Facebook is a popular place to connect with family and friends, share photos and join interest groups. Did you know you could also sell items and even start an ecommerce company on Facebook? You only need a Facebook account to start selling immediately.
This guide will show you how to sell on Facebook Marketplace using the proven techniques that I recommend to Amazon sellers.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook introduced the Marketplace in 2016 and it quickly became a popular way to sell items to local buyers. Facebook Marketplace is safer than Craigslist and easier to use for local selling. Now, Facebook further sets itself apart from Craigslist by allowing eligible sellers to offer nationwide shipping for products in certain categories–providing them with a much larger customer base than local-only sellers.
How big is the Facebook Marketplace?
People tend to view the Marketplace as a clearinghouse of unwanted or used household items, despite its origins as an online buy/sell site. Its shipping capabilities make it ideal for retail arbitrage, which is the practice of purchasing in-demand products at a retail store and then reselling them online at higher prices. The Marketplace is a great place to start if you are new to it. Take some time to browse the various products. You can sell almost anything on the Marketplace, just like eBay and Craigslist.
Who should sell on Facebook Marketplace?
The short answer to that question is “anyone!” The Facebook Marketplace is for those who have excess stuff but also for entrepreneurs, Amazon sellers and woodworkers. In reality, seller strategies are not much different between Facebook and other platforms such as Amazon and eBay. Facebook does not charge any fees for listing your items, unless you are selling them locally. The seller only pays 5% of the price for shipping orders when a customer places an item on Facebook. Listing products on Facebook is easy for both new and experienced ecommerce sellers due to the low overhead.
What are the steps to sell on Facebook?
You only need an active Facebook account to sell on Facebook Marketplace. It’s that easy! You will need to add shipping information to your listings if you wish to include shipping.
A step-by-step guide on how to sell on Facebook Marketplace
How do you set up your Facebook Marketplace account?
Facebook Marketplace is available to those who already have an active Facebook Account. You should see the “Marketplace” tab on the left-hand corner of your Facebook homepage. Search for “Marketplace”, in the search bar, and it will appear.
It’s simple to create a Facebook account if you don’t already have one. Click on “Create a New Account” at Facebook.com. Fill in your details and click “Sign up.”
Your account will then be ready for use.
It’s important to complete some information in order to make yourself appear more real and trustworthy on the Marketplace. If you don’t have a profile picture or basic information, people won’t be able to purchase from you.
It’s that simple! After your Facebook account has been created, you will be able to access the Marketplace.
What should Facebook sell?
Facebook Marketplace is similar to Craigslist and eBay. You can sell almost anything. The first step in selling on Facebook is to go through your house, garage or attic and see if there’s anything you can resell.
You can sell old furniture, electronics, and books. You can browse the Marketplace to see what other sellers are selling in your local area.
Take a look at the product photos and descriptions of other sellers while you are doing so. What were your experiences as potential customers? And what could you improve upon? Did the seller provide accurate dimensions and photos from multiple angles of the product? Keep these observations in mind when you create your listings (more information on building listings in Step 4)
Categories on Facebook Marketplace: There are many categories you can sell on the market, including pet supplies and musical instruments. The complete category list is available here:
- Rentals of property
- Get free stuff
- Garden & outdoor
- Home goods
- Supplies for home improvement
- Pet supplies
- Sporting goods
- Toys and games
Product Research – To ensure that your product is profitable before you sell on Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to do some product research. This is an important step for anyone who wants to start an ecommerce store through Facebook. Data is key to product research. It considers how many units of the product have been sold over time, at what price, and how many other sellers are competing in the same niche.
Facebook Marketplace mainly deals with local sales of one-off products and doesn’t have much data to help us determine what sells. We don’t have to guess what will sell, we can simply look at what is selling on other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
There are many ways to estimate profitability. Jungle Scout is one such tool. Jungle Scout’s powerful features, such as Keyword Scout and Product Database, analyze Amazon sales data to identify profitable opportunities in just a few clicks. Jungle Scout’s product search tools are optimized for Amazon, but the insights they provide can be used to help you in the Facebook Marketplace.
It’s not necessary to use software for product research. I’ll show you manual methods to use. When selling online, you must trust data more than your gut feelings.
Let’s discuss the three most important things to keep in mind when researching products for an ecommerce marketplace: demand, profitability, and competition.
Profitability – Facebook doesn’t charge selling fees, unlike Amazon and eBay. There are no listing fees or referral fees. Facebook charges a small fee to set up shipping for your listing. This fee covers the cost of processing payments for their checkout system. Facebook charges $0.50 for items sold at $10.
Shipping fees and eBay fees: 14%
Referral fees to Amazon: 15% + 15% FBA fees
Simply subtract your purchase cost from the selling price to calculate your potential profit.
