords may work for a large business who do not care about the fees and have someone dedicated to take care of facebook only.
Unless you are certain that your item sell when someone sees it, forget it the sell through rate on facebook is horrible.
Word of mouth, multiple venue listing and great customer service is you best route.

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 11 15:13:57 2015

Reply to "Refugee!" I will stipulate that sell-thru on F/B may be dismal, but considering the rip-off FEES that JD charges, is eBay providing its customers their money's worth?  That was my sole point here.  

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Feb 11 16:52:28 2015

I've notice a few ''for sale'' items on a particular niche group in my area of interest & expertise. I was tempted to contact the seller & buy the items for sale. Within a half-hour however, the ''sold'' post was made.

There were other items made available through a dealer I know. My initial thought is am I willing to let everyone know I'm a dealer & I'm hawking product? But after seeing some sales being made, my thoughts are starting to change.

Perhaps a post with information & photos on the piece plus a by-the-way-it's-for-sale would be more in keeping than the L@@K RARE ITEM type of selling.

If the group turns into a circus, then it'll be time to move on.

Hell, I'm in the selling business, we're just negotiating price.

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 00:43:24 2015

We have bought and sold a few items via Face Book here in a very rural area--and I am certainly going to be looking into it more and also Craigs.  

When you go an entire MONTH plus with NO sales at ebay--well ya gotta do what ya gotta DO.  

WE have also sold and bought ON CL and been very pleased---giant kids wooden play set $50;  sold baby toys we got for free for a few hundred---yeah--I like me a good CL deal. And I saved time effort and haul-away money when our water heater died--some one came and hauled it off for the scrap metal value.  

Aside from the guy who tried to tell my daughter that I did not WANT my antique stone sharpener rig ---well let's just say--he has not MET me! Just be careful and if you need to meet these people in the local busy parking lot or at the police station.  Cash only.  

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: lostandfoundantiques This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Feb 12 09:43:23 2015

We are finding the local Facebook auction sites to be a real boost to our on-line business.  We are in 2 groups one has a group meet every Saturday the other a group meet every Sunday.  There are 2 days at the beginning of the week to post the items you want to sell that week then the next 4 days are the bidding wars.  The weekly auction ends at a posted time the night before the scheduled meet.  At the time the adminstrators of the site tag all of the winners and is it the sellers responsibility to send them a Private Message telling how much they owe and what car you will be in at the group meet.  We are selling about 50 to 60 items a week this way.  The group meets are like a local out of your trunk flea market a couple of hundred people show up all at one time and you wait for your buyers to come to you pick up their items.  Everyone is local they cannot have an out of the community address, if they do not follow the rules as stated or are a no show they are removed from the group.  The even better flip side of this is we are buying great items at these meets as well for very low cost and posting them on ebay to sell. All items when listed start at $1.00 unless you request a minimum bid.  Also been a great way to make connections and let people know about our other online ventures and items we have available.

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 20:33:29 2015

My comment is directed to Ina Steiner and concerns the results and comments from Seller Choice 2015 and selling via Facebook.

First of all, selling on Facebook via groups is different than using a page to drive traffic to sales platforms and websites.

Local groups are selling face-to-face and exchanging money for product, similar to a flea market or yard sale.

Pages are used by businesses that include eBay, Esty, and the likes to promote their business.

Combining the two into a survey does not accurately portray the success of selling via Facebook groups.  Only by reading through all the comments can one try to make sense of selling on Facebook.

As for the ratings, they are a mixture of groups and pages.  And there seemed to be more page comments than groups.

How could 'profitability' only receive a 4.05, when groups are 100% profit.  Pages on the other hand and from the comments, are not profitable.

As for 'Customer Service' and 'Communication', that's between the seller and potential buyers and has nothing to do with Facebook.

'Ease of use' for posting to groups is as easy or easier than most selling venues; and therefore recommending Facebook groups as a selling venue, should have a much higher rating.

I sell on a local yard sale group consisting of almost 19,000 members; and I think I can speak for most, it's the best thing since mom's apple pie.

I also admin a local auction group and it too, only gets better.

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: tbyr This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 14 06:32:06 2015

To Mr_Sheeny
I would like to get on your :
local yard sale group consisting of almost 19,000 members
I am probably not local but I do ship for Free.

I am a jack of all trades in the business of collectibles, toys and assorted goods.

How do I find on face book these kinds of groups?

I mostly specialize in Disney but I have not been lucky about finding groups I have found
Disney pin groups but they most do trading. Can you make any suggestions on how I find these
Groups on Facebook??

Thanks

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 14 11:26:03 2015

tbyr
Sorry, I co-admin our local yard sale group and you must be local to join.

You can try searching using keywords such as 'yard sale'; 'garage sale'; 'auction'; etc.

Here's an international group that deals in antique and vintage

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AntiqueVintageResale/

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Mr_Sheeny This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 15 22:51:31 2015

Don't know who might be following these new FB selling features, but here's a group admin's observation after using for a few days.

''1 - ALLOWS FOR SEVERAL PICS however only the first 4 will be visible on the wall so I suggest make a new post for items over 4.

2 - NEVER LOSE A POST AGAIN - FB will automatically keep a running list of your items posted at the top of the wall before the members posts. It will separate your items into POSTS and SOLD for easy reference and bumping.

3 - TO BUMP YOUR POSTS TO THE WALL YOU MUST click on the photo in your post to open it up and then comment ''bump'' in the comment line and then it will go back to the wall for all to see.

4 - SEARCHING THE PHOTOS TAB - Items will move down the wall as usual. If you search the ''photos tab'' and find something you are interested in, just comment on the item and it will automatically send a notification to the seller. It does NOT bump the item with your comments back to the wall like it used to so do not panic when you do not see it on the wall. This is good because the wall will not be overloaded by items repeatedly bumped because of questions being asked.

5 - SOLD ITEMS - use DROP DOWN ARROW to mark SOLD (your items auto transfer to your sold list). This does not show the item as sold to Admins ...only to you and then you must delete it yourself.

6 - ALBUM USERS can not post to the albums using the sell feature and will have to continue posting as usual.''

#1 sounds much like the old way.
#2 is a much needed improvement.
#3 will have to see to fully understand.
#4 is good because multiple posts will not be showing on the wall
#5 is a plus.
#6 doesn't seem to be a big deal; will know more when our local group gets all these 'improvements'.

I think Facebook is taking group selling serious.  Hurray!

Perminate Link for Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features   Facebook Answers Questions about New Selling Features

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Feb 17 09:30:41 2015

I have participated in Facebook selling groups for 4 years. In just my first month, I sold $900+ of unwanted craft supplies! I have sold handmade things, antiques, and many more craft supplies over the years. However, I have yet to see Facebook's new selling format.



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