Selling your products on Facebook and Instagram

Recently I have been building an online shop, which also has an Instagram page and a Facebook page. Some time ago, I added the shop feature to my Kertu Kelem Art account on Facebook and Instagram. So I wanted to test it out on this new shop. But oh the trouble with Meta. Everything, all the information is all over the place, steps are quite complicated and of course, I wanted to take a shortcut. But that didn’t work. I couldn’t create a shop on Facebook! So I used the Meta Help feature, and sent them an email, to get to the bottom of this issue. Setting everything up on Business Manager seemed very simple, but now, I got a message of “Facebook Error.. etc etc” A nice, but very fastly speaking lady called me soon. I explained the issue, and she told me that since I am in the UK, the newest Shop feature wasn’t available, and I simply cannot sell my products online. That was news to me! I had seen many fellow artists from the UK selling on Instagram! What exactly were they doing differently?

Maybe the problem was in me. My account! My thoughts went quickly back to a few days ago when I had commented on someones Wild Swimming page. He had been boasting about going out every day at 5 am, so he could swim at 5.45 (quite a long drive!), and how everyone could do it, would they have the discipline? My snarkiness was just waiting around the corner.. “You are lucky to have the freedom to do it! Not everyone does.. especially ones with children” was my answer to him. I was imagining myself, going out there to the lake, every morning, oh how I would love a swim! But I have obligations! A single mom of 4 cannot simply abandon their children! “I have a 3-year-old child, and 3 dogs!” was his answer. Nah, nah.. I could smell the misogyny in his attitude “So who stays with them, when you go swimming? Your wife? And how happy is she, when you are out every morning at that time, leaving her alone!” was my answer. I should have stopped of course. But I had to put another male person in place, having done the mothering alone and solely for the past 15 years! (there were times when I did have another human male living with me, but who came and went as he pleased, never asking, whether I too needed a little break. I was a woman after all. A super-powered creature, whose battery never runs out!) Long story short – I noticed he had blocked me after this little harmless exchange of thoughts about wild swimming. Had he reported me to Facebook, for mistreating men and their rights to swim in the morning? Had Facebook disabled my ability to hence create future shops?

Panic set in. I was ferociously searching for answers now. Maybe I just looked at it from the wrong angle. Aha, I found a way to check my account status – phew, no restrictions. Still, why did this lady say I cannot sell in UK? Finally, an answer, I can sell in UK! Just not directly through Facebook. In between her shooting words at me, like a fast-passing train, I had misunderstood her message.

The next hours were spent in my children’s basketball training. Ferrying the boys back and forth, one starting, one finishing, then shopping for mochis at the very end of our session. And still – at 10PM trying to find solutions and getting everyone in bed at the same time. The perfect time to sit down, and read, the perfect time for creative thought, and problem-solving, but – children simply won’t go to bed, unless I stand there, and instruct them what and how to get to bed.. In between my youngest coming downstairs and showing me his newest games – with no intent on going to bed, I finally found the articles and instructions on how to set up a Facebook Shop (which one has to do prior to connecting it to Instagram).

As I worked through the process, I came to the step of Business and Person verification – this is what was needed and why my shop was being created the last time! Ah! Not that I can’t sell from UK! Simply they needed to know that I am who I am. That is all now for tomorrow. And hopefully I will be able to post some real instructions of how to create a Facebook Shop through Business Manager. Consider this a prelude.