When it comes to selling stuff for cash, two of the most popular options are eBay and the Facebook Marketplace.
Both platforms make it easy to find buyers and list almost anything for sale. However, while there are similarities between the two, one option might be superior depending on what you’re selling.
That’s why we’re covering the Facebook Marketplace vs eBay in terms of features, selling features, and pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
About Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace launched in 2016 to make buying and selling convenient for Facebook users. It’s one of the best ways to sell stuff locally if you need quick money.
The platform lets you post your items for sale for free. You can then chat with local buyers and arrange pickup or delivery using Facebook messenger.
It’s free to use and easy to navigate. Each posting links to a Facebook account, so you can get some information on who you’re selling to before meeting up.
Founded in 1995, eBay is an e-commerce company that facilitates online consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its massive marketplace.
It was one of the first companies to create a website to match buyers and sellers of goods and services and has maintained its status as an authority in the ecommerce world.
eBay actually began as an auction-based marketplace for items but has transitioned into more of a fixed-price marketplace, as 90% of eBay’s Gross Merchandise Volume comes from fixed-price or “Buy It Now” listings.
And, like Facebook Marketplace, eBay also lets you post classified ads as well so you can reach local buyers.
Facebook Marketplace vs eBay – What’s Best For Sellers
Determining which platform is best for sellers depends on various factors such as the type of item you’re selling, seller fees, and the market you’re trying to reach.
Let’s cover how these features compare head-to-head so you can make the right choice!
What Can You Sell – Facebook Marketplace
You can sell practically anything on Facebook Marketplace! This is why it’s such a popular option for selling things locally.
However, there are a few things that you are not allowed to sell on Facebook. Products listed must comply with Facebook’s Commerce Policy, which you can find here. Prohibited content includes:
- Documents or currency
- Gambling-related items
- Hazardous goods and materials
- Healthcare (including items such as first-aid kits or thermometers)
- Items where the photo and description don’t match
What Can You Sell – eBay
Like FB Marketplace, you can sell just about anything on eBay. You also get access to international buyers, not just local buyers, which is one massive difference.
And one other difference between eBay and FB Marketplace is that eBay is a bit better for selling collectibles.
However, there are some prohibited items to sell like:
- Event tickets
- Animals and wildlife
- Prohibited services such as seeking relationships, website traffic-driving services, and multi-level marketing programs.
You can find a more in-depth overview of prohibited and restricted items on eBay here.
eBay vs Facebook Marketplace – Seller Fees
Another massive difference between eBay vs Facebook Marketplace is how seller fees work. Facebook doesn’t charge any fees for sellers; it’s completely free to create an account and post listings.
In contrast, eBay has two types of selling fees; an “insertion fee” when you create a listing, and a “final value fee” when you sell something. The amount depends on the item’s price, the category you choose, and optional listing upgrades.
You receive up to 250 free listings each month. After that, there’s a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. The final value fee gets calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the sale, plus $0.30 per order.
The fees differ depending on what category your item is in.
For example, if you sell in the “Books & Magazines” category you pay 14.6% on the total amount of the sale up to $7,500 and 2.35% on the portion of the sale over $7,500.
You can find a list of the fees for different items and categories here.
FB Marketplace is easy to use, as creating a listing only takes a minute. You can find the store icon in your FB app or on the desktop version.
To post an item for sale it’s as simple as uploading a good quality photo and then adding a title, price, category, condition, and a description.
You can also add up to 20 tags to make your item more searchable, and set your meetup preference (public meetup, door pickup, or door drop-off).
Selling on eBay is also easy. It’s as simple as creating an account and listing your item by taking a photograph, writing a description, setting a price, and choosing a listing option.
eBay offers three main options for listing your items:
- Fixed price listing: You sell your item on-demand to a single buyer. This option is probably best if you want to sell your item quickly.
- Auction listing: Potential buyers bid on your item and the highest bid makes the purchase. This is a good choice if you want to try your luck and shoot for the best possible price.
- Classified listing: With Classifieds, you can reach local buyers similarly to FB Marketplace. It costs $9.95 for a 30-day listing and there aren’t final value fees.
Once you sell your item, you can arrange either for a local pickup or to ship the item.
If shipping is necessary, you can choose to offer free shipping at your own expense, which is a great way to increase the chances of selling your items.
