The hidden risks of selling on Facebook

In a recent articel by Ina Steiner she explains the hidden risks of selling on facebook.

Hidden risks of selling on Facebook, for both buyers and sellers ...

We recently wanted to buy a Ragdoll kitten and my first response was to visit Facebook for a seller. I found many breeders advertising online and then … to my utter dismay I also found online scamming sites. Being in e-commerce it was fairly easy to spot these for the trained eye, but believe me, it would have been 7K down the drain if I did not pay attention. 

When we embarked on the journey of buying a puppy a year later, my husband was taken aback when I told him, his so-called breeder was a scam. They nearly took him to the cleaners for 12K. 

But this is in pet trading – no – this is happening in everything everywhere…

As more people turn to Facebook to sell items, there’s a risk that may not be obvious and is unique to social networking sites: suspension of their personal accounts. This can be devastating and can happen at any time. That is why a list of buyers is so important and also why selling on one group might be a risk! 

Some vendors turn to groups for advice, ideas and this can also be lost when the group closes down. 

It may seem obvious to be just as careful selling on Facebook as you would on a site like eBay, Amazon, or Vlooi for that matter. But selling on Facebook is often local and area-based, and deals are done in person. This makes it even worse because we have all seen that one post on the group: DO NOT TRUST THIS PROFILE – someone got scammed. Paid money in good faith and no products were delivered. 

One morning you make a trip to your local market and take a picture of a unique handmade product, share it with your group and the next thing, your account is closed down. What happened, it was a trademark violation.  

Lesson learned, but not complete …As soon as you received the notice, you go and remove the listing and found – nothing. Facebook had suspended your personal account, so you were unable to log in to the site.

This happens quickly and getting back up is almost impossible, if possible at all.  

We have to be very aware of what we post on groups and who we buy from on groups. It will always be your responsibility to check the content, the sellers, as well as copyright issues. 

When we list products on a marketplace like Vlooi, the seller takes their own responsibility. They list a whole bunch of information regarding themselves and we have a check-in place to at least get you your money back within 72 hours. 

When you buy something on Facebook and read a notice that it is a scam – from someone who has walked down that road before, you have no way of getting a penny back. 

Selling on regulated online shops will also list your products on a marketplace in Facebook. But you will be safe, and your personal Facebook account will be safe from banning, shutting down and you losing your regular customers. 

Most online shops have a newsletter where they send out information regarding sales, coupons, flash sales … you are thus in a way guaranteed that your customer list is SAFE. 

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