Tuesday, November 30

Facebook Marketplace will begin charging some sellers for the first time from January – here’s all you need to know

What’s happening and when does this come in?

From last month, sellers using Facebook Marketplace have been able to offer buyers the choice of collection or shipping. There is no cost for the shipping option until January. The buyer will then be able to choose the option that’s most convenient for them. Sellers who opt to make sales locally via face-to-face collections will not be charged.

From 1 January 2022, however, a 2% fee will be deducted from the price of any items sold and shipped via Facebook Marketplace, and will be paid for by sellers. In reality; once the seller accepts a buyer’s order, the buyer’s card payment will be processed and sellers will be paid directly (but not until the item has arrived) minus the 2% fee, which Facebook will keep. See below for more on this.

The upcoming charge will apply to all those selling items in England, Scotland and Wales. We have asked if this will also apply to Northern Ireland and will update the story once we know more. The social media platform also told us it will notify sellers of the new rules within the coming weeks.

What items can shipped and how does it work?

Facebook has partnered with delivery firm Hermes to send buyers their purchases. When arranging shipping via Hermes, the seller will input product information such as weight and size and then Hermes will then calculate the cost. Sellers will just need to package parcels and take them to a Hermes drop-off point.

When a seller sets up a listing, they determine who pays the shipping cost. Depending on how sellers set up the listing, shipping will either be paid for by the buyer or by the seller.

If a seller selected to pay the shipping costs, the costs will be deducted from their payout. To be sent, items must cost between £1 and £500 (we’re checking if this includes postage costs too and we will update this story when we know more). And they can be of a new or used condition; so long as the seller has included an accurate description of its condition in the listing. Items must also fall within the following categories:

  • Babies and kids.
  • Bags and luggage, books, movies and music (so long as these are physical items-digital sales are not allowed).
  • Clothing and shoes.
  • Electronics and computers.
  • Health and beauty.
  • Jewellery and accessories.
  • Mobile phones.
  • Sports and outdoors.
  • Toys and games.

Other items, such as furniture, won’t be eligible for Facebook’s new shipping service for now.

How will buyers be charged and how will sellers be paid?

Facebook will partner with payment platform Stripe to process transactions. Buyers do not need a Stripe account though-they will instead pay directly on the Facebook website where they will be given the option to use their credit or debit card.

Sellers will, however, need to create a Stripe account before they can offer a postal service. This is free to do, or sellers can login to their existing Stripe account if they have already one. Payouts for goods sold will be sent to sellers’ Stripe account once the item has been delivered.

How will the 2% fee impact sellers’ profits?

The 2% charge, which does not come into play until January 2022, is based on the total cost of the item, as set by the seller, plus the delivery charge as calculated by Hermes. For example, if an item costs £20 and shipping costs £5, then the seller will pay 2% of the combined cost of £25, which will be 50p.

Facebook says the 2% fee will help to cover the cost of customer support and purchase protection.

What happens if there’s a problem with the delivery?

Facebook says all payments made via Marketplace that meet its shipping eligibility criteria will be covered by its’Protection Policy’. This means buyers can request a refund if:

  • They didn’t receive their order.
  • The product arrived damaged or different than described on the listing.
  • The seller didn’t follow their stated refund policy.
  • The purchase was unauthorised.
  • The seller has been removed from Facebook.

In the first instance, buyers are told to contact the seller within three days of delivery (or within three days of when it should have been delivered) to request a refund. If the seller does not respond within two business days then the buyer can contact Facebook and it will investigate and can issue a refund if it agrees there’s a problem.

Equally, if the seller claims the problem is down to Hermes and is nothing to do with them, they can contact Hermes. It is then up to Hermes as to how to handle the complaint.

Can buyers get a refund if they change their mind?

Facebook says all sales are final. But buyers can contact sellers to decide for themselves whether refunds can be given where a buyer has simply changed their mind. If the seller decides to accept the return, the buyer must arrange return shipping without Facebook’s involvement. It’s unclear if the refund will be processed via Facebook or whether the seller would need to action this themselves-we’ll update this story when we know more.

Do buyers get Section 75 and Chargeback protection using the new service?

As detailed above, Facebook says payments made via Marketplace are covered by its’Protection Policy’. However, on top of this, both Facebook and Stripe have also confirmed that credit card transactions made via Marketplace are Section 75 protected.

This means buyers that pay via credit card can request refunds from their issuing bank in the event a seller doesn’t deliver on their end of the transaction, and the item costs more than £100. See our guide on Section 75 Refunds for more info on this.

It’s unclear if buyers purchasing items of less than £100 on credit card or if buyers using debits cards will be protected by similar Chargeback rules-we’ve asked and we’ll update this story when we know more. See our Chargeback guide for more on how this works.

On the seller’s side, Stripe adds that it also offers its own protection to help sellers defend any disputes and to help block any potential fraud.

How do other marketplace platforms compare?

Before using Facebook’s new service it’s worth sellers checking how much they could make selling goods on other platforms first. Here’s an overview of the fees other major selling sites charge sellers.


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