How Facebook Marketplace could be the eBay Killer

Facebook revealed a significant move into the ecommerce marketplace space this week when it announced its new Marketplace feature. Most interesting was the revelation that already 450 million people make trades on Facebook. Here’s the post.

We all know anecdotally that stacks of people buy and sell on Facebook. And it seems to me that predominantly the traders are mums and family people selling items amongst themselves. Cash transactions and swift too. Mums trading with mums, it seems. Take my sofa for 30 quid. Quick sale stuff. Prove me wrong.

So how can Facebook become the eBay killer?

I’d say that there a few things that Facebook needs to address if it can truly ascend against eBay:

Professionalise for scale: If Facebook really wants to take over eBay then it needs to open itself up for bigger sellers. Listing tools and analytics. As it stands, it doesn’t look like that’s the way Facebook is going. It needs to move past the individuals and embrace merchants. So far the Facebook solution isn’t honed to sellers with a big inventory selection.

Payments: Sorting out payments and also protecting agin fraud is a tricky business. Facebook isn’t great an organisation on moderation and can be a bit foolish about what’s allowed. But being a grown up in the payments world is much trickier than it looks. Facebook will be challenged. Can Facebook win on payments?

Build on ubiquity: Facebook’s key advantage is that so many people use it. The ready marketplace of users is a beguiling plus point. Can it work?