Sell your homemade food online

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Selling Food on Facebook

The Facebook Marketplace is truly a dynamic place in which quite literally billions of users have the ability to interact with other users. You can find just about anything on Facebook Marketplace — cars for sale, board games for sale, electronics for sale — and now, you'll also see food for sale.

If you are reading this, then it's a good chance that you are looking for how to join the others in how to sell food on Marketplace. Making food at home and learning how to sell it online is a fantastic way to earn a side income and some even have success making selling food on Facebook and other places their entire income. Of course, there are some important stipulations when it comes to learning about whether and how can you sell homemade food online.

First things first, you must know your local cottage food law. Facebook in and of itself is not classified as a storefront. They do not collect Facebook Marketplace fees — with the obvious exception, of course, of selling Facebook ads that can extend one's audience. But these are ads, they are not license or vendor fees. So if you are curious about can you sell food on Facebook without a license, well, yes, you don't need a specific Facebook license to sell in their online marketplace. But you may need local licensing and permitting to sell food. 

Your local jurisdiction will let you know if you need to undergo permitting or get your kitchen certified as safe to make and sell publicly available food. Some places will require this regardless if you sell online or offline while others will only require it when you sell in public places and still others only sell certain foods. 

Once you check your local laws, then you can start the process of making and selling food online. The answer to can I sell food from home thus becomes, when you are prepped and ready. And you will want to sell food in online marketplaces like Facebook if you can. Some people worry “is Facebook marketplace safe?” and the answer is, so long as you are practicing basic smart selling tactics, yes. Smart selling tactics include not shipping any goods until you are paid and making sure your homemade food is safe and properly packaged, especially if your food has a common allergen in it. 

How to Sell Food on Facebook

Learning how to sell food products on Facebook is fairly easy. In fact, you will likely find that the hardest part of how to sell food on Facebook is starting up with the food business itself.

You will want to have the basics of your cottage food business down before you start with Facebook. This means having the specifics of what type of food you are going to sell decided, the kitchen and storage area in which you are going to prepare and cook said food set-up, your packaging completed, and all necessary local permitting and licensing taken care of. Once those things are taken care of, you can turn to selling food on Facebook.

Learning how to post food on Facebook Marketplace starts with logging in. You can choose to either sell goods through your personal account or you can create a business page or profile and sell food under that moniker. Once you decide what account set-up you want to use, scroll down on the left-side menu until you see the "Marketplace" option. Click on it or go directly to Facebook Marketplace in your browser by typing facebook.com/marketplace.

Next, you will click on the blue "Sell Something" on the new left menu. After you click this, a pop-up window will launch and this is where you can start building up your cottage food listing. Which, first things first, you should select the food category in Facebook marketplace.

Remember, in many states, when selling food on Facebook, illegal it is not. You can sell just about any type of food on Facebook that you might sell to a neighbor. This means that wherever you can sell meat like jerky products, the answer to can you sell meat on Facebook would likewise be yes. Note, however, Facebook does have a ban on selling live animals. So all food products have to be in one of the final stages — eggs, jerky, and such products are okay. Live chickens are not. 

Once you have started to create a listing, all you have to do is add your pictures of your product, content about your product, where or how buyers can purchase your products, and a price. Make sure you take good and clear photographs of your food as images do speak much louder than words. If you sell outside of your home, make sure to add the locations and times that you sell there. For example, you might post a general Facebook Marketplace post for your baked cakes, but also note that you can be found every Saturday at the local farmer's market

Selling Food On Facebook NZ

For selling food on Facebook NZ, you will need to follow New Zealand cottage laws. These laws are designed to protect consumers and ensure that what gets sold to the general public is safe to consume. 

So if you plan on selling baked goods, such as cakes or cookies, then you will need to complete a written plan called a Food Control Plan or National Program. This is an easy online questionnaire that will include general safety guidelines. The process for home-based bakeries can be completed in just 20 days, after which you can be up online selling your goods.

If you sell more high-risk foods, the wait time is the same but you do have to go through a more involved process. This may include a food inspection to ensure that the right protocols are being followed. 

The good news is that once a person in New Zealand gets approval through their council, they can start selling online, including on Facebook. 

Selling Food on Facebook UK

The United Kingdom is perhaps one of the strictest countries when it comes to selling food online, such as selling cakes on Facebook UK. In fact, the UK wants to restrict online sellers even more than the country already does, so if you are concerned about going online to sell food in the UK, you should consider joining a local lobbying effort.

Right now, the answer to is it legal to sell food on Facebook UK is yes, but only if you follow all local regulations. This begins with registering with the local authorities. As part of this registration, you allow local authorities to inspect your home and kitchen. This inspection is done to ensure that all proper food hygiene laws and recommendations are being followed. A food hygiene rating is given to every home-based food business, whether you are looking for how can I sell cakes on Facebook UK or cheeses or something else entirely. 

Do not attempt to sell food on Facebook in the UK without first registering with your local governing bodies and completing this process. The UK is getting strict about those who are not operating without a proper license and food hygiene rating, especially as online food sales have exploded in the last year due to coronavirus-associated lockdowns. Not following the proper protocols can lead to fines and even banning you from future online sales. 

Selling Food on Facebook Canada

Canada is another place that has some strict regulations when it comes to selling any type of homemade food in any location, including when selling food on Facebook Canada. The biggest thing is that in order to get a yes answer to can I sell food on Facebook Marketplace Canada, is that many jurisdictions requires that food has to be prepared in commercial kitchens. In Ontario, only recently did they relax this stipulation in which those commercial kitchens had to be certified and regularly inspected as well.

If you are not sure what rules or what laws apply to your situation, consider visiting the inspection.canda.ca website. This government website does help with sorting out the different regulations in different provinces. However, remember to do your due diligence and check your local regulations. This can take time but once you are cleared to go, you can get up running quickly and make that effective income online without further worries. 

Selling Food on Facebook Australia

Australia is another country that has been increasing its regulations and increasing how well they enforce the current regulations regarding selling food on Facebook Australia. Australian government representatives have, in fact, said that while Facebook does not have a problem with Australians buying and selling food online on their platform, the government does. 

According to Food Safety Information Council chairwoman Cathy Moir in a recent article, Facebook Marketplace is too much of an unregulated market. She notes that it can put the public at risk due to sellers unlikely to "meet the required food safety standards."

The good-ish news is that Australian food safety enforcers are primarily looking to stop those home-based food sellers that deal in high-risk foods. This means foods that are meat, dairy, or seafood-based, such as sausages, curries, and dumplings. If you don't sell these types of foods, then you both stand a great chance at getting properly registered and legalized, and even if you don't, it is unlikely for the enforcement agencies to pick you up. 

To be fully legal to sell food online and offline in Australia, you will need to go through a full inspection and application process. This will require you to have a business license and permitting and to have a kitchen set-up that will ensure a decreased risk of food-borne illnesses. Check your local government websites to learn more. 

Additional Resources

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