BUYING ON FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
Last week, we wrote about selling unwanted goods on Facebook Marketplace. This week it’s all about Buying!
Marketplace allows you to search for goods and buy from local people in your community. The search function is not as sophisticated as other marketplaces such as eBay, but does allow you to do quick searches for items.
When buying on Marketplace, the differences (between other sites and Facebook) are that you can:
View the Sellers Profile
Learn more about the person you are buying from.
You can tap a person’s profile on the product listing page to see the friends you have in common, their Marketplace activity, and any ratings they may have received.
This is great compared to sites like Gumtree where you have no visibility of the person you are dealing with
Send Instant Messages
Ask the seller questions ahead of time, negotiate price and arrange a pick-up location like a coffee shop or public library. As many people have notification on, you generally get a quick response
Report listings that look suspicious
Be sure to check seller profiles. See what else they’ve sold and read listing descriptions carefully. If something doesn’t seem right, you can report it to Facebook.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE…
One of our team members searched for new iPhone X’s on Marketplace, and discovered several “Good Deals”.
Brand New iPhone XS, 64GB, for $800 (retails at $1,629). He sent a message to the seller asking if the phone was available.
They responded Yes, and that he should make contact with the “store” that was selling the iPhone. Thinking he was buying from a local individual, he asked why, to be told that they were a “Marketer”, marketing on behalf of a phone retail store located in Canberra.
They provided the Facebook Page of this iPhone retailer in Canberra and our team member made contact. He was told that he could pay via PayPal and they would use DHL to ship the iPhone to him.
He asked why it was so cheap compared to retail prices, and was advised it was a “Christmas Promotion”. He asked them if they had a storefront in Canberra, and was given the retail storefront address, and their ABN.
Upon searching their ABN, we could see that the ABN had been active for 10 years, but under a different name to this Facebook Page. A few things appeared odd though:
- No website
- ABN Name did not match Facebook Business Page name
- After a Google Search, shop location appeared to be inside a shopping complex, and we were told it “was upstairs”
The retailer assured our team member that they had a shop front and pick up of the iPhone was possible (He knew this team member was from Melbourne).
Luckily, this team member had a friend who lived in Canberra and asked her to check out this shop on her next visit there.
She went to the location, and no shop was in sight.
The team member contacted the retailer asking where they were as they couldn’t be found, and has no reply since.
As the deal was too good to be true, it was. Looks like a scam where they portray a phone retailer, and will “send the iPhone to you via DHL upon payment into their Bank Account.”
We have searched Facebook and found many other “Phone Retailers” with similar deals. All their Facebook pages have less than 200 “Likes”, and no website.
The moral to the story?
If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is!!! When buying online, always be vigilant and aware of possible scammers.
*This particular Facebook business page has since been reported by our Team Member, and he continues to report other similar scam pages “selling” goods