Any Facebook Marketplace tips or warnings you can share?

mikesdrums

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I'm in the processes of selling off most of my gear locally by listing it on Craigslist and Facebook. I've sold on Craigslist many times and know how to avoid the common risks and scams, etc. But Facebook Marketplace is new to me. Any tips for how to use FB as a seller? Are there any scams with Facebook that I wouldn't already have seen over the years on Craigslist?
 

GrandfatherOdin

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One tip my wife gave me is to view their profile to see how old/developed it is. If their account is 10 years old and they have a network of friends there's a higher chance you're dealing with a respectable person. If their account was just created there's a higher chance it's a scam account. Obviously this method isn't foolproof, but she seems to swear by this rule. (Ladies are extra aware of fake buyers/sellers since they have to look out for weirdos and creeps more than we do)
 

amosguy

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There is a link at the bottom of your FB listing for messaging question to you. The default text "IS THIS STILL ALAVAILABLE?" - but can be edited. Most people will just click on that instead of editing for a new text message. If you respond, they usually will ask for more info if interested.
Do not seem to get the automated CL texts that are obvious scams.
 

owr

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Related question - anyone have any experience using marketplace to pay for and print shipping labels? I saw the option for a drum I sold recently, did the shipping myself through UPS but was told after the fact that going through FB would have provided a discount. Just wondering if this is similar to what appears to be the deep discounts one can get shipping through Reverb.

Thanks
 

Tdipaul

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My $.02 re FB MP

  • Dont expect to sell anything fast on FB unless it is priced VERY well.
  • eBay and Reverb have a much better success rate. It's worth the fees and shipping hassles.
  • Expect to get that "is this still available?" question a lot. And most of the people that ask this question never respond back when you do, as if they are very lonely and get a rush from a response
  • Expect some really low offers. Even insulting offers. Got to have your suit of armor on
  • Dont accept any offers until they are in person. Again, I think there are some weirdos out there that get a rush haggling you online. Most of these types have no intention to buy.
 

CAMDRUMS

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FB is very good for targeting specific buyers. As an example, I quickly sold some Tama Starclassic mounts on a Tama Starclassic FB page. They would have sat forever on CL.
 

robthedrummer

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On both CL and FB, I've had people show up and then say they can pay a price lower that what was agreed upon, their theory being that since I'm already there, I will accept the deal. I said no and prepared to leave both times and then they said 'OK, I'll pay the price we agreed on."

I've come to expect this tactic.
 

lossforgain

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On both CL and FB, I've had people show up and then say they can pay a price lower that what was agreed upon, their theory being that since I'm already there, I will accept the deal. I said no and prepared to leave both times and then they said 'OK, I'll pay the price we agreed on."

I've come to expect this tactic.
I’ve had that happen with multiple local buyers. Once, with a guitar amp, I had to tell the guy to go across the street and use the ATM since he told me he only brought (50 less than agreed). He miraculously came back from his car with the rest of it.
 

robthetimekeeper

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I could write a book on bad buyers and headaches of local sales. With experience I've learned a few rules to minimize being jerked around.

1. Cash only
I've had trouble with every other form of payment at one time or another.
2. No holds
Every time I've ever agreed to hold an item for someone, I've never seen them again. Meanwhile other buyers were turned away.
3. No delivery (including meeting halfway)
They either show up late or not at all, or offer less or change their mind after you get there.

Some people have a hard time saying no. They don't want to offend anyone. Sometimes it is necessary to keep others from wasting your time. Be polite but firm.
Sorry, price is firm.
Sorry, cash only.
Sorry, no holds.
Sorry, no delivery.
 

sixplymaple

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I’m sure you are already aware of this, but here are my two cents…

Try your hardest not to have the buyer come to your house and as a buyer, try not to meet at the seller’s house.

I have a friend who tried to buy a dirt bike from Craigslist that didn’t go well. He was even with one of his friends and that dude’s father, but the three of them still got robbed at gunpoint by four scumbags. They lost like $6500 in cash. The “seller’s” house where they were meeting at was in a super wealthy/nice area and was well maintained. That fact plus the good communication from the “seller” made everything seem legit. Well, it turns out it was a burner phone and the house that they were meeting at belonged to somebody else. These robbers actually broke into this person’s house just to stage the situation for this robbery while the homeowner was at work!

Be careful!
 

lossforgain

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3. No delivery (including meeting halfway)
They either show up late or not at all, or offer less or change their mind after you get there.
I’ll politely disagree about meeting halfway. We are all “busy” and no one likes to take time out of their day to have to drive a long way. I just bought an alto saxophone for my daughter from a guy on Marketplace, but had to drive over an hour because he wouldn’t drive any of it. I’m sorry but if I’m willing to text you saying I’m leaving now and will be at the agreed upon place at X time, you should be reasonably sure I’m coming. And I’m not going to offer less money unless something isn’t as described or some problem wasn’t evident before then.

