How Facebook Marketplace works

If you want to sell stuff online, you can go to eBay and the Dutch for years. A new platform has also been added for some time now: Facebook Marketplace. For many people this is still an unknown area and that is a shame, because it is an excellent way to sell (and buy) stuff.

1 Advertisement

The interface of Facebook Marketplace will be clear to Facebook users pretty soon. You can find Marketplace at the top left bottom News overview and messenger. If you click on this, you will immediately see the advertisements that others have placed. At the top you can enter a search term, and on the left you can select categories and indicate in which region you are looking for something. To place an ad yourself, click sell something. When you fill in the requested information and Next one click, you can place your ad immediately and it will be found by others. But what exactly do you enter?

2 Research

Before you fill in the information of your ad, it is good to do some research first. What other similar items can you find on Facebook Marketplace, what is the average demand for this item, and what was used as text for the title and description? By looking closely at what others are doing, you can decide to do exactly the same (after all, they were the first to appear in your search) or do something completely different in an attempt to stand out thanks to originality.

3 Short title

Keep your title short, but make sure it's a descriptive title. A title such as For sale: cupboard, covers the load in itself, but says nothing about the cupboard. You can omit 'For sale' anyway, (you will want to sell something that you put on Marketplace). A title such as: 'Four-door apothecary cabinet with secret storage compartment' is perfectly doable in terms of length. Such a title is clear, descriptive, but also arouses curiosity. Also think about posting a good photo: preferably one that you have taken yourself and not one of a new product from the manufacturer!

4 Description

Try to make people curious, but then give them information. Your title should be short and sweet, but the description should be long and informative. If you make an ad with only three lines of text, there will be a large group that will ignore your ad. In addition, you will spend a lot of time with people who are interested and will ask you all kinds of questions via Facebook Messenger (only to then drop out because it is not what they are looking for). So provide your ad with as much useful information as possible, so that the only question people may have is whether the price can be improved and whether the product is still available.

5 Respond quickly

On this has always been important, but on Facebook things are moving so incredibly much faster that in this case it is really essential to be available after you have placed your ad so that you can respond quickly. Sending a message via Facebook Messenger is easy. That is convenient, but it also means that the threshold for people to respond is low. So people send ten messages to different sellers in this way. You understand: if you are the last to respond, the chance that you will sell your product is virtually nil. People are usually not very patient.

6 Negotiate?

Negotiation: that's something we don't like very much as a seller in the Netherlands. Yet it really belongs to sales platforms like this one. Whether it is necessary or not to participate in a negotiation is determined by a number of factors. If there are many other people who offer such a product for a tenner less, people will naturally try to haggle. If you receive a lot of messages after placing your ad, then your ad is popular and there is no immediate need to haggle. If after a day only one person responds and tries to haggle, you will more quickly consider going along with it.

7 Reduce price

If no one responds to your ad, it could be that you simply don't have an interesting product, that you didn't advertise with a good title+description, or that the price is so high that people don't even bother to respond. In the latter case, you can easily lower the price via Facebook. Facebook then indicates with a green color that the price has fallen. People who have shown interest in your advertisement will immediately receive a notification. That is both positive and negative. It will lead to more attention for your advertisement, but at the same time it also makes it clear that you really want to get rid of your product ... and that you are therefore willing to negotiate the price.

8 Share

What you post on Facebook Marketplace doesn't automatically end up on your timeline. If you would like to sell a product, share it on your timeline yourself, so that your friends and family can see this ad. Since an algorithm change by Facebook, this kind of content from friends is much more visible again, making it more likely that friends will see your ad. Buying from friends and family is a lot more familiar than from strangers, and that's exactly what a social network like Facebook is good at.

Or Marketplace?

The similarities between Facebook Marketplace and are great. Yet there are also important differences. A big advantage of Facebook Marketplace compared to is that Facebook works with existing user profiles and that gives you a lot of information about the seller. That is of course still not one hundred percent safe, but it is much easier to notice when it is not a real person. An advantage of Facebook Marketplace is that the company (as yet) does not try to earn anything from the service, so you do not suffer from all kinds of payment constructions that should help you to get your advertisement up again.

Of course there are also disadvantages compared to For example, Marktplaats offers you the opportunity to pay securely via iDeal and there are functions such as Equal Crossing. With Facebook you don't have all those options and you have to figure out how to handle the payment yourself. And it might be nice that it's not a commercial platform, but it also means that you don't have the option to place your ad at the top if you wanted to.

Finally: we like the transparency of selling via Facebook, but on the other hand, not everyone needs to know that we are selling our household goods. Marktplaats is therefore a bit more anonymous in that regard.

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