This Facebook app brings the simplicity of a sidewalk sale to Facebook. But this business model shows how much growth potential there is for shopping on the social network.

Facebook and e-commerce a winning team for Yardsellr


Fusing social and shopping is natural - people have been shopping with their friends for a long time, but the potential for bringing this to digital is yet to be fully realized. For now, Facebook users come primarily to connect with friends and play games, and the site gets revenue largely from advertising. But the success of startups like Yardsellr might open the door to an actual f-commerce trend, and indicates larger companies, retailers and brands should take a closer look at Facebook as a legitimate e-commerce platform. Bringing together Facebook can support an economy and power it with its virtual currency - perhaps services like Yardsellr can show the system is viable.

Sidewalk sales on Facebook

Peer-to-peer shopping platform Yardsellr provides a marketplace for secondhand goods to be bought and sold within Facebook.Run by several former eBay executives in Palo Alto, the service groups products into categories - called “blocks” on Yardsellr, and shoppers opt-in to these blocks by liking them. Products within the blocks appear in the user’s Facebook news stream, creating a customized marketing channel within the social network. The service lists and sells items for free, and charges buyers a ten percent fee. As the name suggests, Yardsellr strives to build a community-based commerce platform - lowering the barrier to entry for sellers, encouraging sharing, viral network building, etc. that are suited to the social network environment.

Social shopping reinforced by interest group conversations

Besides buying and selling, Yardsellr also encourages conversation first with their Facebook integration, but not only. Because members subscribe to blocks about which they are enthusiastic, people comment on new items and others respond, creating lengthy and excited threads of interaction. Yardsellr considers this an important part of their business identity, as it builds their interior community within Facebook. It also strengthens engagement and creates more opportunity for members’ friends to connect to the app.

By Ivory King