Selling Gifts on Facebook

September 24, 2009

Facebook has opened its Gift Shop to a handful of outside retailers, according to Internet Retailer. The social media giant is testing the waters on allowing third parties to sell both virtual and physical goods to its 300 million users without them ever having to leave Facebook. The four merchants (developers in Facebook-speak) who are participating in the alpha test are all tied to the gift industry: American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, Someecards and Real Gifts.

Customers shop with Facebook credits (10 for a dollar), which had previously only been used for virtual goods. Facebook takes a percentage of each sale, but declined to comment on the fees associated with the test. A spokeswoman says Facebook may open the program up to other retailers this month.

Given how many small businesses already use Facebook to find and bond with customers, not to mention selling on third party sites like eBay and Amazon, is this a boon to boutique retailers? Or will this just lead to big brands with big budgets drowning them out?

If you’re on Facebook as a business, would you sell there?

If you’re on Facebook as a user, would you shop there?