Facebook (3)

Facebook has launched its very own Marketplace feature to let people buy and sell items locally.

Most of us are familiar with buying and selling items with each other on local Facebook Groups; nearly 450 million people visit these buy and sell groups each month. Now, to encourage more of these connections, Facebook are launching their own Marketplace feature.

Rivalling the likes of ebay and Gumtree, Facebook’s Marketplace will be located on its App on iPhone and Android, with a desktop version becoming available in the next coming months.

Over the next few days, Marketplace will be rolling out to everyone over 18 years old in the UK, US, Australia, and New Zealand.

The company said users can search for specific items by location, category or price and will use a built-in location tool to adjust region or city.

At the moment, the social media giant said they will not be charging for putting items up for sale, and will not be involved in the payment process.

It is not the first time it has tried to expand into the second-hand market. Facebook originally launched a desktop-only classifieds marketplace in 2007.

Mary Ku, Director of Product Management said in a company blog post: Facebook is where people connect, and in recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other.

“Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”

E-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero said the launch of Facebook’s Marketplace has the potential to transform e-commerce, and should have the likes of Gumtree and even eBay alarmed.

David Jinks, Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, said Facebook’s Marketplace is a game changer.

He added: “What will give Marketplace such an advantage over sites such as Gumtree is the sheer number of existing users who feel entirely confident in the Facebook environment.’

“While the likes of eBay and even Amazon won’t be quaking in their boots yet; perhaps they should be. Initially Marketplace will just be a ‘classifieds’ type space for ordinary people finding new homes for items; but professional sellers would be foolhardy to ignore access to this huge audience for their products.”