Demand – We need data from Amazon and eBay to get a better idea of what’s being sold, since Facebook does not provide any data. We can view completed and sold listings on eBay so we can calculate the sale-through rate. This is the ratio of the sold listings to the active listings. It is expressed in percentages. This process is covered in detail in our guide to selling online. We’ll go over it again here. A high sell-through ratio indicates strong demand. This means that a significant number of products are being sold. A product with a low sale-through rate indicates that there isn’t much demand.
Concurrence – You’ll compete with many other sellers on Facebook Marketplace, whether you’re selling a couch, a car or your own product. It is easy for listings to be lost in search results, as you can see from the Charizard cards example. Optimize your listing with high-quality photos and a descriptive keyword-rich description to make it stand out. I will give you some tips in a later section.
How to create product ideas – For inspiration, you can take a look on eBay’s “Trending deals” page if you are having difficulty deciding what product to sell on Facebook. You’ll find the most in-demand, popular products there. These are some tips to help you narrow down your product search. Keep an eye out to see if there are any new releases of your favorite items. You can take advantage of high-demand product releases. Resellers purchased inventory of the new Xbox and PS5 gaming consoles to resell on platforms like eBay and Facebook.
Seasonal products – Consider the different items that you purchase as the seasons change. Winter months offer great opportunities to buy jackets, coats and holiday decor. Summer months are great for inflatable pools and swim gear.
Items that are common and everyday – While it’s great to be able to sell trendy and exciting products online, reliable ecommerce sellers tend to go unnoticed. Facebook Marketplace is a great place for everyday household items such as furniture, cleaning products, and glassware. These types of products will always be in demand.
How to source products for sale on Facebook
Once you have a good idea of the products that will be most popular on Facebook, what next? It is very similar to purchasing products on eBay and Facebook. My opinion is that the best route to sourcing products for Facebook is to use retail arbitrage. Let’s start with that. There are other options that I would like to talk about.
Resellers of retail products – This is called retail arbitrage. It’s a business model that works well with Amazon. In fact, Amazon sellers who do retail arbitrage make up 19% and more than half of them sell $1,000 or more per month. It works well on eBay so it’s not surprising that you could also succeed on Facebook. You will find customers if there are people looking in your local area for the same products. Keep in mind that people will notice marked-up products and Facebook users won’t hesitate to criticize sellers who do it. You should price arbitrage products fairly and avoid these people. You will eventually receive messages from buyers. Look for clearance and sales items in retail stores such as Walmart, Target, or even grocery stores. You will most likely find amazing deals to resell. Take our eBay example as a guide and browse the eBay app. Then, use the Sell-through Rate Method to find profitable opportunities.
You can sell your private label products – There’s a good chance that Facebook Marketplace already has your private label product. This means you may be able to list your product on the platform. Amazon sellers who mainly run private-label companies currently sell on Facebook 10%, with another 8% looking to expand in 2021. If you are new to the idea of private-label products, know that Amazon has proven to be a great place to sell your products and there is also a good chance on Facebook. Facebook Marketplace boasts over 800 million users in the United States, which is a large pool of potential customers.
The advantages of the private label model
- Your brand and product can be unique
- Selling something you can’t sell to the public is what sets you apart from other sellers
- Source your products from outside the U.S. to save money
Visit your local thrift shop – Thrift stores are a great place to find hidden treasures. One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, as they say. Hidden treasures that are priced well below the market will be found if you’re persistent and look hard enough.
You should look out for designer or vintage clothing, as well as used but functional toys and furniture.
Garage sales and estate sales are good sources – You can find amazing items at a lower price in estate and garage sales. A homeowner will often have one of these sales because they are moving or trying to clear out their home. This means that they may be willing to let go of unwanted items. These sales can be unpredictable but if you are persistent you will find gold. These two websites are free and can help you find estate sales or garage sales in your area.
How to list items
After we have reviewed product research and sourcing, let’s look at how to create listings and make money. Facebook makes it easy for you to list your products for sale. In this example, we’ll use a desktop computer to list products. However, you can list products using your smartphone.
- Click “Marketplace” in the left-hand menu of the Facebook homepage.
- Next, click “Create a new listing.”
- Next, click on “Choose your listing style.” You have the option to choose between “Item for Sale”, Vehicle for Sale”, Home for Sale or Rent, or Job Opening.
- We will choose “Item for Sale.”
- You will now need to fill out all product information and upload images. This is where we start the process of listing optimization. We make our product more visible to customers and more likely for them to click on it.
To improve your SEO, make sure that your listing title and description contain as many keywords as possible. This will help your product appear more prominently in search results for the same product or similar products. Customers will see your product more if you provide detailed information and keywords.
This section will allow you to choose your delivery method. To target both local and distant customers, we can select “Shipping and Local Pickup” for video game consoles. You can also choose to ship only or have local pickup only. So as to not exclude potential buyers, I will choose “Shipping and Local Pickup”. We will use a Facebook prepaid label, which simplifies the shipping process. You can also create and print your shipping labels elsewhere. To determine the label’s cost, choose the package weight. Facebook will show you the amount of money you can make after someone purchases your product. The final step is to choose where you want to list your product. It is possible to list the product in the Marketplace. You can search for local “buying/selling groups” and join them. This is a great way for your products to be seen by more people. Once you have chosen where to list it, click “Publish.” Now your product is available for sale on Facebook!
