Facebook May Suck but Facebook Marketplace Does Not

Facebook has a reputation for mining users’ data, being part of harmful political ad campaigns in the 2016 election and spreading misinformation quickly. Facebook Marketplace, however, is a feature of Facebook that is helpful and a good tool to be able to access. 

Facebook Marketplace was introduced in 2016 and looks almost the exact same as it did the day of its launch. It is a separate tab within the app or online and can be found under the storefront icon. ​ social media hcfsu Photo by Lobo Studio Hamburg from Pixabay

One of the biggest benefits of Facebook Marketplace is that it can save people a lot of money. Things on Facebook Marketplace are cheaper than what they were originally sold for. There’s even a tab that is entirely for free items. Sometimes, people are moving out of a place or in another special circumstance and need to sell things fast, so they leave it free for people to pick up. 

When looking at the free items, be sure to look at the description of the item as well. Sellers may put it up for free but specify that they want some sort of compensation for it and are willing to negotiate prices. 

While it’s a cheaper alternative to buying things in stores, that doesn’t mean the items themselves look cheap. In general, they are well preserved. The couches may be a bit worn in, or dressers may need a fresh coat of paint. Depending on what tools are needed to fix up pre-loved items, it can still be cheaper than buying the item new.​ woman painting pattern on white wall with yellow paint Pixaby/Pexels

A user can also normally find whatever they’re looking for and then some while browsing. There are sections within Facebook Marketplace that range from Home Sales and Cars to Apparel and Toys.

The other upside of Facebook Marketplace is that it keeps customers feeling relatively safe. It has been accredited with the downfall of Craigslist. This is probably in part to the fact that there are certain safety measures with Facebook Marketplace that aren’t found with buying and selling on Craigslist. 

On Facebook Marketplace, there is the option to view someone’s profile. On Craigslist, sellers and buyers are allowed complete anonymity. Viewing someone’s profile can both give users a name and give them an idea of the legitimacy of the purchase. 

Also, the pickup location is easily seen on Facebook Marketplace, giving users the ability to decide whether or not they want to go as far or if the pickup point is what the seller says it is. 

Lastly, Facebook Marketplace is an environmentally friendly option for buying items new and in stores. Upcycling items found on Facebook Marketplace allow for an already purchased item to continue to be in use, instead of being left in a landfill. Using Facebook Marketplace is an environmentally conscious decision that is especially useful when purchasing certain things that do not need to be purchased new, such as wooden chairs or a television. ​​ A wall covered by plants in sustainable jars Photo by Bernard Hermant from Unsplash Facebook Marketplace can be an important tool for students and people renting their first apartment or home. It can also be used as a way to upcycle. Another use of Facebook Marketplace is finding gifts for family members during the holidays that are too specific or old to find in stores. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at a thrift store, this is just a virtual way in which you can.