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How Facebook Marketplace could be the eBay Killer

By Dan Wilson October 5, 2016 - 2:13 am

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?

  • Steve
    10 months ago

    Its time for eBay to start to look after its customers but will they doubt it to eBay sellers are not customers just noise and treated as cannon fodder and something that buyers are encouraged to scam on a daily basis and eBay just don’t care as long as these sellers pay their fees on time.

    They say you reap what you sow well eBay have been sowing the wrong seeds for years with crazy unfair policies well done Facebook give them a bloody nose

  • 10 months ago

    I can’t seem to find Marketplace on App even though just down loaded latest FB App…anyone else in UK seeing this menu option on mobile as supposed to be 1 of the bottom 5 menu icons?

  • james
    10 months ago

    what can ebay do that nobody else can?
    compared to all the alternatives, the only thing ebay has going for it these days is footfall.
    price, standards, treatment of sellers, reliability, all score 1 out of 10 on ebay.
    does anyone here trust ebay inc.? after dealing with them for a while, it’s plain to see they think you’re scum.
    once FB start professional selling, we’ll flock to it.
    cant wait to see ebay have to look up the word “loyalty” in a dictionary, then try to appeal to it somehow, they sunk that ship long ago.

    on the other hand, i imagine facebook may work out more expensive once they have the seller tools in place, their advertising program will be linked into it, and competition will be tight in many markets.
    no adverts = no sales (i imagine)
    enough adverts to sell = cheaper than ebay?

  • plasticman
    10 months ago

    Does anyone think – Ebay will loose a lot of smaller traders -February 2017 with compulsory EAN numbers?

    • glenn
      10 months ago

      just update your listings with EAN numbers

    • Sam O'levski
      10 months ago

      It would have helped if plasticman gave reasons we could discuss, but I’ll assume it’s down to compulsory EAN umbers leading to every item listed in many categories ( except things like collectables and vehicle parts for example) being instantly findable and then sorted by price, so the cheapest item with a good delivery speed will get the sale, and those smaller sellers will be unable to compete with their own wholesale suppliers, many of whom also list online.
      I was in a warehouse the other day where I spotted a pile of small packages with a courier’s labels on, so I had a quick glance when nobody was around, and saw all had different addresses on, meaning the wholesaler was now retailing online, as the packages were too small to be purchased by retailers.
      Bear in mind this wholesaler was an older man who had very little computer knowledge a year ago, and knew even less about things like ebay, so something has changed – I’ll ask a worker who usually gives me inside info, next time I go there.

  • Scott Brown
    10 months ago

    Not that Facebook doesn’t have the funds to complete such a task or the skilled manpower to write all the code, but the sheer size of the project from design and coding to hiring customer service staff equivalent to Amazon/Ebay, caring for the Data that runs the listings, and all of that before the “marketing” kicks in…. IMHO a 5 year plan at best. Because FB won’t go in half-assed like JET.

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