Once your listing has been made public, you can expect to begin receiving messages from potential buyers. Once your listing has been published, the first thing you need to do is to download the Facebook Messenger app for your phone. This will ensure that you don’t miss any messages.
How to communicate effectively with buyers
As I said, rude customers are possible, especially when you’re selling a product at a higher price than retail. No matter what the situation, just be calm and respectful.
- To increase your chances of selling, answer all messages promptly
- You can ignore messages from rude or angry people or block them
- You can use the messenger app to answer your questions even if you are not at your computer
- Expect to negotiate. Customers will lower you.
- When asked, communicate your lowest price respectfully and remain firm.
How to manage a local sale
It’s not necessary to warn you that it can be risky to meet strangers online. These safety tips will help you be careful when giving a product to a local customer. You can meet in a parking lot near a shopping mall where there are likely to be many people. If you are meeting at night, park close to the entrance of the store or under a lightpost. Many police stations have designated areas where you can meet people to purchase and sell goods. My local police department has a Safe Exchange Zone that is well lit and monitored by 24-hour surveillance cameras. If you feel comfortable with the arrangement, tell the person your address so they can pick it up at their convenience. You’ll need a counterfeit money pen if you sell high-value items to cash buyers.
Before you meet up, it is possible to view the profile of someone before you go. You can always view someone’s profile and see a few photos of yourself. Stop communicating with customers if they are not being honest. Follow your instincts. Facebook also allows you to report suspicious activity or people on the Marketplace.
Advanced Selling Tips for Facebook Marketplace
Once you master the art of listing optimization and product research, you will be an expert on Facebook Marketplace. Let’s look at some next-level strategies that can increase your sales.
Boost your listings – By “boosting” your listings on Facebook, you can make them more visible by moving them to the top of Marketplace search results. Your listing can be “boosted”, which is basically turning it into an advertisement. This comes with several benefits.
Your listing will appear in people’s newsfeeds.
- Target customers who are most likely to be interested in your message by customizing your audience
- You can set your own campaign budget and date range
- Facebook insights about the performance of your listing
- Here are some ways to increase your market listing.
- Go to “Your Account” in Marketplace. Click on “Your Listings.”
Next, determine your daily budget and increase duration. Facebook will calculate your audience reach using your budget so that you can make an informed decision about how much to spend.
Once you have set your budget, then you can select the audience that you wish to target. Facebook lets you target people by their location, age, or even their interests. For future reference, you can save your custom audience settings. Once you have defined your target audience click “Promote Now”, to start your boost campaign.
You can track the performance of your boosted ad with metrics such as reach and clicks once it starts to run. You can see how many people have seen your listing and what amount you spent.
Local delivery available at no cost – Customers don’t like having to travel far to pick up heavy furniture. You can boost your sales by offering local delivery for free within a reasonable range.
Great photos – This may seem obvious, but I am amazed at how many listings I see on Facebook that are blurry, dimly lit or have poor quality photos. Make sure that your photos are clear, crisp, and well-lit. You can be sure that people will request good photos if you don’t have them in your listing.
Amazon sellers can give tips on how to take great Facebook Marketplace photos. For more information, see our guide to product photography and best practices in Amazon product images.
Customers want to know what they are getting, so make sure you include quality images from all angles, close-ups to cosmetic errors, and lifestyle photos showing the product in action. Post your listing to local selling groups – This was already mentioned in Step 4, but I wanted to bring it up again. It is always helpful to put your products in front of local customers.
Remember that anyone can comment on your listing if it is posted in any of these buyer/seller group. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. You run the risk of disgruntled customers if you sell an item at a significantly higher price. If the group is active, your listing may be noticed immediately.
Renew your posting – You can renew your listing if your product hasn’t sold and has been on the market for less than 7 days. This will boost your listing to the top of search results, and it is free. Your listing will drop as more sellers add new products.
- Go to the Marketplace and click “Your Account”, then “Your Listings.”
- Click on the 3-dot icon at the listing thumbnail to locate your listing. You will see a drop-down menu where you can renew your listing.
Expand to other markets – If Facebook Marketplace is your first introduction to ecommerce you will eventually be able to move on to more advanced selling platforms such as Amazon or eBay.
Ebay is alive and well with 183 million buyers around the world. More than 70% of that traffic comes from the U.S. Ebay could be the next step in Facebook Marketplace’s evolution, since you can easily create an account and sell similar products.
Amazon’s audience is millions and includes 83% of all U.S. customers. It’s an ideal place to start and grow your ecommerce business. Shipping is made easy by Amazon’s sophisticated fulfillment network (Fulfillment By Amazon).