Facebook has another name for many people, that’s FaceBay – the nickname given to the hundreds of groups and communities that have popped up selling and trading goods. Now Facebook looks set to capitalise on this growth area by introducing clear new features to make buying and later selling even easier.
For a long time now my wife has used local community Facebook “Groups” to sell loads of kids toys, clothes and even furniture.
A group of like-minded people in a particular region is the perfect place to sell stuff. At first it was a bit ad-hock, people would post a photo, and buyers would comment “SOLD” or “NIL” (Next in Line) or “Sold pending” and ask a question about the item.
More recently Facebook made it a bit easier, by adding a “Sell Something” option into groups, so rather than posting as a photo and comment, you actually added data about your sale.
That sale is then listed in the group, and the buy swap or sell process goes on.
A little tickbox got added to that page, allowing you to also list the item in a wider regional Buy & Sell “feed”, and today Facebook started rolling out the Buy & Sell feature in the left-hand navigation of Aussie Facebook users.
Clicking that link takes you to a page showing all the items publicly listed for sale in your “area” as well as the items listed in groups you are a member of.
It’s a bold move, and a really smart pivot from Facebook.
There’s even categories for items too like this one for Computers & Electronics:
EFTM understands there’s no plans to charge a commission for sales, instead you can imagine Facebook’s data harvesting going to work to list advertisers within these pages – even retail products integrated into user style buy and sell items.
This to me feels like Facebook is taking direct aim at eBay, the worlds most dominant global online marketplace, and for good reason – that’s a lot of eyeballs, traffic and time spent on the site that could come from this.
There’s no clear buyer protection, only the buyer beware concepts of look for real profile pics, but users could still sell via PayPal for buyer guarantees, and of course when you think about it it’s actually just a highly regionally organised and digital version of the good old trading post.
A very interesting move, should eBay be worried? Hell yes, in our household alone we’ve sold many items on “FaceBay” and it’s easy – with no cost. Anything from $1 up.