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Facebook allows users to sell items to each other

February 11, 2015

Facebook is introducing a new feature to Groups that will allow members to sell items to each other. The addition of a sell feature marks the company's second attempt to tackle the classified market.

Facebook is introducing a new feature to Groups that will allow members to sell items to each other. The addition of a sell feature marks the company’s second attempt to tackle the classified market.

Facebook’s new feature will help users sell items to each other
Mashable reported Facebook has started rolling out its new sell feature, which will allow people to buy and sell things on the platform. Similar to Craigslist or eBay, users will be able to sell things by posting pictures, descriptions, prices and details on pick-up and delivery. While Facebook already allows selling in Groups, the overhaul introduces a more organized and formal way of listing salable items. It was indicated, however, that the new feature will probably not be sizable enough to take away market share from Craigslist.

USA Today noted that Facebook previously tried to enter the classified market with Marketplace in 2007, but postings never received much user attention. Facebook eventually gave control of Marketplace to partner Oodle in 2009. Perhaps this attempt will prove to be more successful.

Facebook’s sell feature will have added functionality
According to Mashable, Facebook users will be able to mark their listings as “available” or “sold” to let their community know the status of their items. Additionally, the site will allow users to scroll through sold items. The benefit of this is that the site can be used as a work portfolio of sorts, especially for home-based businesses, artists and other people who rely on Facebook to market their work. However, it is likely that the site will predominantly be used to facilitate the sale of collectibles, books and electronics.

TechCrunch noted that while the new feature is now being rolled out for iOS and Android users, it will not be available for public Pages. Retailers frequently use targeted advertising on Pages to gain greater consumer visibility. It is unclear whether Facebook intends to integrate the sell feature into Pages in the long term. The company makes considerable revenues from selling advertising and probably does not want to interfere with that until it knows exactly what the repercussions will be.

Ultimately, it is interesting to see Facebook entering the classified market again. The company has already explored other areas of e-commerce, like mobile payments and money transfers, but allowing users to sell items to each other could prove to be a very successful venture.

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