Facebook Classifieds – in partnership with Oodle – is now live, and just in time. As the end of the year approaches and students get ready to part with used books, furniture, appliances, and other miscellaneous items they have collected over the year but now see no need for, many of them will find their answer (i.e. prospective buyers) on Facebook and through Oodle.
While we refer to these as Facebook Classifieds, you should keep in mind that the items that you will potentially purchase won’t necessarily be from other Facebook users, and in most cases won’t be from your Facebook friends. Facebook is merely allowing its 25 million plus users an easy way to access the over 20 million classifieds listings that people have put up on Oodle. Apart from that, the two services have very little integration (yes you can use the Facebook ‘Share’ feature to share listings with friends). Whether you want to buy or sell, when you click the appropriate link, you are taken away from Facebook and to Oodle to complete your listing or to further explore the transaction you want to make.
Before you can start listing items to sell, you have to enter your password once again, this time to log into the Facebook sub-domain of Oodle. Once logged in, listing an item is a 4-step process.
1. Category and Location – You begin by choosing a main category and a sub-category (and optional categories) you want to list the item in, followed by the ad type (i.e. whether you want to sell the item you are listing or want to buy it), who you would like to share the ad with, and end it by typing in your zip code and email address where you you would like to receive your ‘self-publishing kit’.
2. Composing an Ad – While composing an ad, you have the option to link to a pre-existing ad that you have previously created, or to create a new one from scratch. Assuming you are creating one from scratch, you have to add a title and a description and optionally you can add a price and product brand. You can also upload up to 4 pictures of the product you are listing.
3. Preview Ad – Once you type in the verification code, you will be taken to a preview of the ad that you have just created. If everything looks okay just click continue, otherwise you can go back and change information as desired.
4. Check email and Confirm – Before your ad actually goes live, you have to check your email and click on the confirmation link. Once activated, the listing will show up on Oodle, and you can start sharing it with your friends on Facebook.
Just like we used these 4 steps to list an item that we wanted to sell, the exact same steps are repeated if you want to list something that you want to buy. The only difference is that in step 1 (ad type), instead of clicking ‘for sale ad’ just click ‘wanted ad’.
Looking for Already-Listed Items
There are two ways to find items you want to buy. The first one as outlined above, is to make a ‘wanted ad’ for the item you want to buy, and the second one is to use the classifieds search to see if someone has already listed the item you are looking for. Since there are already more than 20 million items listed on Oodle, you’re far better off trying the latter of the two methods. I conducted a simple search for a microwave in my area code and was presented with 87 different listings, ranging from $15 to $285.
You cannot make a transaction through Facebook or through Oodle. Once you have decided which item you want to buy, Oodle let’s you contact the owner of the listing via email, and how you complete the transaction from there is up to you.
For every person that joins the Facebook group ‘Oodle Classifieds’, the company is donating $1 to NRDC.
Why are we donating to The Natural Resources Defense Council? Simple: we care about the environment and the NRDC does a good job of defending it. Additionally, classifieds — selling your used goods, buying gently used items — is good for the environment. Sell your futon instead of adding it to a landfill; buy a used dining room table and leave a tree standing in the rain forest. See, you can save trees without hugging them.
Overall, while I can see why the two companies decided to join forces (connecting over 25 million people to more than 20 million classifieds listings), I am not too impressed with the implementation, especially from a true integration perspective.
Thanks to Pete for the heads up on Facebook/Oodle Classifieds.