If you choose to charge for shipping you can either charge a ‘flat rate’ to a buyer regardless of their location, or a variable rate based on the size of the item and the buyer’s location.
eBay offers shipping labels which you can print out at home, attach to your package, and drop off at your nearest mail collection point. You can learn more about shipping with eBay here.
Popular Things to Sell
The best-selling items differ between eBay vs Facebook Marketplace.
On FB Marketplace, some of the best selling items are:
- Kids toys and baby supplies
- Seasonal items (Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, etc.)
- Small appliances
- Sports equipment and fitness gear
- Video games (and consoles like an Xbox or PS5)
There’s also a high demand for electronics, toys, and hobby items such as trading cards and instruments. Selling vehicles on FB Marketplace has also become very popular, as you can typically make more money than you would from trading your car in at a dealership.
The top selling product category on eBay include:
- Electronics & Accessories
- Clothing & Accessories
- Health & Beauty
- Sports & Outdoors
As mentioned, eBay is also better than Facebook Marketplace for selling niche collectibles.
Number of Buyers
Whether you use Facebook Marketplace or eBay, both are extremely popular, with a ton of active users on each platform.
Facebook Marketplace has approximately 1 billion users around the world, with 70 Countries worldwide using the platform to buy or sell.
In fact, one in three people in the US now use it, which helped FB Marketplace make $26 billion in gross revenue in 2021, an increase of 48% from 2020.
In contrast, there are approximately 183 million buyers on the eBay marketplace globally, scattered across 190 different markets.
The app has been downloaded 476 million times and is the third-most popular mobile shopping app among shoppers in the US, behind Amazon and Walmart.
There are approximately 1.7 billion listings on eBay (eBay, 2021), more than nine times the number of eBay buyers.
Extra Reading – The Best Ways To Flip Your Money.
Pros & Cons
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over the pros and cons of FB marketplace vs eBay.
Facebook Marketplace Pros
- Free to use
- Easy to create listings
- Lots of active users
- Categories are easy to navigate
- Can sell items quickly to local buyers
Facebook Marketplace Cons
- Not ideal for shipping products to buyers
- Often have to deal with lowball offers and unreliable buyers
- No buyer or seller protection (1 in 6 Facebook Marketplace users report having been scammed)
- Fraud is common (in the latter half of 2021, fraud on Facebook Marketplace rose in occurrence by 16%)
- Global reach
- Brand building. You can build up your seller reviews and storefront, which is like owning an online resale business, building your brand to get repeat customers.
- Easy to use
- The integration of PayPal makes it easy to accept payments immediately
- Buyer and Seller protection so you have peace of mind
- Seller fees
- There might be thousands of listings for similar products at any given time, which makes it a challenge to stand out from the rest of the competition
- Shipping can get complicated. You must weigh your things accurately since any mistakes in weight and size may result in additional charges.
eBay vs Facebook Marketplace: Which Option Is Best?
So, eBay vs Facebook Marketplace; which option is best?
Well, it all depends on which kind of a seller you are.
Are you using these platforms to get rid of a few things around the house, or are you trying to set up a side hustle and make some extra money selling products online? Are you comfortable with a bit of risk, or would you feel better being covered by a seller protection policy?
Sell on Facebook Marketplace If: You want to sell your items quickly to local buyers and want a free and easy way to get rid of your things on a platform that is simple to use. FB Marketplace is also great if you’re selling furniture, clothing, plants, seasonal items, small appliances, or books, this may be a better option for you.
Sell on eBay If: If you want to be an active seller, have products with high profit margins that can garner global attention, and are interested in setting up your own store within a marketplace, then eBay might be best. eBay also has seller protection that protects sellers from abusive buying behaviors and events outside your control. And if you’re selling niche collectibles, eBay is better than Facebook Marketplace.
Extra Reading – The Best Sites & Apps Like Facebook Marketplace.
Whether it’s Facebook Marketplace or eBay, both are safe, valuable platforms to sell your items.
Depending on your objectives, either choice can be a great fit for you.
You can also list items on both platforms to maximize selling potential. This is also a great way to test both options to see which one you prefer.
And remember: there are plenty of other selling apps out there. So don’t be afraid to try selling on Mercari, or listing your clothing on Poshmark. Over time, you can find the platforms you like most and maximize exposure.
Looking for more selling side hustles? Checkout:
- The Best Places To Sell Beanie Babies.
- How To Flip $1,000 Into Profit.
- The Best Places To Sell Board Games.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please use our contact page to get in touch!