Facebook Marketplace: pro and con

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 4, 2016
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

Facebook just announced the launch of Facebook Marketplace that enables Facebook users to buy and sell items in their local communities. The company has been testing marketplace on the site for about a year, and has started to roll it out to users in select countries in the past couple of days.

While eBay and Craigslist are probably the number one destinations for buying and selling used goods, Facebook has slowly improved functionality on its site to provide its users with options to better sell and buy items directly on the site.

According to Facebook, more than 450 million people "visit buy and sell groups each month" on Facebook.

Marketplace improves selling and buying items on Facebook without doing away with local buy and sell groups.

Facebook Marketplace

Marketplace improves discoverability of items by adding a new shop icon to Facebook (at the bottom of the Facebook app) that users can tap on to start exploring what is on offer nearby.

Marketplace lists photos of items that "people near you" have listed for sale. Facebook users may furthermore search for items of interest, or filter by location, category or price.

A tap on an item loads a detail page that lists a description, name and profile of the seller, and the general location. Items can also be saved to re-open them quickly at a later point in time.

Options to send sellers direct messages are provided by Facebook but payments or delivery of items are handled by the seller and buyer, and not by Facebook.

Basically, what happens is that seller and buyer use Facebook's messaging system to broker a deal. What happens afterwards is up to them in regards to payments and pickup or delivery.

Facebook Marketplace Pro and Con


  1. Facebook Marketplace does not charge money for listing items, buying or selling them.
  2. Listed items are by default shown to members of the local community, but you may increase or decrease the region, or switch to another region entirely.
  3. New items can be added from within the Facebook app easily (take photo, enter product name, description and price, pick category, confirm location).
  4. Facebook users may add items to Marketplace and buy/sell groups they are a member of.


  1. Facebook Marketplace is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
  2. The service is only available on Facebook for iOS and Android. A version for the website will come "in the coming months" according to Facebook.
  3. Your Facebook user name and profile get exposed. There is no option to pick an alias for selling.

Now You: What's your take on Facebook Marketplace? Good alternative to eBay or Craigslist?

Facebook Marketplace: pro and con
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Facebook Marketplace: pro and con
Facebook just announced the launch of Facebook Marketplace that enables Facebook users to buy and sell items in their local communities.
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  1. renato said on June 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    No wonder I get 50-60 “I am interested” replies every time I post something on Facebook Marketplace…then absolutely nothing but complete silence once I responded “yes the item is still available”.

  2. B. Johnson said on October 27, 2016 at 12:21 am

    I hate everything about buy and sell groups and would not only block them, I would destroy them!

  3. Douglas Kozlowski said on October 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    What’s disturbing about FB & Twitter is eventually they will become a central clearing house for a lot of things web related. We’re seeing that now with mainstream media using Twitter to disperse information. Down the road, the internet will consolidate and get filtered through giant corps like FB & Twitter, information will be screened so that it’s acceptable to marketing and government interest. Good luck if you have dissenting or anti establishment opinions.

  4. insanelyapple said on October 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I can’t see any pro’s since fb is interested only in gathering data and making profiles of each of us. And heavens knows what portion of that data is shared with the US govt agencies for “security reasons” like “fighting with terrorism”.

    Not mention there’s something dangerous in their attempt to provide own branded solution for every part of Internet life; monopolization isn’t good for anyone beside the one who’s standing alone without competition or alternatives people could use.

    Also, I do belive that in most countries people has already pick their favourite services for selling and buying things; here, we got a local equivalent of ebay that actually didn’t managed to become enough popular and it’s strong enough it even is present in neighbour countries.

  5. Gary D said on October 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Henk, you are 100% correct.
    That is why i don’t have accounts with any of the following:


    I cannot understand why people expose their personal details to complete strangers. All they get in return are Trolls and non “friends”.
    Perhaps it is because they are socially inadequate and cannot handle real life interaction. Or, if they are “celebrities”, they crave more adulation.