As a seller, I routinely meet people part way for large item sales. Not for a $10 lamp, but for a $200 drum sure. Text me and tell me you are leaving and what time you’ll arrive and I’ll be there.
 

robthetimekeeper

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I’ll politely disagree about meeting halfway. We are all “busy” and no one likes to take time out of their day to have to drive a long way. I just bought an alto saxophone for my daughter from a guy on Marketplace, but had to drive over an hour because he wouldn’t drive any of it. I’m sorry but if I’m willing to text you saying I’m leaving now and will be at the agreed upon place at X time, you should be reasonably sure I’m coming. And I’m not going to offer less money unless something isn’t as described or some problem wasn’t evident before then.

As a seller, I routinely meet people part way for large item sales. Not for a $10 lamp, but for a $200 drum sure. Text me and tell me you are leaving and what time you’ll arrive and I’ll be there.
I am aware that my No Delivery policy may repel certain buyers, but that's my choice. The buyer may choose to make the drive or not, as they please.
When I buy, I go to them, when I sell, they come to me.

You are probably not the kind of buyer that would cause any trouble. But the Sax seller was possibly burned before and doesn't want to risk it.
 

robthetimekeeper

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I’m sure you are already aware of this, but here are my two cents…

Try your hardest not to have the buyer come to your house and as a buyer, try not to meet at the seller’s house.

I have a friend who tried to buy a dirt bike from Craigslist that didn’t go well. He was even with one of his friends and that dude’s father, but the three of them still got robbed at gunpoint by four scumbags. They lost like $6500 in cash. The “seller’s” house where they were meeting at was in a super wealthy/nice area and was well maintained. That fact plus the good communication from the “seller” made everything seem legit. Well, it turns out it was a burner phone and the house that they were meeting at belonged to somebody else. These robbers actually broke into this person’s house just to stage the situation for this robbery while the homeowner was at work!

Be careful!
I agree that caution should be taken, especially when large amounts of cash are involved. Buyers and sellers of things like iPhones are particularly vulnerable.

All I can say is that I've done literally thousands of deals over the last ten years and never once felt threatened. I have walked into strangers' houses with thousands in cash in my pocket. I do deals right in my driveway all the time. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of the risks, but when that big score pops up on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you better be the first one there with cash or forget about it.
 

frankmott

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I've sold dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of items on FB marketplace. Sometimes I meet them, sometimes they come to me, sometimes, I go to them. It all depends on the logistics and size of the sale. Never been burned once. Not even close. A crappy ten-dollar boom stand? sure, you come to me. A $250 ride cymbal? Sure, I'll met you, or even go to your house. I've even brought along sticks and a stand, so buyers could try out a cymbal in a McDonalds parking lot. How does it help to be hard-azz in these situations? Get a phone number. If the seller is legit, they will freely offer it. I send mine first. "Here's my cell, please send along yours." If they refused (though that's never happened), I would abandon the sale.
Everyone prefers cash, but I've taken PayPal and Venmo as well, due to their no-contact advantage during the ongoing pandemic. Never one problem.
If it doesn't sell on FB Marketplace, only then do I turn to Reverb/eBay. Craigslist is worthless. The only responses I've gotten lately were so obviously scams, that I finally gave up.
Sure, there are tire-kickers and low-ballers out there, but that's the case with every platform.
Finally, if your item is not selling on FB Marketplace, your price is probably too high.
 

wflkurt

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I am aware that my No Delivery policy may repel certain buyers, but that's my choice. The buyer may choose to make the drive or not, as they please.
When I buy, I go to them, when I sell, they come to me.

You are probably not the kind of buyer that would cause any trouble. But the Sax seller was possibly burned before and doesn't want to risk it.

I am one of those people that got burned by the halfway. I sold an item to a guy, agreed to meet him halfway (half hour from my house), messaged him before I left and he told me he was leaving too then he never showed up. I waited a while too, messaged him when I got there and nothing. After the second time I messaged him about 15 minutes after the meet time, he blocked me. I was pretty irritated to say the least. I have had really good luck with messenger though and if I sell something locally, I typically meet someone in a store parking lot. There are exceptions though as I sold a trampoline off of my front yard once and the people had to come get it.
 

notINtheband

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Been a long time but I too got burned by the half way.
Drove 30 minutes, they guy kept asking for more and more detailed directions as he ‘supposedly’ got closer.
Another half hour of talking him in and I gave up.
Didn’t tell him I was leaving, just stopped responding.
An hour later I was home and putting the morning behind me, and he sends a photo of his car parked at our meeting place asking where I was.
My guess is he blew off even leaving till I was already there and was trying to keep me there till he got around to getting on the road.
Anyway I told him I was out and thanks for wasting my time.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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You might want to try OfferUp. You meet with the buyer just like Craigslist. I used it once to buy something and it worked well. My buddy (non-musician) buys and sells on there all the time. Like most things online, it’s a little sketchy but I think for the most part it’s safe.
 


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