Your Brand’s Guide to Facebook Marketplace: A New Channel For Growth

Imagine settling into your couch after a day at work and flipping on your TV — only to realize that it only shows one channel.

You’d be confused, annoyed, and disappointed.

Back in the day when Blockbuster was around, we’d grab our popcorn and candy while picking out a flick. It makes sense.

  • Order Uber Eats while in an Uber? Sure.
  • Booking an AirBnb experience while in your AirBnb? Of course.
  • Pairing your car and hotel rentals? So easy.

Determining your sales channel strategy is just the same: it’s important to give your shoppers a balance of choices.

According to the BigCommerce 2018 Omnichannel Report, fewer and fewer shoppers are spending their money in-person, opting instead for online purchases.

From a demographic standpoint, only 9.6% of Gen Z respondents bought an item in a physical store in a six month period. That’s considerably less than older generations buy items in a physical store – considerably less than their older generations (Millennials at 31.04%, Gen X at 27.5%, and Baby Boomers at 31.9% respectively).

Why Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook is an important tool for brands who are interested in selling their products to targeted audiences.

Previously only available as a peer-to-peer shopping marketplace, Facebook Marketplace has expanded to include merchant selling.

As of October 2018, more than 800 million people globally use Marketplace each month to browse, buy, or sell items, giving retailers an opportunity to drive discovery and sales of key products in a place where their consumers are already shopping.

Do keep in mind that Facebook Marketplace is currently only available for US merchants. 

Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of Facebook Marketplace now.

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Marketplace is a convenient destination for people to discover, buy and sell items.

People can find what they’re looking for by filtering their results by location, category and price.

Facebook Marketplace Categories

People and brands may list items in the following categories:

  • Classifieds.
  • Clothing & Accessories.
  • Deals.
  • Electronics.
  • Entertainment.
  • Family.
  • Hobbies.
  • Home & Garden.
  • Housing.
  • Vehicles.

Shoppers can view certain categories, view all categories, or search for a particular product.

Things To Consider When Selling on Facebook Marketplace

1. Orders must be shipped within 3 days and received within 7 days.

For brands that make handmade goods, it’s important to modify the amount you have available to solve for any issues with supply and demand.

2. Not all ecommerce platforms sync with Facebook Marketplace.

Below are examples of ecommerce platforms Facebook Marketplace is partnered with.

  • BigCommerce.
  • ChannelAdvisor.
  • ShipStation.
  • Shopify.
  • Zentail.
  • Quipt.
  • CommerceHub.

3. There will be lots of communication/messages from buyers.

“Facebook Marketplace is still a new concept for some consumers. Be patient in educating your consumers by answering questions as professionally and in a timely manner,” said Danette Martin, who owns the custom decal company Sweetums Signatures.

As with any sales channel, on Marketplace you’ll receive questions from people who are interested in purchasing your product, or from people who have already purchased and are organizing how they will receive the item.

The Benefits of Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace offers an easy way to help increase the discovery of a brand and its products.

1. Extended reach.

Retailers on Marketplace will be able to get their brand and products into the marketplace.

2. Personalized customer experience.

Facebook Marketplace surfaces products relevant to consumers, helping your business find the right customers.

This helps ensure that your product is being seen by the right audience, ultimately resulting in an increased opportunity that the interaction will lead to a purchase.

How to Sell on Marketplace

Selling on Facebook Marketplace is an easy process, but it is different for merchants versus individuals. Here, we’ll take a dive into both.

For BigCommerce merchants:

Integrating the Facebook Marketplace into your BigCommerce store is easy, according to Danette Martin, owner of Sweetums Signatures. “It’s extremely simple — and takes 10 minutes, maybe. You set up your account, sync your store, and have an instant presence with instant sales.”

Before you get started, make sure you prepare your store for the sync by making sure your inventory is up-to-date and accurate.

From your BigCommerce store control panel, navigate to your Channel Manager and select the Facebook icon.

