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The Complete Guide To Facebook Marketplace in 2021

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Is Your Business On Facebook Marketplace Too?

The Facebook Marketplace in 2021 is rapidly growing. It is really taking off.

And as an agency, we’ve helped our clients sell millions of dollars in products and services through Facebook pages and Facebook ad campaign results.

But it’s much more difficult to sell products with pages and ads because people on Facebook aren’t really looking to buy things.

That’s why when using these methods, you have to have an airtight sales pitch to generate traffic.

But with Facebook Marketplace in 2021, you have Facebook users who are actually looking for items to buy and sell which is amazing.

So in this post, we want to give you a complete guide on how to use Facebook Marketplace in 2021 to sell stuff.

And that’s whether it’s for business or you just want to get rid of personal items you don’t need anymore.

Also, since this is still a relatively new feature, we’re going to borrow some tried and proven techniques that Amazon and eBay sellers use as well.

Let’s go ahead and dive in with the basics and then build into more advanced levels as we go.

So let’s start by defining what the Facebook Marketplace is and walking through the history, very briefly

What Is Facebook Marketplace?

So Facebook Marketplace was first introduced in 2016 and is a platform that became popular for people to sell items to local buyers.

Its model is most compared to Craigslist, but Facebook Marketplace is viewed to be a little bit safer and user friendly.

And this is because you can verify people’s identity a little bit more.

Since its first launch, Facebook Marketplace now gives users the ability to sell products nationwide in certain categories.

And this provides sellers and buyers with a much larger marketplace.

Right now, Facebook has over 800 million marketplace users each month.

And people are using it to sell their used or unwanted household items. They are using it to sell their business products.

And some are even doing retail arbitrage.

This is basically the practice of buying in-demand products from a retail store and reselling them online for a higher price.

If you’re a gamer, think about the PlayStation 5 and how people were buying them when it was released.

And then when it was sold out, people started reselling them online on places like eBay, Amazon, and yeah Facebook Marketplace.

That is great retail arbitrage.

Who Should Sell On The Facebook Marketplace?

The answer is simple…anyone! It isn’t just for people who have extra stuff they want to give rid of, but it’s also for:

  • business owners,
  • eCommerce businesses,
  • Amazon sellers,
  • handmade artists, and
  • even brick and mortar stores

So it’s really about you and getting creative with your process for selling on the platform.

In fact, if you’re already selling on something like eBay or Amazon, the strategies are pretty similar.

But unlike other marketplaces, Facebook charges zero fees to list your items if you sell them locally.

And if an order requires shipping, the seller is only charged 5% of the sale price. So there are great margins for new or experienced eCommerce sellers.

What Do You Need To Start Selling On Facebook?

This process is extremely easy and in no way time-consuming.

So the one thing that you are going to have to do is have an active Facebook account.

It’s just that simple. If you have a Facebook profile, then you can enter the Marketplace and list anything you want to sell.

If you would like to offer shipping for your listings, the only extra step you need to take is to add your payment and shipping information to your account.

Facebook Marketplace Algorithm

We’re going to put up a quote straight from the developers of the marketplace which gives great insight into the algorithm and then we’ll summarize it.

So here it is:

“For buyers, we use computer vision and similarity searches to recommend visually similar products (e.g., suggesting chairs that look similar to the one the buyer is viewing) and the option to have listings translated into their preferred language using machine translation.

For sellers, we have tools that simplify the process of creating product listings by autosuggesting the relevant category or pricing, as well as a tool that automatically enhances the lighting in images as they’re being uploaded.”

So this is a little advanced, but if you can understand that algorithm, it can skyrocket your growth.

Because when you know how the algorithm works, you will reach more people and get more awareness, which in a marketplace quickly leads to more sales.

Basically how the algorithm works is that it will show buyers products that are similar to products that have searched for or viewed.

So there are two things to note here.

1. Make sure your products are optimized.

Optimize them so they can be found through the marketplace search engine.

How do you do it? A quick tip would be to add tags and descriptions you think that buyers would most likely search when on the marketplace.

2. Look at popular items within the Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace will show buyers products similar to what they have already viewed.

A bonus tip here is to look at popular items or competitor items within the marketplace that are performing well.

And then, optimize your product listing to be similar.

