PM is Key: Why most Facebook sellers only give price via PM

I’m sure every one of you has encountered this at least once in their Facebook wall — a Facebook seller posts an interesting item complete with all details, except the price. So you’ll see the succeeding comments of “HM” or “interested.” You, being the 100th potential customer, will do the same after scanning the entire comment thread for the price only to see “PM sent” responses from the seller.

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Annoying, right?

So, we asked a few people in the e-commerce space, one of whom has been in the industry for close to a decade and started with a capital of PHP 100,000 and now hitting PHP 25 Million in sales per month.

Our resource tells us a lot of factors affecting online selling, and here are the reasons:

    • Under-cutting by Competition. By not revealing the prices of the goods in public, the seller avoids being leeched for potential customers by competitors on their FB pages. Competitors selling the same items might under-cut each other if their price list is posted publicly. Sending it via PM is the most effective and efficient way for competitors from stalking each other.

    • Capturing Generated Leads. By requiring interested customers to leave a comment, sellers get a good figure on the total volume of potential sales. Sellers don’t get this kind of insight if they have the prices posted publicly, and no one comments “how much.” To further capture these leads, a PM is sent to initiate a private one-on-one conversation that starts with revealing the price.
    • Upselling Opportunities. By engaging in a private one-on-one conversation with a potential customer, the seller has all the opportunities to upsell and increase potential revenue per customer. There is also a lot of room for negotiation in order to get a higher conversion rate.

  • Re-Marketing Opportunities. Once a seller has initiated a private conversation with a lead or previous customer, there’s a huge opportunity to re-market. It’s either with a better, newer version of a previously offered or sold product, a lowered/sale price of a previous unsold offer, or a completely new offer of a new product line. The FB Messenger has effectively replaced email marketing in the social media age.

There are a few other less compelling reasons given to us by our sources, but these are the top reasons why “PM is Key” is a dominant strategy for most newbie online sellers.

From the seller’s standpoint, it makes sense and, if one day you become an FB seller yourself, we think you’d be employing the same strategy yourself.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

6 Responses

  1. Avatar for Kmbc Kmbc says:

    Which really goes to show that sellers have no concern for buyers.
    It would be so much simpler for a buyer to see a price upfront, like on retail websites, than have to wait for a reply. As you yourself said: “From the seller’s standpoint, it makes sense”.
    So much for customer service.

  2. Avatar for J34NP3T3R J34NP3T3R says:

    while this maybe TRUE, if you trully wants a higher chance of selling your product then you should PM the customers who are asking. instead of replying to them “PM ME”… whenever i ask for a price and a seller says “PM ME” or “PM” i leave them and move on.

  3. Avatar for Steven "Panky" Quilop Steven "Panky" Quilop says:

    Kahit anong “business strategy” i-cite nila to justify such janky behavior, kanal pa rin ang dating ng ginagawa nila. To not waste the time of your kapwa is common decency, and these people are trashy enough to put profit over that. Sobrang squammy.

  4. Avatar for charle charle says:

    oh well, because of that ‘pm is the key’ thing, my decision buying the item is having a second thought, i don’t think that kind of strategy is good, they just waste people time. or what if they change prices? that’s unfair. and the most annoying is they will reply to you YEARS!! i don’t have much time in this world to wait for their goddamn replies just to know the price.

  5. Avatar for Mel Mel says:

    Probably the biggest reason for requiring PM for price is to enable pricing discrimination: If the seller can see based on your FB/other social media accounts that the buyer has an affluent lifestyle, the seller can easily raise the price and the buyer wouldn’t easily know what the real price is (unless the buyer knows someone else who messaged the seller).

  6. Avatar for Archie Archie says:

    Why? Because they are uncouth people who would like to waste the buyers time. Oh i wish FB marketplace is better moderated.

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