Given how popular online purchases continue to be, it should come as no surprise that Facebook’s invite-only trading zone has caused digital sales to jump somewhat. The Facebook Trading Groups is quite similar to CraigsList, and encourages those who live in the same region as you are to trade and deal with you.
The only way you can participate in the group is by having a friend who also belongs to the group, and that person will invite you to take part. It is an exclusive group simply to alleviate any safety concerns; those who are part of the group want to ensure that the person who is electing to participate – following an invite, that is – is a real person.
The other reason for exclusivity is to ensure that those who are participating are able to take advantage of deals that are exclusive to their region. A Canadian, for instance, is not going to have much use for season tickets for the Texas Rangers. Nor is someone from southeast Asia going to be able to participate in deals for the southern US.
This is a unique arrangement that has definitely been tried on the internet previously, and to varying degrees of success. For starters, there have been Freecycle groups in the past that have operated through North America, at the very least, to varying degrees of success. In addition, eBay has continued to enjoy incredible growth and success. Facebook’s forays into this world only continue the trends started by these organizations.
However, the impact on businesses remains to be seen. For instance, who is to say that a person needing a particular item in their region can’t simply access this group that they are a part of to get a gently used one – and what is the guarantee that the item is gently used? If these groups begin to take off, how is this going to affect the business’ bottom line – particularly if that business has enjoyed great success in the past in that area?
It will be very interesting to see how these businesses could continue to grow and flourish should these Facebook Trading Groups begin to take hold throughout North America and the rest of the world. In fact, the impact on business could be profound if these Trading Groups begin to influence consumers to simply see if they can recycle items between themselves instead of buying something new every time. Such a realization can possibly have a profound impact on a business’ bottom line – and on the market economy as a whole.