Facebook's Marketplace - a Trade Me killer?

An example from the Marketplace launch video (Facebook)
An example from the Marketplace launch video (Facebook)

Facebook is taking on e-commerce sites like Trade Me and eBay.

It is launching Marketplace to allows its users to buy and sell goods in their local area.

New Zealand is one of four countries where Facebook is going to launch Marketplace. The other countries are the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Facebook began trialling Marketplace last year in New Zealand. It is also being tested in Chile.

It will initially only be available to individuals and not involve businesses. However companies might be added in the future.

Marketplace will initially only be available to iPhone and Android users, although a desktop version is planned.

Facebook's Marketplace - a Trade Me killer?

Facebook Marketplace on an iPhone (Facebook / supplied)

Facebook says 450 million people are already using its 'buy and sell' groups. They will be able to access Marketplace via a shop icon that will appear at the bottom of the Facebook app.

Facebook will not charge transaction fees. Nor will it arrange the payment or delivery of goods. That will be left to the users to do offline.

It appears there won't be a place to leave feedback either. But users will be able to report people to Facebook if they do not act honestly or sell goods that are prohibited by Facebook.

Facebook bans people from buying and selling guns, marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs on its platform.

This is not the first time Facebook has attempted to launch an e-commerce site. It tried to do the same in 2007.

In 2014 it launched For Sale groups. It is hoping the sheer size of its user base - 1.7 billion people - will ensure Marketplace's success.

Shares in eBay fell by 1.5 percent following the announcement. Amazon slipped by 0.4 percent.

Trade Me closed unchanged at $5.62 yesterday, ahead of the Facebook announcement.