If you have not checked out the Facebook Market Place lately – now is probably a good time to do it. Originally opened in 2007, with a few odds and sods like the acquisition of Ooodle– the Facebook Market Place of today is a cross between Craig’s List, Amazon, and Career Builder. You can literally find just about anything you want to find, with the bonus of an audience of 132 million people which blows away the audience share on Craig’s List, Amazon and Career Builder.
Facebook has more combined traffic than Amazon and Craig’s List combined – just a tad bit over the two web sites right now according to Compete.com meaning if you carry items that people want, this could be one of the more significant market places to work with.
While the interface is more Craig’s List in format – where you actually need to meet up with the seller somewhere – there is no reason why you could not include a link to a payment gateway and turn this into an extension of your eBay or Amazon market place. If anything, the addition of a payment gateway would be a brilliant move on the part of Facebook so that online sellers could simply do the transaction without having to meet up with anyone in real life. Craig’s List has made a great name for themselves in this space but taking on Craig’s List directly might not be the only thing that can be done here. There are just a couple of components missing to make this a truly block buster way for people to buy and sell – with Facebook taking a cut of every transaction to help fund their operations.
The payment gateway is a critical component to making Facebook Market Place viable to sellers and buyers. Sometimes the thing you want might be too far away to drive. While Facebook Market Place lets you search by zip code – it is missing many of the touchy feely UI components that are needed to make this viable. Craig’s List has made a good name for themselves in this space with a stripped down UI, but we expect more from Facebook and it just is not there. What if what I want is many miles away, I would have to arrange payment and shipping separately outside the Facebook system – meaning Facebook loses a share of the transaction. There is also a lack of a feedback mechanism for the seller – you don’t know if the seller is a good or bad seller. Feedback is a very important way to vet sellers and buyers and is used universally across almost all the online market places, regardless of what people think about feedback.
Add those two components to the Facebook Market Place and Facebook would have a killer competitor to Amazon, EBay, Bonanzle, and a host of other online retailers including Wall-mart. They could literally alter the face of ecommerce over night with a feedback mechanism and a payment gateway. They have the traffic to support a robust market place and they have the knowledge with the acquisition of Ooodle to make something like this happen. Tie this into fan pages and the rest of the sharing Facebook eco-system and Facebook Market Place could really take off and be a huge player in the ecommerce online shopping world.
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- Moluko Brings Easy E-Commerce to FaceBook (thenextweb.com)
(Cross-posted @ TechWag)