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Facebook Marketplace: The Latest Virtual Garage Sale

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eBay is so yesterday.

Now, the world’s most lovable social media platform has freshened up its features by adding a brand new function that enables users to buy, swap and sell goods. Enter: Facebook Marketplace.

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The cool new way to sell your junk

It’s a bold but ingenuous move bound to attract digital audiences (because Facebook isn’t popular enough as it is), with more than 450 million of its users already using the platform to buy and sell items. After noting the exponential number of Facebook groups dedicated to creating online garage sales, old Mr Zuckerberg sensibly decided to capitalise on this business opportunity by making it an official feature of the social network.

Judging by the success of online trading websites like Gumtree and Craigslist, it’s likely that Facebook Marketplace will serve to satisfy its social-savvy users. After all, these days we use Facebook to connect with friends and family, share photos and videos, follow public figures and businesses, catch up on the news, find events near us, make phone calls, and indulge in private conversations. We’ll even be using Facebook for work in the very near future. So why not use it to update our homes? (Yes, despite the digital saturation, our physical abodes are still kinda important).

But how does it work?

Facebook Marketplace allows users over the age of 18 to either browse through categories if they’re after something in particular, or to simply check out random bargains on offer. With easy-to-use location and price filters, buyers can customise their search to their liking.

For sellers, the process is pretty straightforward: simply take a snap of your item, enter a product name, description and price, confirm your location and category and post away.

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Potential buyers are then connected to sellers via a Messenger thread where they can privately liaise with one another. Unlike eBay, Marketplace does not include an in-built payment system, therefore the seller ultimately decides how a customer will pay them – whether that’s via PayPal or by exchanging cold hard cash in person.

The easy Facebook navigation bar we have become so accustomed to helps direct users around the newest feature, so there’s very little chance of getting lost in the latest digital flea market.

Combining social media with e-Commerce to create a one-stop shop

If Facebook Marketplace proves to be as successful as we predict it will be, it has the potential to become the first port of call for buying and selling items and services locally. This is great for small traders and those looking to make a bit of extra coin on the side of their full-time jobs.

We reckon that’s definitely cause for a virtual thumbs-up.

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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