Facebook Expands 'For Sale' Groups Ecommerce

Though still in its infancy, Facebook this week is officially expanding its classifieds-style commerce efforts.

Within Facebook, members of “For Sale” Groups can now select a “Sell” feature when creating a post. They can then add a description of what they’re selling, include a price and set a pick-up and delivery location.

Sellers can now mark posts as “Available” or “Sold,” and view their catalog of items previously sold.

Late last year, some users reported seeing a “Sell Something” option next to the standard “Write Post” and “Ask Question” buttons.

In response, a Facebook spokesperson said: “This is a small test limited to select Facebook Groups that have active selling communities today.”



Preparing for a broader rollout, Facebook added new terms of service, which made clear that it is not responsible for goods sold on its platform. Facebook on Tuesday said the new features would roll out to all “For Sale” Groups in the coming months across iOS, Android and web.

Facebook’s flirtations with commerce have had mixed results. This summer, the social giant gave up on its Gifts service after about two years. The service — which featured gift cards for businesses like Starbucks and iTunes — failed to catch on among users.

With the help of payment start-up Stripe, Facebook has more recently focused its ecommerce energies on a “Buy” button.

Despite its promise, social media has yet to carve out a significant share of the ecommerce market. In fact, social media channels — including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest — contributed just 1.7% of total e-commerce sales, this year, research firm Custora recently reported.

By comparison, email contributed 27.3% of total online sales, followed by 18.9% originating from free search, and 18.5% from paid-search marketing.

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