Beware of Facebook Marketplace

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

We hear about this every week...

Sellers ship their device out, only for the payment to be cancelled later.

Buyers find their new device blacklisted (reported lost or stolen) a few days after receiving it.

Or they just end up with a battered iPhone that looks nothing like the one in the photos. Sorry - no warranty, no returns. This account no longer exists.

The idea of a a diverse and competitive marketplace whereby everyone is honest and accountable is a lovely idea.

Unfortunately, a very small proportion of our society abuses the rules in the pursuit of self-interest. And this group are disproportionately active on Facebook Marketplace. 

Marketplace scamming is low cost, low effort stealing. The risk-reward ratio is much lower online, and people are less likely to feel guilty about screwing over someone they'll never met.

Online selling platforms like Depop, Ebay and Etsy are great. Who'd of thought 20 years ago that individuals could exchange goods and services cooperatively without the oversight of a corporation or governing body? Turns out, we can manage it really well. In fact, if you have a less-than 95% positive feedback score on Ebay, you've probably got something wrong with you, and you will be cast out from the system. Same goes for your Uber rating. You know people get banned from Airbnb?  

Facebook Marketplace does not have buyer and seller RATINGS or SUPPORT or PROTECTION like Ebay and PayPal, so it attracts scammers, who can hide behind an anonymous, legit-looking profile.

The vast majority of people buying and selling on Marketplace are decent people. This makes it a great place to buy and sell things locally, or promote your side business. (FYI: Do not arrange to meet with anyone you don't know in a dark alleyway)

It's not the place to get a great deal on a high value item. It's not the place to sell an iPhone and send it in the post. 

At worst, you'll get scammed. At the very least, you'll receive a ton of creepy messages begging you to knock £150 off the asking price.

Don't get caught out! Buy or sell to Talkback

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