The social media giant takes on eBay and Gumtree with its new classifieds hub.
Facebook today launched a buying-and-selling hub called Marketplace in Australia. Marketplace is designed for consumers, it's very simple and currently does not facilitate payments or deliveries.
At this stage we’re not sure if the terms and conditions allow businesses to use Marketplace, but if so, it would be only suitable for very small businesses with a limited range. It’s not designed for selling at scale – Facebook advises businesses to use pages for shop fronts – although it's still very early days in the social media giant's foray into the classifieds market currently served by the likes of eBay and (in Australia) Gumtree.
Perhaps tellingly in its press release, Facebook said: “We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”
Australia, the US, UK and New Zealand were the first countries to receive access to Marketplace. It’s is also only accessible to Facebook users over 18 years old via the Facebook app for iPhone and Android, although Facebook said: “We will continue expanding to additional countries and make Marketplace available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.”
The feature hadn’t appeared in our Android app at the time of writing, but according to Facebook: “To visit Marketplace, just tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the mobile Facebook app and start exploring.
“Marketplace opens with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale. To find something specific, search at the top and filter your results by location, category or price. You can also browse what’s available in a variety of categories such as Household, Electronics and Apparel. Use the built-in location tool to adjust the region you’re looking in, or switch to a different city altogether.
“When you find something interesting, tap on the image to see more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location. You can also save the item to find it later.
“Decided that you want it? Send the seller a direct message from Marketplace to tell them you’re interested and make an offer. From that point on, you and the seller can work out the details in any way you choose.”
Marketplace features a “Your Items” section, where you can track of all of your current and past transactions, view your saved items and all related messages.