Facebook is without question a worldwide platform and at the end of the day, great for keeping in touch with your long lost high school friends and pretty stellar for targeted advertising. Facebook Marketplace, while amazing for people who want to save money for items needed without going to a retail outlet, has some serious drawbacks. Yes, there are scammers everywhere but this marketplace when it comes to electronics/appliances in general are skeptical to say the least. Meet Deborah, single mom and recently effected locally by someone trying to make a quick buck.
Deborah’s situation is probably not uncommon but there are multiple red flags here that anyone should take notice of. The individual she bought a refrigerator from had multiple appliance listings. Red flag number one – who has that many refrigerators or washer/dryer units to sell? If you are nota major retailer … a seller may be flipping items he purchased off of Facebook or the items are hot. In this situation Deborah simply wanted a backup refrigerator due to a very delayed retail purchase that was not scheduled to show up until the following Saturday.
Unfortunately for Deborah, she not only paid for a refrigerator that did not work, but she also had to pay for ice for the week which pretty much equates to a brand new unit. She first encountered the problem after plugging in her unit and while the power worked, the frig. started overheating. After Deborah popped on YouTube to troubleshoot after zero response from the seller, she removed the back panel from the back of the refrigerator to discover that the fan was not working. A “slight” problem to say the least. She did her due diligence and attempted to not only contact Facebook to report the issue with no response from them, and also report the seller’s page.
The seller even removed the listing so she could not give the seller feedback suggesting he knew of the problem and she only heard back after numerous contact attempts after she directly messaged his girlfriend. His response was that he didn’t know there was an issue and made zero effort to fix the situation.
The point is that Facebook Marketplace scams are rampant, and this is only one situation. Here a are a couple of pointers:
- Avoid paying cash, if possible, to ensure you can get a refund for non- working electronics – PayPal, CC.
- If the above is not possible, ask for installation and a test before handing over your hard working dollars.
- Don’t count on Facebook for responding. Unless your cousin works there, you are dealing with a beast.
- At the very least get a phone number from the seller and check it. If it is a Google number, you may be looking at a potential scam.
- Look at the seller rating and number of items listed for sale. If they are not a retail store, they are most likely not someone moving.