How to sell on Facebook
Posted on July 16th , 2019 at 4:00 PM
Listing items on online marketplaces has become a fast and easy way to reach potential buyers, but can also open doors for schemes and scams to contaminate the transaction process. Your first shield against fraud would be to go for trustworthy websites, and follow the below steps to ensure a safe experience.
Creating a safe classified Ad
- • Avoid any detail that links to your personal information unless it is absolutely necessary. You never know who’s behind the screen; the information you provide could easily be used against you. This does sound like a movie script, but the consequence are, unfortunately, real. Instead, go for strictly item-related information
- • Make sure to exclude any personal aspects from pictures you post. For instance, make sure your family members, license plate, house, numbers, and so on, are completely excluded from the frame when clicking a photo
- • Although listing a contact number is more practical than contacting via e-mail, giving away your personal phone number is an open-door to reaching personal information, as well as a free ticket for a harassment session that may last you months. Instead, get a disposable number that is clean of any past records
- • If you are using a website that does not provide their own e-mail services, create your own temporary account that does not include your full name, age, or whereabouts
- • Not to criticize strangers, but if your buyer is “out of the area,” they’re most likely coming all packed up with scams.
- • Listen to your gut. Sometimes being too eager on selling an item leaves you blind to signs that scream fraud. If anything feels weird, off, or just not right, stop contact with your potential buyer.
- • If you feel comfortable with the buyer and they seem genuinely interested in your ad, ask for their contact information and test them. If it’s a phone number, call it, and if it’s an e-mail address, test it. If the line is out of service and the e-mail is never responded to, be sure that you’re dealing with a scammer. If they end up answering, talk about the sale and double check for legitimacy. Social anxiety is not an excuse. Do it.
- • Insist on taking direct forms of payment. “Paying later,” “check book taking too long to issue,” “paying the rest later,” and so on, are all commonly heard excuses that scammers adopt. Don’t be too nice on that matter, accept the payment in full, at the exact moment where the product is being handed.
Show transportable items in safe, public places
- • The night is dark and full of terrors (in case you don’t watch Game of Thrones, you should). Insist on showcasing your item during daylight, in a public space. Bring a friend you trust with you in case anything goes wrong. Any request on behalf of the buyer to meet anywhere unfamiliar or alone, turn it down immediately (even if you think the sweat puddles you make at the gym could possibly take on a scammer).
- • Meeting at your home is a no, too
- • Do not let go of the item until your payment has been received. If the buyer decides to change the form of payment you agreed upon, cancel the deal.
- • In case a buyer wants “time to think about it,” take the same precautions. Don’t lose your guard at the idea that you might have lost a buyer.
- • If your product is of substantial value, agree to meet at your bank where you can safely and promptly deposit the payment before leaving, and where security systems are omnipresent. The buyer would lose all chances to rob you back. However, do make sure you stay safe when putting in your bank details to deposit the money.
If the item is non-transportable, cautiously prepare your home.
- • Keep this in mind: the less they see, the less they know. Your home is a garden of clues and information about your personal life. Your decoration hints at your financial status, pictures show family members, and if they were to ever rob your house, they would know the exact divisions and placements. Your safest option is to keep all information that might be useful away from the eyes of crooks.
- • Ideally, your product could be moved to the entrance, hallway, or garage. Potential buyers (or strangers, in general), are better kept outside your home
- • Remove valuable items from the buyer’s sight. Any item that can be stolen on the spot, or worth making a sneaky come-back for should not be showcased at the time of visit.
- • Your safest option would be to turn your meeting into a two-step procedure. Arrange for it to take place during daytime and have someone accompany you.
- • If two (or more) people show up, keep them under your vision. A common scheme is for one person to distract you while the other(s) ask to use the toilet while they explore your house’s divisions and contemplate items that are worthy of theft. Decline any requests to leave the room, so you could keep things under control. If there’s a public restroom in nearby premises, refer them to it.
- • Don’t hand over the item until you have cash in hand. Don’t accept partial payment, or anything other than cash for the transaction. If the method of payment changes from your previous agreement, decline the deal.
Keeping these precautions in mind will ensure a safer, more professional, and therefore a more enjoyable experience with your online transaction. Your chances of keeping things under control would be significantly higher. Keep your shields up!