Facebook has quickly become the place to buy and sell second hand goods. The Marketplace happened fairly organically with users creating groups for local area buy, swap, sell groups and posting photos of their goods with a description and price. Over the years Facebook has moved to support this user behaviour on their platform and some time ago introduced the ability to post items with fields to capture relevant metadata of each product.
Now there’s millions of items for sale, Facebook can offer a diverse, categorised Marketplace to its users and while Marketplace has been available on mobile for a while now, today its now available on the web. This means if you know what you’re after, its easy to get to it with the ability to search on keywords, filters on location and price. For me the fastest way to get to a list of browsable items in your interest category is to use the Category filter.
Categories starts with Home, Entertainment, Clothing & Accessories, Family, electronics, Hobbies, Vehicles & Bicycles and Classifieds as top-level categories, each with sub categories. This means getting to your area of interest is just a couple clicks away. Once at the result list, its the standard 4-column, Pinterest-style thumbnails that provide a great list of items to scroll through. This lets you skim hundreds of items in seconds.
Click on an item, you get a larger photo, full description, price and even a location map so you know if its in driving distance for pickup. There’s a status on the responsiveness of the seller and an easy button to message the seller.
Its important to remember, all of this is for free, definitely a big issue for eBay and Gumtree that rely on transaction fees to make a profit.