Facebook’s new Marketplace service lets people buy and sell items within their network. It’s not an original idea; eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon all offer similar services. But Facebook’s integration with existing accounts makes it more attractive than its ill-fated sales feature of 2007. And unlike online exchanges, buyers and sellers can be held accountable as to who they are dealing with through the system’s display of public Facebook profile photos, location, and cover photos. The information, while not a foolproof safety measure, may help people avoid scammers and swindlers.
The value proposition of marketplaces is clear and compelling for both buyers and sellers. For customers, they offer a broad selection of goods from multiple sellers, typically at lower prices than traditional retailers. They also enable them to find what they want quickly and easily.
For sellers, a marketplace offers an opportunity to tap into the large pool of potential customers on an immediate basis. It eliminates the time and cost of building a customer base. It also enables them to make immediate revenue through transaction fees and commissions.
Some marketplaces impose seller requirements to ensure that only quality products can be sold. For example, Etsy specializes in handmade or vintage goods, and only connects with buyers who appreciate those types of products. And other companies, like Panjo, focus on niche markets for enthusiasts. For instance, ‘belly dancer enthusiasts’ can meet on Panjo to pursue their passion and purchase items related to their hobby. marketplace