Trade Me confidently welcomes Facebook's Marketplace competition

The launch of Facebook Marketplace in New Zealand is being reported as a potential game-changer and could have repercussions for our own internet giant Trade Me. 

Facebook Marketplace connects buyers and sellers and it's free to advertise, unlike auction site Trade Me.

"We'd be naive if we didn't watch what Facebook were doing, and all our competitors," said Trade Me Head of Marketplace Stuart McLean.

The new Facebook service is being rolled out to the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. 

It has been tried before but with limited success. 

"Facebook have got a great audience, that's obviously a key for them. But it is a social media platform, it's not a market place," said Mr McLean.

For now, Facebook Marketplace is only available on mobile devices.

When you click on the Marketplace icon it is at the bottom of the phone screen in the Facebook app where you can see items for sale in your region, or around the country. 

From there people are able to direct message the seller to make an offer.

But this differs from a site like Trade Me, whereby Facebook only connects they buyer and seller and then steps back.

There is no built in payment system, that is down to the people doing the deal.

"It is the buyer beware concept really, they're talking to somebody they can't check out, they can't check out what kind of human being they are," said media commentator Jill Brinsdon. 

"If you look at fraud or you look at scams online, they're just getting more and more prevalent, that's where we have structured payment systems, we can see the transactions if things go wrong we can help," said Mr McLean.

With 17 years of experience, Trade Me is confident about winning the battle.

"This is really the continuation of a marketplace ratcheting closer and closer to the consumer having the ultimate control," said Ms Brinsdon. 

With 17 years of experience, Trade Me is confident about winning the battle and is welcoming Facebook's competition. Source: 1 NEWS

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