Looking for that perfect vintage accent chair, but don’t want to spend a fortune? Facebook is streamlining buying and selling over social media with the introduction of Facebook Marketplace. There promises to be quite a few tempting items for purchase, so “How do you pay in Facebook Marketplace?” will become a pretty important question.
The new shopping feature is being rolled out in the US, UK, Australia, or New Zealand over the next few days, so get excited, people! Facebook users over 18 years of age will soon see a “shop” icon added to the bottom of their smartphone app, next to the “notifications” icon. Upon entering the marketplace, you will have the ability to “discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.” That’s right — it’s essentially a Facebook Craigslist-eBay hybrid. So long old bike that’s been gathering dust in your hallway! Hello, cold hard cash!
Upon entering the Marketplace, users will see photos of items for sale listed by people living in your neighborhood. These items are listed by an expanded network of Facebook users, not just your friends. There is a built-in location tool so that you can expand your product search to other regions, or different cities altogether. All of the items for sale on Facebook are at your fingertips!
When looking for a specific item, users can set filters at the top of the page to search for a specific type of product, area, or price. There is also a search window, much like the one used for finding people or groups, but this one can find the tie-dye macrame plant holder of your dreams! You can also browse by category — such as Household items, Electronics and Apparel — and see what’s for sale near you (this will be a dangerous tool for those who love to shop online). By tapping on the product’s image, you can pull up a description of the product that you’re interested in, and details about the vendor including name, profile photo, and their approximate location. You will not see the seller’s favorite bands and TV shows, or where they went to college.
To purchase the item, contact the vendor by sending them a direct message from Marketplace. This is where things get a bit murky. Facebook essentially connects buyers and sellers and then steps back entirely. Price, delivery system, and payment is figured out between buyer and seller — so expect to do a lot of bargaining over direct message. Whether you use Venmo, Paypal, cash, or a barter system to pay for the item is entirely up to the consumer and the merchant. There is no built-in payment system, so as much as I would like to see a new online currency called “Facebook Dollar$$” with Mark Zuckerberg’s face on them, I guess that will have to remain a dream for now.
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