Ebay and Gumtree could well be looking over their shoulders, with Facebook set to enter the online marketplace sector.
Set to launch in the coming days on the Facebook app in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, the ‘marketplace’ category will allow users aged 18-plus to both buy and sell items to friends or within their local communities. It will also allow businesses to take part.
Integration on desktop and more markets is expected over “the coming months”.
So how does it work?
The service will allow users to filter goods by location, category or price – with categories including the likes of ‘Household and Apparel’ – with Facebook users then able to view offers based on their location or save items to look at later.
Unlike an Ebay, which relies on buyers and sellers exchanging emails, the Facebook ‘Marketplace’ will be fully integrated into Facebook Messenger, encouraging people to debate prices or meet up via the app.
However, Facebook does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace, instead relying on items or businesses to link through to services such as PayPal.
“It is as simple as taking a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll, entering a product name, description and price, confirm your location and selecting a category, and then posting the item,” said Mary Ku, Facebook’s director of product management, in a blog post.
The logic behind the launch was relatively simple, according to Ku.
She explained: “More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world. To help people make more of these connections, we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.
“Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”