Facebook has announced that it will start introducing fees for some sellers on its popular Marketplace platform from January 2022. We take a look at what the fee will be, who will be affected, and how you can avoid it.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace is an online buying and selling service which allows Facebook users to post classified advertisements for products, properties and jobs to other Facebook members. Sellers are free to set their own prices and buyers can contact them directly through their Facebook account in order to make an enquiry or an offer.
Previously, buyers and sellers had been forced to organise postage or collection between themselves, meaning many sales were limited by the geographical distance between both parties. In order to tackle this issue, Facebook launched a free delivery service in collaboration with Hermes exclusively for Marketplace customers, allowing sellers to post items directly to buyers instead of relying on face-to-face interactions.
The service is free for now but Facebook is set to introduce charges from January.
Who will have to pay fees for using Facebook Marketplace?
Sellers that choose to send items via Facebook’s own delivery service will have to pay a 2% charge from 1 January 2022. The charge will be deducted from the price of any products sold and shipped via Facebook Marketplace. Sellers will foot the bill, meaning buyers will face no additional charges.
The fee - which Facebook keeps - will be removed from the cost of the purchase once the buyer's card payment has been processed, but bear in mind that sellers will only receive their payment once the item has arrived at its destination. The 2% charge is based on the total cost of the item plus the delivery charge as calculated by Hermes. For example, if a seller lists an item as £50 and shipping costs £5, the seller will have to pay 2% of the total cost of £55 - which will be £1.10.
However, the fee is avoidable. Sellers that want to dodge the charge can do so by advertising their item as collection-only, which remains completely fee-free.
What items can be sold using Facebook Marketplace’s delivery service?
In order to be eligible for Facebook Marketplace’s delivery service, items must cost between £1 - £500 and can be either new or in used condition. Sellers must post accurate descriptions of the product and its condition. Items must also fall within the following categories to qualify:
- Babies and kids
- Bags and luggage, books, movies and music
- Clothing and shoes
- Electronics and computers
- Health and beauty
- Jewellery and accessories
- Mobile phones
- Sports and outdoors
- Toys and games
Larger items, such as furniture, are not currently eligible for Facebook's delivery service.
Facebook Marketplace’s Protection Policy
All payments for products shipped via Facebook Marketplace are covered by its own 'Protection Policy'. This means that buyers can request a refund if:
- They never received their order
- The product arrived damaged or different than described on the listing
- The seller did not adhere to their stated refund policy
- The purchase was unauthorised
- The seller has been removed from Facebook
If an item is not received, buyers are advised to contact the seller within 3 days of the agreed delivery date in order to request a refund. If the seller does not respond within 2 business days, the buyer should contact Facebook directly, who can issue a refund if it corroborates that the item never arrived. However, if the seller claims the delivery failure falls to Hermes, the buyer will have to contact Hermes directly to lodge their complaint. It is then up to Hermes how to respond and a refund is not necessarily guaranteed.
Facebook Marketplace Section 75 protection
Facebook has confirmed that credit card transactions made via Facebook Marketplace are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Therefore buyers that pay via a credit card can request a refund from their bank if the seller fails to uphold their side of the transaction - but only if the total cost is over £100. You can read more about Section 75 and how it works in our article “Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act explained – plus how to claim”.
How does Facebook Marketplace compare to other selling platforms?
Below is a table which summarises the seller fees across a range of popular marketplace services. Note that Schpock and Vinted do not charge sellers, although buyers do have to pay a fee, so bear this in mind if you are planning to purchase rather than advertise.
|eBay||12.8% + fixed charge of 30p per order + 35p fee to list an item|