Facebook Marketplace comes to Kenya

Google tried it and quit. OLX tried it and failed. Facebook is finally giving it a shot. Facebook has announced the rollout of Facebook Marketplace, a product on Facebook that offers a convenient destination where people can discover, buy and sell items from others in their local communities. 

With the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, Facebook Marketplace will make it easier for people in Kenya to find the things they need to buy on Facebook. Facebook Marketplace is being rolled out in Kenya gradually and will be available to all Kenyans by the end of November this year.

Commenting on the roll out, Facebook Head of Public Policy for East & Horn of Africa Mercy Ndegwa said, “ We are excited to launch Facebook  Marketplace, a product that will complement the growing ecommerce market in Kenya. We had already seen people buying and selling with each other on Facebook so we decided to launch Facebook Marketplace —  a safe and convenient destination in the Facebook app where Kenyans can discover, buy and sell items from people in their community.”

How buying works on Facebook Marketplace

Buying things on Facebook Marketplace is simple. To get there, people can look for the Marketplace icon in the Facebook app or visit facebook.com/marketplace. From there they will be able to browse listings that interest them. People can adjust the listings that appear by sorting by distance or category. People can also use the search box to find exactly what they are looking for.

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People will find more information about each listing when they click on it. People can also save the listing for later or message the seller directly through Messenger. People can also click through the seller’s profile to learn more about them and see their seller ratings. From that point on, the buyer and the seller can work out the details on payment and delivery.  For more information on buying on Marketplace, visit https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/learn-more/buying 

How selling works on Facebook Marketplace

Selling an item on Facebook Marketplace is just as easy as browsing for one. When a seller lists an item on Marketplace, they create a public listing that can be seen by anyone on and off Facebook. This includes people on Marketplace, News Feed, Facebook search, Facebook Groups, search engines and other places on or off Facebook. Sellers can also choose to post their listings to any Facebook Buy and Sell Groups where they are a member. Sellers can simply take a photo of an item (or add it from their camera rolls), enter a product name, description and price, confirm their location and select a category, and post. Anyone looking in their area can find their item and message them if they want to buy it. Sellers can also choose to post to Marketplace and in a specific Buy and Sell Group at the same time.

To keep track of all of their current and past transactions in Marketplace, sellers can visit the “Your Items” section. There, they can view their saved items, products they have posted for sale, and all their messages with buyers.

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Are you an interested seller? You can use a step-by-step guide to creating a listing on Marketplace also available on Facebook’s Marketplace help center:

  • As you create your listing, keep in mind that there are a variety of categories to choose from when you’re creating a listing on Marketplace, Categorizing your item will help ensure people can more easily find it.
  • Also, when setting a price, consider things like the original purchase price, condition and competitive pricing. Try looking for similar items to make sure you’ve picked a competitive price. You can indicate “OBO”, which stands for “Or Best Offer”, to indicate you’re willing to accept lower offers. Interested buyers may want to negotiate your price, so say the price is firm if you aren’t willing to negotiate.

COVID-19 measures

Facebook advises all buyers and sellers to follow local guidelines for how to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) while buying and selling. Facebook has also provided tips and guidelines on buying and selling during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/learn-more/coronavirus. More tips on buying and selling responsibly on Marketplace can be found in Facebook’s Help Center

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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