Secure Ways to Buy and Sell on Facebook Marketplace – If you are looking for a good deal of holiday presents or you want to sell your old stuff to fund the company, the Facebook marketplace is a great alternative to yard and flea markets.
The Marketplace attracts its fair share of swindlers and scammers, like any other online exchange (and those in the real world). Here are also some tips to make the marketplace of Facebook a source of joy and not a disappointment.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
In October 2016, Facebook unveiled the Marketplace and by May 2017, over 18 million items were sold in the USA. Since then, the services have expanded to other countries, with over 550 million users participating in buy-and-sell groups monthly. Facebook reports that the amount of search on the Marketplace table has tripled globally since the start of 2017.
The concept is simple: Facebook shows a range of items for sale in your region using details from your profile to determine where you want them and the option to list your own goods to be bought. When a buyer sees an item that he wishes to purchase, he or she contacts the seller via Messenger and arranges to complete the transaction. Using Messenger allows traders without exchanging addresses or telephone numbers to do business, and Facebook does not charge a fee.
The marketplace can be easily used. To view the Marketplace application, click on the Marketplace button in the left column of your Facebook homepage. There are plenty of images, each with a price tag, of items for the sale. Check or use the filters to narrow your search by item type, price, etc. Click the blue ‘Sell Anything’ button and fill in the form if you want to sell it. Selling with the mobile app will save you time by taking a snapshot and connecting it to the list without saving and uploading the pictures.
Secure Ways to Buy and Sell on Facebook Marketplace
Here are five tips to help you have a positive and stable Facebook Marketplace experience:
- For all purchases, use a credit card or secure electronic payment service. As there is no integrated payment system in the marketplace, you must negotiate payments straight into the contract with the other party. Faithful sellers could use cash, gift cards, or other untraceable methods of payment, and shady buyers could offer worthless gift cards. Card issuers and payment processors like PayPal – not his sister app Venmo – will inquire on your behalf about claims of fraud and provide sellers with better security. Renowned market traders would like to use secure sites, both legal buyers and sellers.
- Avoid transactions that don’t involve local buyers/sellers. Facebook will in theory only show you, potential buyers and sellers, in your nearby neighborhood. (The radius may be set to just under two miles or up to 100 miles, but 40 miles is the default.) If a vendor states that an item is shipped from a longer distance, there is a likelihood that there will be no order or that it will not be anticipated. And consider decreasing if a buyer asks you to ship a long-distance object, particularly internationally: When the object is transported and cannot be recovered from you, the buyer will cancel the payment.
- Check out buyer/seller profiles. Look at the profile of the seller under “seller statistics” when you click on an item for sale. Check Facebook and make sure you have mutual friends in your town. It can be a red flag if you have been on Facebook for only a little while or a few followers. Also, look for their name on Facebook; if you see multiple profiles with the same name and image, a red flag could raise.
- Inspect before making payment. Make sure you can “see the goods” before authorizing payment for an item. Take an expert who can verify if it is a diamond or a collector’s item. Connect or replace the batteries when it is electronic to ensure it does operate.
- Meet the buyer/seller in a public place. Some police forces invite people to visit lobbyists or car parks in their stations to finalize the exchange process. Consider a public place such as a coffee store or restaurant when this is not possible. Bring a friend, and if you’re bold, shoot a video or take pictures of the conversation so that if there are disputes later, you can easily see the other party.
When something’s not right
You would not experience shady characters more (or less), whether you are doing business through Facebook Marketplace, than in the real world or if you buy and sell goods via platforms such as eBay and Craigslist. Keep an eye out and walk away from the red flag, if it feels wrong.
You must and must take the following measures if you are ever a victim of a scam:
- Follow the measures outlined here if you suspect a Facebook marketplace scammer.
- If you believe you have been duped, inform the law enforcement authorities. Notify local authorities and plan to submit an online criminal complaint report to the FBI (IC3). Not all cases will be tracked by the FBI, but fraud registrations can help to identify fraud patterns and trends which can help to prosecute cyber crooks.
Facebook can be an entertaining and vibrant source of deals. If you are as alert to potential fraud as you are for businesses, you will have a more positive market experience. Have fun shopping! Have fun shopping!
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