If you sell on Facebook, this could happen to you!
Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t sell guitars on Facebook Marketplace, or Facebook Shops, etc.
Facebook has become a gorilla in the online marketplace (small ‘m’).
As long as they hold a huge share of the reseller marketplace, you just about have to deal with them and their “normal issues” such as..
- waiting weeks to get your money
- having to offer 30-day returns
- sometimes clutzy user interface.
But there a two more potential problems just waiting to bite you, that you’re probably unaware of, as I recently found out..
This guitar (see screen grab) was delivered on December 9, 2021. Customer wrote me a few days later to tell me how happy he is with the guitar.
But “My Sales” was not showing that the $249 was due to be paid. It showed the sale as “Pending”.
This is not the way all my other Facebook Marketplace sales had worked, so.. OK, “stuff” happens, right? I’ll message Facebook support and all will be well, right?
If this were on Amazon, yes, their support would take care of things in a jiffy; ebay – maybe after some effort. But this is Facebook. You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!
So I clicked the Support button, gave them the requisite info – order #, etc., etc. and waited..and waited..etc.
There was no way to send a follow-up message because I’d only get a popup that they’d already gotten my message and would respond within 48 hours. (See photo above).
Problem was, I’d get this same popup message weeks later – even today – January 23, 2022!
That is disturbing on several levels. First, it means I am blocked from pursuing the “minor matter” of them owing me $249 and secondly, it means their programmers are not truly professionals.
I can say this because I am a retired software developer. Even most amateurs would know to use a simple conditional statement that would not allow a statement to say that something “will” be done (suggesting future) using a date that is already in the past.
It also shows that there is either no human overseeing support or such human oversight is grossly insufficient.
That would be forgivable if this were about some post showing what I ate for lunch. But they owed me $249 and I had many more guitars posted for sale on Marketplace with potentially thousands of dollars at risk.
I took all those guitar ads down a couple weeks after my first unheeded request for support.
How I Got My Money
One day, I had an idea (maybe it was that new “mushroom coffee”)! I clicked the “Refund” button to refund the money back to my customer, explained what had happened to my customer and asked him to pay me himself – which he promptly did!
But now, a new problem –
Facebook Determined to Get That $249!
So, that did not really solve the problem because now Facebook seems to think I owe them $249 and the next sale I run through them is likely to have this sum deducted, since it’s now showing that I have a negative balance.
I tried to reach support through their Commerce Advertising pages, and got what was probably a bot written by a non-English speaker somewhere in the Himalayas!
After a series of generic, circular messages, it promised to send the issue to a human and said I would hear back within 24 to 48 hours. So, four days later (96 hours!), I tried again, but it would not allow a continuation of the chat, so I had to start over, referencing the previous chat #, order #, etc. and basically explaining everything all over again.
I am beginning to wonder if Zuckerburg actually has any employees at all, or if everything is automated bots and AI software! (‘AI’ = ‘Artificial Incompetence’)
I have little hope to ever have this resolved and am resigned to lose my $249. But if it ever happens again…!
Facebook Marketplace “Support” Chat..
The Moral of this Story
I was getting plenty of sales through Facebook Marketplace and have since setup a ‘Shop’, but $249 is not an insignificant sum to me and may not be to you.
If you’re selling guitars, you may want to start small with Marketplace or Shops. Marketplace doesn’t seem to display your ads outside your local area unless you offer payment processing through Facebook.
You can choose your own shipping labels and I’ll soon have an entire article about packing and shipping guitars. I have had great service and prices through PirateShip.com and zero problems with guitars arriving in good condition in a timely manner.
Whatever you run through Facebook’s payment processing, be prepared to wait a few weeks for your money, and for Facebook to side with the buyer in case of any disagreements.
On top of that, be sure you understand there seems to be a certain amount of risk involved as I learned over my -$249.