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Facebook Launches Oz Marketplace

US-based Facebook has launched a new marketplace in Australia, taking on UK-based Gumtree and its owner eBay. But the Australian move is just part of Facebook’s strategy: it is also launching other new goods-for-sale sites in the US, UK and New Zealand.

The accent is on sales via mobile devices. Users are offered a place to buy and sell items from within Facebook’s mobile app.

The social media giant is hoping to tap deeper into the pockets of the 450 million people who visit buy-and-sell groups on its platform each month.

The retail feature can be accessed through a shop icon in the Facebook app. Items for sale are listed with the seller’s name, profile photo and general location, alongside a product description.

Contact is facilitated through direct messages – but unlike eBay, Facebook does not offer an inbuilt payments system – buyers need to work something out directly with sellers.

Currently eBay boasts around 164 million active users globally, while Gumtree claims around 7 million people visit its site each month.

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