Facebook Marketplace Purchase Protection doesn’t exist

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The Facebook Marketplace is somewhat misnamed. It’s not a marketplace but more akin to the classified ads you’ll find in the back of your local newspaper. Facebook Marketplace is largely a way to connect local casual buyers with local people that have something to sell, but by being called a ‘Marketplace’ consumers are expecting higher standards. Here in the UK however, Facebook Marketplace Purchase Protection doesn’t exist

This has been highlighted by a consumer contacting Tamebay to ask for assistance with a marketplace purchase. Having bought a sofa from a seller on Facebook marketplace and discovering that it was faulty, they received the superb service response of being blocked by the seller. They have an unreadable receipt, no contact details and no recourse.

“I bought a sofa from marketplace, well a seller and its faulty and they have blocked me… I have a blotched receipt and nothing else.”
– Facebook Marketplace Buyer

Turning to the Facebook Marketplace Purchase Protection policy leaves consumers high and dry as there is no protection. Facebook simply state that Purchase Protection isn’t available in your location right now. Bearing in mind that you can send money for distance purchases through Facebook Messenger, when you pay on Facebook Marketplace it’s like the Wild West and you’re essentially gambling that the seller will come through and honour the purchase.

If you are buying local on Facebook Marketplace then the best advice is to meet the seller in person and either pay cash for the goods when you’re satisfied they meet your requirements and are of serviceable quality or pay via Bank Transfer. If you’re buying at a distance, then if it is from a business they are bound by law to disclose their full contact details before the conclusion of the contract. Especially on Facebook Marketplace make sure you have a phone number, address and the full company name before making a purchase. If you don’t and something goes wrong you’ve lost your money.

In essence Facebook Marketplace today is little more than just another classified ads site. It doesn’t compete with the likes of eBay and it’s main competitor is Gumtree. Until they crack the competition from Gumtree and add in robust marketplace policies such as buyer protection and seller protection it’s a case of caveat ēmptor (buyer beware). If something goes wrong you are on your own.

5 Responses

  1. Something as big as a sofa can’t be delivered by Royal Mail, can the buyer not contact the delivery company and get the seller’s details from them, then go to the small claims court to get their money back.

  2. Is it more of a community based marketplace, not an ecommerce marketplace? What I mean is that it is geared up towards casual transactions similar to UK car boot sales as opposed to buying from a retailer.

    Would any payment protection apply if you fund the purchase using paypal or credit card? Or can you not do this via Facebook pay? I have not used it myself.

  3. I see this all the time, mainly with secondhand goods. There are some dodgy companies too…. proberly with fake addresses etc. What suprises me is how often i read the complaint posted publically an the person paid by bank transfer etc, even for higher priced items. My response is always, ‘if only accept bank transfer… walk away.’
    Sadly many see it as another ebay… it’s on facebook so must be a part of facebook… so facebook will protect me.

  4. I’ve never really looked at facebook marketplace, however I deal in Cosmetics and whenever their a program on mainstrem tv aboutfake or dodgy items, 99% of the time the report is about items sold via the facebook marketplace. Which annoys me as the next day the get loads of customers asking “is this fake” which is the most stupid question any customer can ever ask!!!!


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