If you don’t have enough money to buy a brand new phone you may be looking for alternative phone vendors. One of the places where you can get a phone that is in relatively good condition is on Facebook.
Facebook has largely been used for socializing but it is slowly becoming a platform where sellers meet buyers. Unlike other online selling platforms it isn’t very well regulated for trade, so it is up to you to do your homework if you choose to buy a phone on Facebook.
You should look for whether or not the vendor has sold any lemons in the past – if he sold phones that were broken or sold and didn’t deliver there is bound to be a comment somewhere.
You should ask the vendor what kind of guarantee you get; it will largely depend on the condition of the phone, but any good phone vendor should give you a warranty of at least a year.
It is a good idea to buy from someone who is within your vicinity so that if things don’t work out it isn’t that hard to track them down.
Here are some tips to keep in Mind when you buy phone from Facebook:
1. Use a credit card or secure electronic payment service for all transactions:
The Marketplace doesn’t have any built-in payment mechanism, so you have to arrange payments directly with the other party in a transaction.
Unscrupulous sellers may insist on cash, gift cards, or other untraceable payment methods, and shady buyers may offer gift cards that turn out to be worthless.
Card issuers and payment processors such as PayPal—but not its sister app Venmo—will investigate fraud claims on your behalf as a buyer, and they also provide better transaction security for sellers.
Reputable Marketplace traders will welcome the use of secure services; which benefits legit buyers and sellers alike.
2. Avoid transactions that don’t involve local buyers/sellers:
In theory, Facebook will only show you potential buyers and sellers within your area. (You can choose a radius as small as two miles or as wide 100 miles, but the default is 40 miles.)
If a seller tells you they’ll have an item shipped from a greater distance away, there’s a possibility the order will never arrive, or that it won’t be what was promised.
And if a buyer asks you to ship an item long-distance, especially internationally, consider steering clear: The scam there is for the buyer to cancel the payment once the item is in transit and irretrievable by you.
3. Check out buyer/seller profiles:
When you click on an item that’s offered for sale, check the seller’s profile under “seller information.” Make sure they’re located in your area and check Facebook to see if you have mutual friends.
If they’ve only been on Facebook for a short time, or if they have very few friends, that could be a warning sign. Also, search on their name in Facebook; if you see more than one profile using the same name and photo, that should raise a red flag.
4. Inspect before making payment:
If you’re purchasing an item, make sure you can “see the goods” before you authorize payment. If the item is jewelry or collectible, bring along an expert who can verify its value. If it’s electronic, plug it in or add batteries to make sure it works.
5. Meet the buyer/seller in a public place:
Some police departments allow folks to meet in their station lobbies or parking lots to finalize exchanges; barring that, pick a public spot like a coffee shop or restaurant.
Bring a friend, and if you feel uncomfortable, record a video or take a few snaps of the exchange, so you can identify the other party easily if there are any disputes afterward.