Facebook has launched Marketplace in South Africa, offering users the option to discover and buy and sell goods with other people in their local community.
The service is currently available in 47 countries, with more than 550 million people from around the world visiting Facebook to buy and sell goods each month.
Items, products or services sold on Facebook must comply with Facebook Community Standards and Commerce Policies, the social network said.
Prohibited content includes ammunition, explosives and weapons, tobacco products and related paraphernalia, animals, illegal, prescription or recreational drugs.
Facebook said that buyers and sellers may offer or accept cash or person-to-person (P2P) payments. If you choose to pay electronically using EFT, it suggested that you avoid payment links and log in directly through the payment method’s website.
“If the value of the item you intend to buy or sell requires a significant amount of cash, you might consider using a person-to-person payment method, such as PayPal or FNB eWallet,” the social networking site said.
To use the service:
- Tap on the Marketplace icon.
- To find what you’re looking for, search at the top and filter your results by location, category or price.
- To sell something, take a photo, describe your item, set your price and you are done.
- Buyers and sellers can communicate with each other using Facebook Messenger.
As part of its announcement, Facebook also published a set of guidelines to ensure your safety and privacy when trading on the platform.
- Commerce Policy: Items, products or services sold on Facebook must comply with Facebook Community Standards and Commerce Policies.
- Verify the item: When buying an item, examine it carefully for quality, condition and authenticity before paying. For high-value items (watches, luxury bags), consider requesting a certificate of authenticity or proof of purchase.
- Be shipping savvy: If the seller offers to ship the item rather than exchanging it in person, you may not have the opportunity to verify the item before completing your purchase. You can use a service such as Standard Bank’s Shepherd to arrange safe payment and shipment. Shepherd keeps the money for a transaction in a trust account and releases it to the seller once the buyer verifies he or she has received the correct item in good condition.
- Meet in a safe location: Don’t invite buyers or sellers to your home. Meet in a public place like a coffee shop or the mall. Before going, tell a family member or a friend where you will be, bring your cell phone, and consider asking another adult to come with you.
- Use cash, COD, or person-to-person payment methods: Buyers and sellers may offer or accept cash or person-to-person (P2P) payments. If you choose to pay electronically using EFT, avoid payment links and log in directly through the payment method’s website. If the value of the item you intend to buy or sell requires a significant amount of cash, you might consider using a person-to-person payment method, such as PayPal or FNB eWallet.
- Protect your privacy: Don’t share your financial account information (example: Payment login and password, bank account info) with buyers or sellers. Additionally, make sure your Facebook Privacy Settings are up-to-date. These settings help limit what other people can see (example: status updates, location, photos) on your profile page and what you share on Facebook.
- Report someone: If you’re having a problem with someone in Marketplace, you can report them.