TAMPA, Fla. — Many people bought their holiday presents through Facebook Marketplace hoping to save some money on secondhand items. Though many people get exactly what they are looking for, other people find themselves getting scammed because of the lack of regulations.
“My sister wanted some Airpods for Christmas,” said Elisha Martin who saw a pair of the popular Apple Airpods for sale on Facebook Marketplace. “He [seller] said there were used. So, you know, 50 bucks off for a used pair. You would think that’s common.”
Martin did everything you would think a consumer should do when buying a product off of someone.
“I asked him if they were real and I asked for a serial number.”
He said they agreed to complete the transaction at a Wawa in Town ‘n’ County and everything seemed to check out.
“I brought my friend along and he connected it to his iPhone and he said ‘hey, these seem legit.’ They connected, no problem," he said.
The only problem is, they were not legit. Martin was scammed and he found out when he compared his pair of earphones to one of his friends.
“We started realizing that there was a lot of differences that you could tell in the little details and, then, also, it didn’t have noise cancellation. Then when I tried to hit him back up, I’m blocked already," he said.
Unfortunately, what happened to Elisha happens to many unsuspecting consumers just looking for a good deal. Here are three tips you can use when shopping on Facebook Marketplace to protect your money.
- First, opt to pay with PayPal or Facebook Checkout because you will be covered under Facebook’s purchase protection policy.
- Second, meet the seller in person in a public area and do your research so you can easily spot counterfeit products.
- Third, check the seller’s profile for negative reviews and avoid newly created pages.