Facebook Marketplace To Take On Craigslist And eBay For Local Buying And Selling

There are a plethora of ways you can unload your unwanted wares for cash. Some of the more popular online options include eBay and Craigslist, though the emergence of apps such as LetGo and Wallapop are gaining traction. As if all that weren't enough, Facebook is entering the arena of classified sales with Marketplace, a place where you can buy and sell items with people in your vicinity.

The advantage Facebook has is its massive community of users. Facebook is up to more than 1.7 billion monthly active users, which translates into a lot of eyeballs. Add to that Facebook's claim that more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month, you can see why it would want to make this move. To borrow from part of the plot in this season's Halt and Catch Fire on AMC (one of the best shows on TV, hands down), it's following and adapting to its users.

Facebook Marketplace

"To help people make more of these connections, today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people," Facebook said.

Marketplace will be accessible by clicking on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app. Tapping on it opens up a page with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale. If you're looking for a specific item, you can search for at the top and filter your results by location, category, or price. There are also categories to browse, such as Electronics and Apparel.

Tapping on an item for sale brings up more details from the seller. From there, you can make an offer or message the seller. It's up to you and the seller to work out payment arrangements—Facebook doesn't get involved in that aspect, which means it also doesn't collect any fees like eBay does.

This isn't Facebook's first foray into classifieds. Early last year, it introduced features to its Groups that make it easier for people to buy and sell items. However, Facebook is taking a more serious approach this time, giving its Marketplace prime real estate on its mobile app.

Look for Marketplace to roll out to everyone over 18-years-old in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand over the next few days. It will be available on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. Facebook plans to expand to other countries and roll out a desktop version in the coming months.