Online business opportunities on Social Media ¨C The Facebook Marketplace

As a teenager I loved the garage sales in my neighborhood primarily because they stimulated and satiated my curiosity. I have purchased some really amazing stuff from these sales over the years and some of them still stay with me, as fond collectibles. As an adult I got to experience the teenage rush of visiting garage sales yet again ¨C at the Facebook Marketplace.

Just imagine. A lane filled with garage sales, a variety of used products being offered at really low price and buyers and sellers who know each other because they are all a part of a common network. Facebook¡¯s Marketplace is a treasure trove of online business opportunities as one can find the exact product you are looking for and also sell the exact product that someone out there is scouting!

Though FB¡¯s Marketplace allows you to place classifieds without any charge, don¡¯t be under the impression that:

Step 1 ¨C I post a classified ad & Step 2 ¨C I get many responses. There are a lot of intermediary factors that have to be considered if Step 1 has to lead to Step 2. Like¡­
  • Facebook Ads ¨C for effective and inexpensive small business advertising

FB offers you space to post your ads in the Marketplace at costs that you can define according to your budget. Once you have placed your bid for that ad space, FB tells you how many advertisers trying to reach out to an audience similar to yours, are vying for that space. That way you get to know how much more you should bid to win that space and that amount will be the one that you shell out for every click or per 1000 impressions on your ad. Want to know more about small business advertising on Marketplace ¨C Getting Started Guide.

  • Buy/Sell as an Individual user rather than as a company:

The Marketplace encourages individual Facebookers to market their wares rather than company profiles. However, you can include the link to your official Facebook page in your classified ad.

  • Show what you want to sell:

First define the category your product/ service falls under and then show the prospective buyer what they are getting to buy. Upload a clear photograph of the product, a color snapshot would be ideal and post it alongside your classified ad.

  • Give away stuff

Everybody likes free stuff and promotional giveaways are one of the best ways to win over potential clients. The Give It Away section can be used to give away samples of your product, free catalogs and inexpensive promotional items.

  • Avoid choking

Advertise one or at the most two products at a time. Your company may be dealing in a host of items but in the Marketplace you will be able to advertise better if you put up only a couple of items up for sale. You can always include your contact details and a brief line about ¡®we also deal in¡­¡¯ at the end of your classified ad whereby interested buyers can contact you.

  • Keep Looking

Its all about brand positioning. Monitor the pages where your products or services are listed. A ready-made database of potential consumers is ready for your use and it will only be a matter of time before you get responses.

And for those of you who are still wondering about what happens to sites like Ebay or Craiglist in the face of such virtual garage sales like the Marketplace which offers a simplified process of buy and sell, a latest bit of news defines my answer.

According to news reports, Facebook Inc has raced ahead of eBay, and become the third largest US Internet business!

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