For any kind of sales based business, you’ll know that your online presence is essential. For a lot of products, selling on Facebook, whether through the marketplace or your own business page, can be a very effective way to reach new customers and sell your products. Like any online selling though, it’s important to stay safe online to protect yourself and your business.

Use Secure Payment Methods

If you’re selling on the Facebook Marketplace, there’s no built-in way to accept payments. This means you have to arrange payments directly with your buyer or seller. Some sellers may try to con you by insisting on untraceable payment methods, like cash or gift cards. Questionable buyers might offer gift cards that turn out to have no value at all.

Stick with traceable payment methods like credit cards or PayPal. Card issuers and PayPal will issue refunds for you in the case of a scam, and investigate fraud claims. Remember that Venmo won’t do this. If someone does try to scam you, remember you can also report a seller on Facebook.

Check Their Profiles

Whether you’re buying or selling, you could take some time to have a check of their profile before sending a product or money. If the profile seems very new, or seems to have almost no friends with hardly anything uploaded, this could be a red flag that the profile belongs to a scammer. Search their name to check there aren’t any duplicate profiles. If there are, this should be a big red flag.

Meet In Public

If you’re meeting in person to hand over an item you’ve sold on Facebook, make sure you meet in public. Don’t give them your address or agree to go to their home. Choose a public place like a coffee shop. Take a friend with you, and make sure someone knows where you have gone. If you’re worried, send all the information about the person you’re meeting to another friend. Take pictures of the exchange if something feels off, so you have a record and can identify the other party very easily if something does go wrong.

Protect Your Personal Details

It can be easy to accidentally give away details that seem innocent, but can actually make you vulnerable. A seller or buyer might ask about the hours you will be at home, or if there is someone at home to help you move a heavy purchase. This might seem innocent, but tells someone when your home may be empty, and whether you’re alone in the house. Don’t volunteer this information so you’re not at risk. Don’t let a stranger into your home, whether someone else is there or not.

Facebook can be a great place to sell, but it’s important to take some safety measures to make sure you’re safe. As with any other situation dealing with strangers, practice some caution and don’t trust too easily. Not everybody will be honest, and you don’t want to end up on the receiving end of a scam.

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