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Facebook Marketplace to start charging sellers

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Written by: Emma Lunn
04/11/2021
Sellers who post items directly to customers via the platform will be charged by Facebook for the first time from January.

One of Facebook Marketplace’s key selling points is that unlike rivals, such as eBay, it’s always been free for sellers to use.

From last month, sellers using Facebook Marketplace have been able to offer buyers the choice of collection or shipping.

The delivery service allows sellers to directly post items to buyers using Facebook’s delivery partner Hermes instead of relying on face-to-face collections.

When arranging shipping via Hermes, the seller inputs product information such as weight and size and then Hermes calculates the cost. Sellers need to package parcels and take them to a Hermes drop-off point.

The delivery service is currently free but from 1 January 2022, a 2% fee will be deducted from the price of any items sold and shipped via Facebook Marketplace, and will be paid for by the seller.

Once the seller accepts a buyer’s order, the buyer’s card payment will be processed and sellers will be paid directly when the item arrives – but this will be minus the 2% fee which Facebook will keep.

Facebook will partner with payment platform Stripe to process transactions. Buyers don’t need a Stripe account – they can pay directly on the Facebook website using a credit or debit card – but sellers will need to create a Stripe account before they can offer a postal service. Payments for goods sold will be sent to sellers’ Stripe account once the item has been delivered.

According to MoneySavingExpert.com, Facebook says the move will give buyers more choice, while enabling sellers to reach more people as they will not be limited by how far they live from customers.

How to avoid the charge

Sellers will be able to avoid this charge by continuing to use Facebook’s collection-only option, which will continue to operate without any added fees.

Chris Newlands, news and investigations editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “The new delivery option should mean a whole host of new buyers will now become available to sellers, which, in short, should make selling items much quicker and easier. It comes with a cost, however, and sellers will have to be mindful of how the new 2% charge eats into profits.

“But there is still the option to sell for collection only, free of fees, if they prefer – alternatively it’s worth comparing Facebook’s fees with those of other selling platforms and specialist groups. At first glance, however, the 2% fee still looks cheap compared to elsewhere.”

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