    1. sos said on October 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Social media is useful for gathering info and support. Nowadays corporations advertise their promo and give support in social media. You don’t need to give any personal details. I created one with fake info and disposable mail address.

      This year I came to hate facebook, the reason is because they removed the notification rss. And because of that I now open facebook less than before.

      1. Parker Lewis said on October 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm

        Facebook knows who you are from your network of friends, assuming they are your real friends. If they don’t know yet, any mistake from one of your friends will reveal you. It doesn’t matter that you are a privacy genius.

        And yes, we are a captive audience. In many “real life” social circles it can be hard not to have a Facebook account. You’re basically gimping yourself.

        This is the reason why Facebook has an absolute duty towards societies to provide complete opt-out of tracking and mining and shit.

        With 1.71 billion monthly active users they can afford to provide such a feature without any worry to their business. But they don’t want to because they are greedy assholes whose decisions are constrained by other greedy assholes living in a world where greed is considered normal behaviour. *shrugs*

      2. MdN said on October 4, 2016 at 4:38 pm

        @sos – exactly. If you are into some form of art, science, hobby or technology, you can meet like-minded people all over the world, make some contacts and learn a few things. If you have a small band Facebook is a must (since MySpace is dead) to keep in touch with the audience (from all over the world, again, unless you’re a local pop singer). Nobody says you have to give any real or relevant personal info or expose it to anyone – only my 30-something friends know what I post, but random stalkers only see the basic info because of my privacy settings. And if one uses uBlock or uMatrix, Facebook can’t know where you’re surfing or show you ads.

  6. Dave said on October 4, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I only joined Facebook for access to the excellent classified ads section back in 2007. Nine years later and I’m still waiting for the opportune moment to delete my account, but first I want an EU ruling in place that means Facebook has to delete everything, and can’t use anything.

  7. Henk van Setten said on October 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Under the “con” arguments I would add the following as the very first and most important one:

    “Facebook Marketplace will be available to you only after you have consented to create a personal Facebook account, with all the inevitable and near-unlimited privacy loss and data mining that such an account implies.”

    On my PC’s, all Facebook addresses are blocked on a primary level (in the hosts file and firewall) so it remains inaccessible and thoroughly blocked from its efforts to even register the browsing habits of people with no Facebook account. I want to have no connection to Facebook whatsoever, and I really have no trouble with the fact that my approach means I cannot open regular Facebook pages.

    I also blocked all Facebook URLs in my Android phone firewall, after I discovered that some totally unrelated apps made it a habit to connect to Facebook at regular intervals, for no obvious or functional reason. In short, I block the whole nasty thing wherever I can.

    As for trading second-hand stuff, where I live (the Netherlands) there are enough local websites such as Marktplaats that do do the same job very well and make Facebook superfluous in this respect.

  8. jbuk said on October 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

    three extra CONs:

    In comparison to paypal and similar specialised sites:

    1. unlike paypal there is no buyer protection, no enforceable policies to protect both buyers and sellers.

    2. unlike paypal there is no bid mechanism, which is transparent, allowing competition.

    3. unlike paypal, there is no feedback, so you don’t really know who you are buying from.

  9. Parker Lewis said on October 4, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I’ll pay attention to a Facebook news when they announce that they stop mining data from my ass when I don’t want them to.

    Assholes that answer to no one with a captive audience of almost a quarter of Earth. (Yes, 22.3% of Eath is a monthly active user on Facebook, and no they mostly answer to no one)

  10. Gary D said on October 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

    – “Facebook Marketplace does not charge money for listing items, buying or selling them”.

    It does not need to charge. Facebook gathers even more data on buyers and sellers, allowing Facebook to target users with ever more focused adverts. etc. Once again, users are the product.

    – “Your Facebook user name and profile get exposed. There is no option to pick an alias for selling”.

    Hacker Heaven !

    No Thanks !!

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