So that if people don’t buy your competitor’s product, they have a chance to see yours.

Guide To Setting Your Facebook Marketplace Listings 1. Find something you want to sell.

You can look around your house, garage, attic to find something you want to resell.

Or maybe you have a business with an existing product or maybe you want to do some kind of product flipping.

Once you have some ideas, then take a look around the marketplace to see what other sellers are selling.

This will give you an idea of what your pricing may need to look like, your description, and the pictures you need to take.

Now you can sell in many different categories, like video games, apparel, and electronics.

Here’s the category list in full:

  • Vehicles
  • Property rentals
  • Apparel
  • Classifieds
  • Electronics
  • Entertainment
  • Family
  • Free stuff
  • Garden & outdoor
  • Hobbies
  • Home goods
  • Home improvement supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Sporting goods
  • Toys & games
  • Groups

Once you have a general overview and have some solid product ideas that you want to proceed with…

…let’s start putting together some forecast through more product research.

2. Conduct product research.

This is a crucial step, especially for sellers who are going to commit to selling products through Facebook for the long term.

The three focal points of your product research are going to be profitability, demand, and competition.

  • Profitability

Now, this is a little bit easier with Facebook.

That’s because, unlike eBay or Amazon, you don’t have to factor in selling fees, listing fees, or even referral fees if you are selling locally.

If you want to ship products, Facebook will only charge a 5% selling fee.

This helps cover the cost of the payment processing for using their checkout system.

So for example, if you sell an item for $100, Facebook will charge you a $5 selling fee.

Now compare that to eBay and you will pay 14% or $14 as a selling fee AND still have to pay for shipping.

And with Amazon, you will have to pay a 15% referral fee and 15% if doing fulfillment by Amazon which is best for optimization on their platform.

Now of course, Facebook Marketplace fees may increase, especially as their marketplace continues to grow, so definitely take advantage while you can.

  • Demand

Since Facebook doesn’t directly provide us with any data, we have to look for other ways to determine product demand.

We would suggest researching other marketplaces and of course, one of the first and biggest marketplaces in the world is eBay.

With eBay, we can look at specific products and see when it was sold within the last 90 days. Let’s look at an example.

Right now, collectible Pokemon cards are coming back!

So we’re going to do a search on eBay for Charizard cards.

Facebook marketplace

And there are currently 56,521 Charizard available for sale.

And within the last 90 days, we can see that 45,379 Charizard cards were sold, which is over a 50% sell-through.

So clearly, there is a lot of competition with 56,000+ cards for sale.

BUT it’s balanced by a high demand, which means it’s a good product to sell on eBay and likely on Facebook Marketplace.

Now of course, there are paid and premium tools you can use to do much more sophisticated product market research.

But if you’re just selling a few items, then eBay research will likely be enough.

Also, with enough testing and experience, you’ll also be able to identify demand over time.

  • Competition

So just like how we calculate demand, it’s pretty easy to identify the competition. So our quick note on this is that competition is a good thing.

Let us say that again, competition is a good thing.

If you’re doing any kind of product research and there are no or very few competitors, then that may be a signal that it is not a good product to sell.

There are people who have been selling online since eBay was started in 1995 – that’s over 25 years.

And those people are experts on finding high-demand products, getting the supply, and then selling.

So, either you have stumbled upon a very rare opportunity, or more than likely the product isn’t in demand.

Once you nail down…

  • profitability (you know you can sell it and make money),
  • demand (you know people out there are trying to buy the product) 
  • competition (you know the volume of sellers you will be competing with)

…then you’re ready to start listing your item for sale. Here’s how to do it.

How To Sell Items On Facebook Marketplace

First, simply log into your personal Facebook account.

And then click on the left-hand menu on the Facebook homepage that says Marketplace OR go to www.facebook.com/marketplace/

On the left-hand side, you’re going to see a blue create new listing button.

Facebook marketplace

Next, click “Choose your listing type” you can choose from items for sale, vehicle for sale, home for sale or rent, and job opening.

We’re going to look at “Item for Sale”

Now, you’ll need to fill in all the product information and add product images.

This is where we begin the process of listing optimization to make sure our products are:

  • found by potential customers
  • engaging enough to be clicked
  • more likely to sell

So first, you want to be sure your title and description have relevant keywords to improve your search.

