Welcome to round one of Craigslist v Facebook. The social media giant is looking to make a dent in the online classified market with its updated Marketplace feature. It essentially makes the service very similar to what Craigslist has offered in one form or another since the mid-1990s. With the social site now in the mix in a more competitive way, an argument can be made that Facebook’s entry into ring will mean an eventual knockout blow for Craigslist. Here are five reasons why we may see Facebook replace Craigslist in the not-too-distant future.
1. It’s More Convenient to Use Facebook
The Facebook market has actually been around since 2007. What’s new is a Marketplace feature in the form of an app (there’s desktop access, too) and the ability to buy and sell to people within your own community. You’re also no longer limited to doing marketplace stuff in Facebook groups, which means way more potential for buying and selling. The main advantage with FB is convenience. Keeping tabs on your bids is as easy as checking messages.
Spreading the word to your friends already on Facebook means more potential to work out a deal with your buddies. And you won’t have to entirely rely on generating random interest from total strangers either, although you’re more than welcome to engage with anybody interested in what you’re offering or with someone who has something you want to purchase up for grabs. And setting up a basic listing only takes a few minutes.
2. Easy Access to Useful Stats
Facebook gives you access to plenty of stats to keep track of bids and notifications. For potential buyers, there’s instant access to a seller’s profile and sellers can keep track of how many people are looking at what’s up for sell. Buying and selling can be narrowed down to specific geographic areas. As with OfferUp, you may adjust the distance you’re willing to travel if you’re going to pick something up in person with a built-in location tool.
To be fair, there are ways to add stat tracking abilities to your Craigslist listings. Although you’ll have to search for some of the tools and do some installation. With Facebook, it’s the instant access to stats (notifications, requests, etc.) right at the bottom of your post that really comes in handy and saves you the hassle of having to search for additional tools. You can’t do in-app payments just yet with Marketplace, but give them time to add that feature eventually.
3. More Cross-promotional Opportunities
While you can place your Craigslist listing link on your other social media accounts when trying to sell something, you get a lot more cross-promotional Facebook marketing opportunities. Your own FB page alone is a major promotional tool that already has an established audience. Just place a post and anyone who’s following you will be notified that you’re looking for a great deal on a bookshelf or looking to unload a fridge you no longer need.
One way to promote your FB marketplace listing is to include a link in your description so it will appear in your main FB timeline. There’s also the possibility of posting your item on more visual sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Simply include a link back to your listing on FB so someone who’s interested can make a bid or contact you for more info. Do the same with your other social accounts and you’ll attract even more attention.
4. There’s Less Uncertainty with Purchases
Security has always been a concern with Craigslist. With Facebook, locations of buyers and sellers can be verified based on built-in geographic stats. There’s less risk of questionable dealings or shady buyers than what you sometimes get with Craigslist. Names and related information are automatically associated with each transaction for added peace of mind.
Facebook authentication is definitely a big advantage over Craigslist, and it means less risk of encountering fake users or those who wish to remain a little too anonymous for comfort. Of course, you’ll still need to determine whether or not you’re completely comfortable with the deal, but at least you’ll have some fairly reliable user info to help you make that call. You’ll also get to ask questions before placing a bid and potential buyers can do the same with you.
5. You Still Get a Lot of Flexibility
Facebook doesn’t play a role in how you make arrangements to deliver anything you’re selling or pick up something you’ve purchased. You’ll still have a lot of flexibility with how you get something, how you pay for
Facebook doesn’t play a role in how you make arrangements to deliver anything you’re selling or pick up something you’ve purchased. You’ll still have a lot of flexibility with how you get something, how you pay for something, and any back and forth negotiations that will take place before you commit to anything. Easy access to those who show interest means you can send friendly reminder messages to people who have shown some interest but haven’t committed to a purchase.You can also arrange for the exchange of funds directly through Facebook by clicking on the dollar sign icon and long as you or the person you’re buying from has linked it to a debit card or account. If you prefer to do real-time interactions, make arrangements to do so with Facebook Messenger. You’re welcome to exchange PayPal info or arrange to ship an item to someone instead of having them pick it up. Transactions can be taken off Facebook if you want to tap into your stats from sites like PayPal to send invoices and track payments.
You can also arrange for the exchange of funds directly through Facebook by clicking on the dollar sign icon and long as you or the person you’re buying from has linked it to a debit card or account. If you prefer to do real-time interactions, make arrangements to do so with Facebook Messenger. You’re welcome to exchange PayPal info or arrange to ship an item to someone instead of having them pick it up. Transactions can be taken off Facebook if you want to tap into your stats from sites like PayPal to send invoices and track payments.
The gloves are off in the Craigslist v Facebook match-up. The company makes money from the listings by offering pricing plans specific to products and services, so it’s a win-win for FB. It seems like Facebook’s goal with the increased personalization of their marketplace feature is to make the service more accessible to the average user looking to snag a great deal or get rid some of stuff and make a tidy profit in the process. Whether or not we’ll really see Craigslist dying remains to be seen. Still, there’s no denying the potential power of anything involving Facebook, a site with more than a billion active monthly users.
Want to use Facebook to sell your business services? Give our social media marketing experts a call at 760-881-4736.