Facebook Inc is getting deep into e-commerce, but the firm doesn’t seem to be ready to make money from the business. In select markets the firm appears to have launched an online store that allows users to buy and sell their own stuff.
The “Sell Something” feature has so far only appeared in Australia and New Zealand. Users already used groups on Facebook in order to sell things, but it was an ad-hoc system that used Facebook comments and posts in order to mirror a market like that built by eBay Inc . Mark Zuckerberg appears to want to extend it into a real feature.
Facebook brings Sell Something to Australia
If you live in Sydney Australia or Auckland, New Zealand, you’ll be able to make the feature work. For now those are the only two markets in which the “Sell Something” button appears to be live, acting as a test for a possible wider rollout. Trevor Long of EFTM was the first to pick up on the new feature.
Should you live in one of those areas you can join a group and opt to “Sell Something.” You can then add details of the product, the price you’re looking for and photos. The item will appear on the group’s market, which is a collection of pictures, sorted by category, of what people have up for sale.
The “Sell Something” feature was promised by Facebook back in February, but it hasn’t arrived in markets until now. Facebook hasn’t made a clear statement on the roll out of the “Sell Something” button. Back in the original post the firm said to expect the feature to arrive in the coming months.
Facebook takes on eBay
Facebook has stated that it wants to roll out the “Sell Something” feature across its site and apps. That could mean trouble for eBay Inc, a firm that built itself on the idea of an online marketplace. Facebook is, however, a better place to buy and sell things in many ways, and it’s a service that people already use every single day.
For now Facebook doesn’t offer a way for people to pay for what they buy an sell on the site. That may change if it chooses to bring the feature to other parts of the world. Facebook introduced a payment system on Messenger back in May, but the feature, like the Sell Something button, has yet to get a global roll out.
The “Sell Something” button isn’t the only side that Facebook will seek to attack eBay. The firm has also launched a “Buy” button with Shopify. The button allows users to buy goods from third parties, and Wall Street seems to think it could be a major boon to Facebook stock going forward.
Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson says the button could “not only expand the activity of current retail/ecommerce advertisers but also open a new segment of advertisers that are more ‘direct response’ e-commerce companies.”
He said, in a comment on the feature, that e-commerce could quickly add 10 percent to Facebook revenue. There’s no clear cash flow from the “Sell Something” button right now. Facebook usually tries to make a feature great first and find a way to make money from it later.