This will help your chances of your product showing in the search results.

You don’t want to jam your descriptions with keywords, but just try to add 3-5 relevant ones.

The more detailed information your description is and keywords you include the more likely Facebook’s algorithm will favor showing it to users.

For example, we will create a listing for Playstation 5 console that we may want to resale.

Facebook marketplace

We’ve titled it “Used PlayStation 5 with wireless controller”.

With this, there should already be zero confusion about what the customer will get if they see our listing.

In the description box, we will make notes of the condition and again what’s included with the purchase.

Of course, we added plenty of tags too. Adding tags is optional, but we highly recommend it. You want to try to add at least 5 tags to your listing.

Facebook marketplace

Here’s a preview of the listing:

Looks pretty good! In the next section, we need to choose shipping or local options.

For this example, we are going to choose “Shipping and Local Pickup” so we don’t exclude any potential buyers.

We’ll go for a prepaid label provided by Facebook, which makes the shipping process seamless. But you could always choose your own shipping options.

After we choose the weight, Facebook will preview how much money you can expect to earn when someone buyers your product.

After fees, the last step is choosing where you want to list the product.

Facebook marketplace

Of course, you need to add it to the overall marketplace, but you can also include local selling groups, which will help you get even more potential buyers.

After choosing the listing area, you are ready to publish and talk to buyers!

How To Communicate With Buyers

So if someone is interested in your listing, they can send you a message.

There are all sorts of buyers out there, some are impatient and others are unresponsive.

In either case, here is the best advice:

1. Answer messages as soon as possible.

This is to increase the chances of making a sale because if you respond too slowly, they will likely hit up other sellers.

2. If someone is rude or angry, just ignore them.

3. Expect to negotiate. People will lowball you and it’s okay to stand firm on your price.

How To Handle A Sale

We don’t need to tell you that meeting up with strangers you talked to on the internet can be a little sketchy.

So of course, be cautious when handing off a product to a local buyer, and follow these safety tips:

1. Meet in a public area like a shopping center parking lot where you know there will be lots of other people around.

If you’re meeting at night, park near the front entrance of a store that’s still open, or under a light post

2. Most police stations have a designated area where you can meet up with people to buy and sell goods.

For instance, our local police department has a “Safe Exchange Zone” that is well-lit and monitored by 24-hour surveillance cameras.

3. If you’re selling high-value items to cash buyers, you’ll want to keep a counterfeit money pen on hand.

4. You should always view someone’s profile before meeting up so you know who to expect.

Make sure they have a few real photos of themselves and basic information on their profile, such as where they live or work, family members, or life events.

If something seems off with the customer, stop all communication. Go with your gut.

Facebook allows you to report suspicious people or activity on the Marketplace as well.

Now since you made it this far, we have a bonus section for you.

How To Come Up With Product Ideas For Facebook Marketplace #1 – Keep your eyes open for new releases of popular items

When there is a popular item that is releasing soon like Beyonce’s new apparel release, a popular concert, or a new gaming system like the PS5…

…those are items that are going to have a huge demand and will likely sell out.

So if you can buy them on release day and then wait till it sells out and then resell them, you’re almost sure to make money.

2. Stay on top of new trends

We talked about the Pokemon cards coming back before. That is a new trend.

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And a lot of people are not paying attention. Some people are literally walking into stores, buying the card, and then selling them online for a profit.

3. Seasonal products

As seasons change, so will the needs of consumers.

So think about products that you can position during a particular season and be the first one to start offering them on the marketplace.

Stuff like selling Christmas sweaters in early November may put you ahead.

4. Sell perishable items

Products that turnover quickly will always have a high demand. We saw that with stuff like toilet paper in 2020.

So, think about things that are used every day and see if you can incorporate that into your marketplace catalog.

Wrapping Up

That just about sums up the Facebook Marketplace. Remember, you can make a lot of money with Facebook in the marketplace and on the platform overall.

So if you haven’t checked out our other Facebook posts that tackle Facebook business manager and Facebook business page then be sure to read them next.

And if you want to the most of this giant social media platform, our Facebook marketing company can help you out.

Contact us at 404-596-7925 to learn more about our Facebook marketing services! 

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