The changing landscape of buying and selling online

Facebook Marketplace
The online world made way for “trading post” and other websites such as eBay, before Facebook's Marketplace took off.

Whether buying products, selling household items or running a small business, social media can't be ignored, especially Facebook Marketplace.

Once upon a time the local newspaper classifieds were the place to be for all of the above.

Then the online world made way for “trading post” and other websites.

Tech Talk

Since the proliferation of online methods such as classifieds, Gumtree and eBay, much of the focus has been on monetising social media, particularly Facebook.

It seems like only yesterday that people started listing up items for sale to their friends and then groups started popping up.

Finally in 2016 Facebook introduced “Marketplace” to consolidate the sellers and buyers into one place.

With (according to Facebook) over 700 million customers it is hard to say that this hasn’t been a success.

Whilst the platform is large and successful, it isn’t without it’s challenges.

Facebook Marketplace: some things to look out for

Negotiation: due to the impersonal nature of the platform, people are very comfortable asking for deals.

Where in person some can be shy, most are happy to low ball on Marketplace. Consider this when pricing.

Trust: there is practically none from both sides of the transaction.

Whilst other platforms verify the seller and buyer, this is open to all.

Make sure you aren’t being taken for a ride and always be sure of what you are buying.

No shows: being stood up is never nice; particularly when there are other buyers that you are turning away.

Ensure that you communicate conditions of sale clearly.

Groups: Facebook Marketplace works best by allowing you to post your product to many groups at the touch of a button.

To get the most value out of the platform make sure you are a member of relevant local classifieds groups.

Don’t forget many have an approval process to plan ahead before selling (or buying).

Just like any buying or selling, due care and common sense is important.

These platforms are great for convenience but it is important to remember we are still buying and selling with another human.