Facebook has become a popular site for businesses to start selling online. That isn’t really a big deal, the issue I have is with the number of ‘cowboy’ sellers on there.
And if you are scammed it may end up being difficult to do anything.
I have made 3 major purchases off ‘companies’ selling off Facebook. And only once have I been happy. I have decided to share these, to show how careful you have to be.
The first time I purchased some canvases as a present for my sister. The ‘artists’ worked looked stunning so I thought nothing could go wrong. How wrong was I.
The canvas’s used were cheap.
They looked tacky.
You could see glue blobs around the gems.
There was no way on earth I could give them as a present to my sister.
Thankfully they were accepted back, although I ended up paying postage to return them
I then found another page doing ‘luxury art’. And again the work looked stunning. I put off ordering but then contacted the seller, showed her the picture of the glue blobs and she assured me she took pride in her work and would never send something like that. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and was pleased with her work. I reviewed her work Luxury Art: Heaven’s Islamic Words on the blog.
However, the third seller has seriously put me buying off anyone on Facebook in future.
It was a footmuff for Bee, priced at £55. So not cheap.
The order was placed in November and I was advised that it would take 3-4 weeks to make as the material I had selected was to come from USA.
No problem I said.
Then a week or so later, she got ill and a hold was put on all orders. She offered refunds or we can wait. I decided to wait and see how long it took her to recover.
When there was no update for a while I messaged her asking for a refund as I wasn’t sure when I would get it. I was immediately messaged back saying it would be posted out the following Tuesday.
Was it heck?
She got ill again.
Fair enough, people do get ill. SO again I said no problem I can wait until after the new year.
New year comes and her page has vanished off Facebook.
So panic starts to set it.
As suddenly as the page vanishes, it reappeared. And I was eventually told after initially ignoring my messages, that she had accidentally made a car seat foot muff instead of a pushchair one. Even though she had the money for a pushchair footmuff.
Again no problem I said and asked for a refund.
It would take 7 days to clear……. 7 days?! For a paypal refund?!
No problem I will wait. As maybe she needed to transfer funds from somewhere else.
7 days come and go………no refund. Not responding to messages. UNTIL I threaten to take it further.
The reply? Oh it should have cleared by now…will look into it.
Cleared? What are you on about? Paypal is immediate.
By now my patience was wearing thin so gave her 48 hours to repay before I took action.
No payment made, as apparently she was at a funeral. I commented on her page…and the page vanished.
Now what? How do I trace her to get my money back? And I realised I cannot open a dispute with Paypal as I was over the 45 day time limit.
Luckily I had friends who knew her who told me her personal profile. I messaged her on that threatening to take her to trading standards. to contact Paypal, to contact the HMRC to find out if she was registered as self employed and all sorts.
I did not want to get nasty but I had no choice.
Once she realised I had her personal profile, her page reappeared and she immediately refunded me.
A happy ending for me, but what if I hadn’t learnt what her personal profile was? What if I couldn’t have messaged her threatening to expose her? There was a number on paypal but have a sneaking suspicion that may not have been a correct number. Even if I went to Trading Standards how could they have traced her? Maybe there is a way but even if there is, it would probably take along time to find her and get her to repay me.
How would you have dealt with it? Do you buy off Facebook pages? Have you protected yourself in any way from possible scammers?