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Spotting scammers on Facebook Marketplace: Tips for SELLERS | Toxiic's Tips

Started by: toxiic
On: 17/12/2018 | 20:34
Replies: 13

by: toxiic
on: 17/12/2018 | 20:34 edited: 28/12/2018 | 16:56

Hi everyone. I’m back again with the tips to avoid scammers but this time I’ll be covering some tips sellers can use. Be sure to check out my Buyer version of this as using both of them should give you a strong insight in what to look out for.



Buyer Ratings


Though most turn off you being able to see the Buyer Ratings of a buyer, some still do leave their ratings as “Public”. These ratings are from other sellers, who rate positively or negatively the buyer. You can see these on the buyer’s marketplace profile. Generally, if a buyer that’s messaged you and has poor ratings or none at all, coupled with other factors (like their Facebook join date and overall how legitimate their profile looks) then these people should be avoided.



Expand your options


Simply sticking to collection only isn’t a great idea, for Marketplace at least (you can probably get away with it on a Facebay – a Facebook group that’s limited to anyone in a certain area, eg: London). Seeing as Marketplace can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the UK, you’re not really going to be wanting to limit the potential buyers before you even offer any prices. Instead, you can offer delivery (via a courier like Hermes, Royal Mail DPD etc) for an extra fee to the buyer whilst also offering buyers close to you the opportunity to collect without the extra fee of delivery. I’ve left a guide at the end of this to give you more detail into the delivery side of things.



Keep your calm with timewasters


The amount of time-wasters or “ask and runners” (as I like to call them) is absolutely absurd. As a seller, be fully prepared for the “Is this available?” or anything of the sort to pop up with every single buyer.

When buyers view your listing and want to start a conversation, Facebook suggests these keyword phrases for them to use – which automatically sends a message to you. Due to it being so easy to distribute these “Is this still available?” questions, you’ll get swamped by a lot of them – which is where most buyers don’t actually respond to you when you confirm that yes, the item is available!

Keep your cool with this and assume that, just because a message has automatically been sent by Facebook through the buyer asking if the item is still available, the buyer isn’t actually interested – which helps to soften the blow of the chestnut of not ever getting a message back!

This links to the scamming side of things as scammers can quite easily make many different, fake Facebook accounts and distribute these messages at high rates due to it's ease. Therefore, scammers can simply fire off many messages asking if an item is available, then come back later to see if the seller has responded - which is when they'll attempt to phish for details, so ensure you do your research on buyers like this before replying and making yourself a target.



Don’t give out too much information


As the number of people using Marketplace grows, the lucrativeness to scammers grows. On regular occasions you’ll find yourself with buyers who supposedly want to collect (even if you’ve plainly stated that it’s delivery only). A large source of these ‘buyers’ aren’t looking to buy the item you’re selling, instead they want to ‘buy’ your personal details (at no cost to them).

Linking to the previous point of asking if the item is available, a scammer could quite easily send out hundreds of “Is this still available?” messages to sellers selling random items then later pressure sellers into handing out their address so that they can come and ‘collect’ the item.

Not only does this create false hope, wastes your time while you wait in for a collector that never arrives, but this also makes you give out private information. Think about it, really, all the scammer needs is your address and they’ve already got your address and full name (as most people use their real name on their Facebook account). Moreover, if you have very open (no privacy) based Privacy settings on Facebook then it doesn’t take a genius to find out much more about you than just your address and name.





Though I’ve painted Marketplace to be scammer heaven, it really isn’t. Simply checking the ratings of your buyer, doing research into the information on their account to prove its legitimacy and being completely sure about a buyer’s intentions before you give them any more private information doesn’t hurt. Marketplace is a great way to earn money and I find it much better than the likes of Gumtree (where no information is given about the buyer at all, unlike a Facebook account) and eBay (with its harsh selling fees). Just keep your wits about you and you should be fine!



More information on delivery ("expand your options" continued...)


Continuing from previously, assuming that you can access the nearest Post Office, Newsagents or you can wait in a day for a courier to collect the parcel then delivery is a great bet for sellers and should be considered for most items you sell. For smaller items (like pens) that can go into a padded envelope then it’s best to use Royal Mail as they offer great prices on small items like that. For medium items, I personally turn to the (controversial) Hermes as their rates are great for when I sell parcels that are under a few kilograms. For larger items, there’s a fair amount to choose from like DPD, Yodel, Parcelforce etc.

I use Parcel2Go first if I’m sure that I can’t use Royal Mail as a courier (as they don’t appear on the website) which compares many of the different parcel delivery services based on the weight of your item. After I’ve decided on the courier, I visit the couriers website and book the delivery (you can book the delivery through Parcel2Go but according to reviews they’re not the best if something goes wrong in transit).

Remember that there are couriers that can collect the package from you at an extra fee if you can’t access a shop – do your research into what the courier offers as every courier is different.

Although packaging an item up, printing a label off or visiting a shop like a newsagents to print the label (courier specific) then taking it to a shop to be delivered or waiting for it to be collected is time consuming, you really do widen the potential customers you have compared to just offering collection. And, overall, I think it’s worth the hassle as many of the items I sell I’m sure wouldn’t be bought by buyers if I didn’t offer delivery.

One thing to note is that (unless you include delivery in your listing price) buyers don’t particularly want to be paying too much more for an item to be delivered – the excuse of being able to buy it from someone closer without the delivery charges usually arise. So, try to gather an accurate quote that isn’t too large for delivery as the buyer will most likely go elsewhere for slightly cheaper.



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Message 1 of 14
by: brulaw
on: 18/12/2018 | 03:01



Some good tips and info ..... thanks for sharing .... thumbup.gif

Message 2 of 14
by: allan1954
on: 18/12/2018 | 11:16
thanks, @toxiic keep them coming.
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Message 4 of 14
by: isabel1066
on: 18/12/2018 | 15:51
@toxiic thank you for this very useful info.
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Message 6 of 14
by: kathleen414
on: 28/12/2018 | 14:55


Thank for this guide its fab and should  be shared more 

Message 8 of 14
by: haseebhejazi
on: 31/12/2018 | 10:32
Nice information
Message 9 of 14