Should you use buy and sell pages for your business?

If you have a product to sell and you’ve hit a quiet patch, it’s quite likely someone has recommended that you start posting on buy and sell pages. Sounds reasonable! After all, people do use those pages to sell stuff! But, is it right for your business? Or does selling on buy and sell pages do more harm than good?

What are they?

Buy and sell pages are groups or pages that have been created specifically on social media for people, or businesses, to sell their stuff. Some of these groups are aimed at people that just want to sell their own unwanted stuff, and some are more like marketplaces. But either way, the aim is to offer a platform for people to buy and sell.

Facebook has plenty of buy and sell pages for your business to post in.

So, should you use them?

To be able to answer this question effectively, you should first get to know your ideal customer and how they shop. If you don’t know your ideal customer very well, check out our blog and start creating your golden customer profile. If you already know your golden customer, then ask yourself if your customer is even hanging out on those pages. Facebook analytics offers really useful insights into the types of groups and pages your current fans are using. But, if you are looking at finding new groups of customers you’ll have to rely on your persona.

Are you “reasonably priced”?

Often the items sold will offered be at bargain prices. You’ll not find many premium priced products or services on these sites. This is important. As a rule, the people that search on buy and sell pages are not looking for high quality premium offerings. If you do manage to get a sale, the expectation might not quite match what you are offering.

Someone that buys from a bargain page will probably not care about how much time you spent working on a product, or the quality of the ingredients. They care about getting volume and price. Take a look at the language they use when they are looking for recommendations, and the posts that do well. They’ll say things like “reasonably priced” when searching for a tree surgeon, or “easy to pay” when looking for a mechanic, or “doesn’t charge crazy prices”. They aren’t looking for great service, or quality work. They don’t value those types of service in that way.

People are looking for bargains on buy and sell pages!

Why posting in buy and sell pages might damage your business

A few years back, I tried to sell premium afternoon teas on a buy and sell group once by offering a price reduction. I managed to sell quite a few actually. But my afternoon tea was made up of premium french pastries and delicate bites. This type of customer didn’t care about the quality, they were used to getting big chunks of cake and piles of cheap sausage rolls and sandwiches in their afternoon teas. In all the years, the only negative feedback I ever got was from those customers. They were expecting boxes full of food for the price they paid, not well presented, delicately balanced, treats.

The same happened to a hand crafter I know. She made beautiful, hand knitted, scarves and tried to sell them on a buy and sell page. She got slammed for her “crazy prices” mostly because the people in the group had never spent more than a tenner on a scarf before! They didn’t care or even realise the number of hours that had been put into the item, the amount of skill, or the quality of the wool. Many crafters barely make minimum wage, and yet people had the cheek to call her out on her pricing. There was nothing wrong with her pricing or product, she was just in the wrong marketplace.

When does it work?

What if your company values include making things more affordable? What if you are aiming to sell things at great prices? If that’s the case, you should definitely try posting on buy and sell pages for your business, you’ll probably fit fight in. If you would describe your product as competitively priced, then go for it. It’ll take a lot of work to update and manage all your listings. But the people following those pages may very well be your perfect customers.

Where do you go if it’s not for you?

For everyone else, consider where your perfect client actually hangs out. Are they even on social media anymore? If she’s a middle aged woman, there’s a good chance she’s not. So, time to start thinking outside the box about where she is now, and how to reach her. Maybe it’s time to look at creating a website and working on your SEO, or maybe they go to networking meetings, or local hobby groups, or dogs shows? Social media is only one way to find clients…

How can we help you figure out a marketing strategy that is perfect for your business?

Book a power-up with us now and we’ll work with you to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats so you can stay ahead!