From there, you’ll see a box that outlines the rules of Marketplace. Here, you’ll have the option to click a button to say you’re interested.

After clicking, you’re all set.

You’ll now be in Facebook’s Marketplace review process, which gives them time to determine whether or not your products are suitable to sell on Marketplace.

This process typically takes less than a week.

Currently, access to Facebook Marketplace by BigCommerce merchants is limited to those selling in the following categories:

  • Accessories.
  • Apparel (Men & Women).
  • Baby & Kids.
  • Bags & Luggage.
  • Beauty (Women).
  • Home Furnishings.

These Merchants Grew with Facebook Marketplace

Merchants all over the US have an opportunity to broaden their reach, get more purchases, and build their brand by using Facebook Marketplace as a new channel for sales.

For BigCommerce merchants, adding Facebook Marketplace is easy to do, with built-in support and growth coaches available to help with implementation. Read two success stories below.

1. Sweetums Signatures.

A family-owned business since 2007, Sweetums Signatures provides custom-made, affordable vinyl stickers and decals for all kinds of housewares. As owner Danette Martin was laying out her 2019 marketing plans, BigCommerce approached her about potentially listing Sweetums items on Facebook Marketplace.

After integrating Facebook Marketplace with the BigCommerce store, Sweetums was quickly able to make her inventory available for purchase — and it instantly saw success, including a 33% year-over-year increase in sales.

“Our sales have increased dramatically. It also gave our Facebook Business page a better presence,” said Danette.

As she continues to see success in her business, she’s soon expanding their product offering to include engraving as well.

2. Hats Unlimited.

With seven locations across Southern California, Hats Unlimited has sold a large variety of hats since setting up shop in 1994.

After searching for a new channel to add exposure to the brand, it decided to start selling on Facebook Marketplace.

Libero Gruppioni, owner of Hats Unlimited, reports that they’ve had great success ever since.

3. Spearmint LOVE

What started as a niche brand of “Made in the USA” blankets, Spearmint LOVE quickly evolved into a brand offering a variety of baby and children’s soft goods.

Facebook Marketplace Q&A

Starting to sell your items on Facebook Marketplace is a big decision, so it’s important that you make sure you know all of the ins-and-outs of the platform and how it integrates with your ecommerce provider.

1. Does Facebook charge for Marketplace?

No. Unlike other marketplaces, Facebook Marketplace charges no listing fees.

2. How do you download Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace is already built into your Facebook app, or on the website.

3. How do I increase marketplace sales on Facebook?

There are several ways you can edit your Marketplace listing to attract more sellers. Try one or more of these methods and see if it works.

  • Optimize your listing by including more keywords in the title and description.
  • Write a longer description with more details about the item.
  • Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your merchandise.

Facebook Marketplace Rules

To learn more about Marketplace, including what kinds of products are allowed and prohibited, view the Facebook Marketplace Commerce Policies.

The Commerce Policies apply to Marketplace, buy and sell groups, page shops, and Instagram Shopping.

1. Certain items cannot be sold.

Facebook maintains a list of items that are not allowed to be sold on Marketplace. These items include:

  • Adult products or services.
  • Alcohol.
  • Animals.
  • Digital media and electronic devices.
  • Event tickets.
  • Gift Cards.
  • Healthcare items (thermometers, first-aid kits, etc.).
  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs.
  • Tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia.
  • Unsafe supplements.
  • Weapons, ammunition, or explosives.

2. You must sell a physical item.

Anything that isn’t a physical product for sale cannot be sold. For example:

  • “in search of” posts.
  • lost and found posts.
  • Jokes.
  • News.

Services like housekeeping, as well as event tickets, are only available on the marketplace by coordinating with one of Facebook’s partners.

3. The description of the item must match the image.

The photos of the item you upload must match the title and description that you give it.

4. Before-and-after pictures are prohibited.

Items for sale on Facebook can’t show a before and after picture (example: a photo showing weight loss).

Facebook has gone through great lengths to ensure that Marketplace is a safe place for people to buy and sell online.