We have all heard of EBay, the biggest online auction and shopping website to date. And now users of the popular networking site Facebook have launched their own version, in the form of Facebay.
What is Facebay?
Facebay started as a page set up on Facebook by online users in order to buy, sell and swap their unwanted goods. As most of the goods were to be cash on collection locally, more and more Facebay pages started to appear for individual areas.
As the months went on, Facebay became a place where you can part exchange, request wanted items and even a place for businesses to trade and advertise their services.
How Does Facebay Work?
To use Facebay you only need one thing.........A Facebook account. Once you have logged in, you simply type Facebay and your area into the search bar at the top of the page.
It is worth pointing out that the pages are not always entitled Facebay. For example you may live in Essex, and the pages could be called 'Things for sale in Essex' or 'Sell or Swap your items in Essex'.
There are also pages for specific areas within each county. So if you lived in Billericay in Essex, then you would search 'Facebay Billericay' or 'Things for sale in Billericay'.
Some pages even go by your postcode. Realistically you could end up finding 50 different pages just for your county. This of course is great if you are a local business, but if you were just looking to sell your old phone then it could become confusing.
Once you have found the Facebay page that's right for you, you need to click the like button, or in some cases you may need to request to join. Now you are ready to sell, swap, buy, advertise or just have a browse.
Each page has its own Facebay wall where you write what you are selling or wanting to buy. You can also upload photos of your items. Some pages even have the option to upload a whole album which is handy if you are having a big clear out.
Alternatively if you are buying rather than selling, then you simply comment on a photo letting the seller know that you are interested in their item for sale. The seller will then send you a private inbox message with further details. I suppose Facebay is a bit like an online boot sale, in the sense that you sell off your odds and ends and buyers come along and haggle with you.
EBay vs. Facebay
Facebay may sound like EBay and yes they are both a place to buy and sell, but that is where the similarities end. When you sell on EBay you have to pay for each item you list.
You also have to have a PayPal account. Unfortunately an increasing number of people are losing their PayPal accounts due to one dispute or another, and so this is not always possible
As well as paying EBay fees you also incur PayPal fees. This means you have to pay out money before you have even made any. Another major factor involved in EBay is the feedback system; bad feedback can stop other people from buying from you and even result in your EBay account being shut down altogether. As we know, bad feedback is not always warranted so this can be very frustrating for the account holder.
EBay’s most popular feature is the ability to bid on items from as little as 99p. But this could result in an item being sold for far less than it is actually worth. Another good feature is being able to buy items from all over the world.
This is a great feature if you are looking for something unavailable in your own country. But beware as you could end up paying more for the postage than the item itself.
Facebay is a completely different set up as i mentioned before. It is more like an online boot sale. There is no need for a PayPal account, neither are there any fees to pay.
Some facebay pages have a reviews app, where you can leave feedback if you so wish. This is not compulsory and so you do not have to fear your Facebook account suddenly being closed down due to bad reviews.
Using Facebay is quite easy; you simply upload photos of the items that you are selling. You then write a brief description and your asking price in the comments sections below. There is no bidding system on Facebay and people will inevitably haggle.
As you only advertise locally, you don't have to mess about wrapping up your items and getting them to the post office in time. Facebay sounds like the ideal place to buy and sell so far, right?
The Ugly Truth
With the current financial decline, facebay seems like a quick and cheap way to sell your unwanted goods. However that is not always the case.
We all know the dangers of the Internet, but while using Facebay these dangers seem to have been quickly forgotten by its users. Unlike EBay which uses a delivery system, Facebay users simply inbox the buyers their home address in order for them to collect their item.
Granted EBay also offer pick up only, but you have to go through a lot of security checks to have an EBay account. EBay know your address, phone number, bank details etc. whereas Facebay has no security checks at all.
People are always making fake profiles or trolling Facebook pages. There are also many people who have multiple Facebook accounts, so you never truly know who you are really talking too. You could be giving anyone your address and inviting trouble straight to your door.
You wouldn't randomly message a stranger on Facebook and invite them to your house would you? So why is it any different giving a stranger your address to come and buy an item from you.
As well as the obvious stranger danger, there is also the fact that you have no guarantees. A growing number of sellers are already complaining about their fellow Facebay users.
A large number of people, who agree to buy an item, are arranging to collect it, only to not turn up at all. The fact that there is no feedback system means that situations like this can only continue. In the cold light of day, Facebay has no guarantees; it has no way of claiming back your money, and has no real structure or security measures.
Facebay is just pages set up by likeminded people wanting to make some easy money. And while there is nothing wrong with making a bit of extra cash, please be on your guard while using these Facebay pages. Instead of willingly giving out your address just arrange to meet up in a public place, and always remember to stay safe.
Micheal from United Kingdom on November 25, 2011:
Interesting hub. I did write to Facebook asking them why we don't get paid for all the adds on our Facebook page?
They haven't got back to me yet? lol
Zoey (author) from South England on November 20, 2011:
Thank You QuestionMaster, yes there seem to be a lot for each county, its certainly becoming more and more popular :)
Susannah Birch from Qld, Australia on November 20, 2011:
There are about 6 of these pages for my area - had no idea they were referred to as Facebay though! Good read!