Thrifty Tips: What To Do When A Facebook Sale Goes Wrong! Part 1

Last post, I talked all about Facebook groups – and how great they are for finding deals! While it’s easy to find deals online, it’s also pretty easy for things to go wrong with Facebook group transactions. Today’s post is going to highlight some of the ways that things go wrong and how

Worst case scenario: So you got scammed.

You bought something from a scammer. Uh oh. Maybe they didn’t send you anything at all. Maybe you bought a CWD bridle, but the one you received was anything but. There are lots of ways that people try and scam others online.

Always protect yourself when buying from people you don’t know. The best way to protect yourself is to always use Paypal. Always request an invoice from anyone you’re buying from. Don’t let someone convince you to just send them money using the friends and family option.

If you did not receive the item you thought you were supposed to, always try and message the seller first. Sometimes mistakes happen! Being willing to communicate is important. Always ask for clarification from the seller before resorting to other options. Paypal does offer protection for buyers.

No matter how mad you get, maintain composure. Don’t start swearing and yelling in a post on the group page. Most groups have a page or a post specifically to submit complaints about other group members. Use that, but be professional. Submit complaints to the appropriate moderators.

The item received was the wrong size!

This happened to me recently. I’ve been on the hunt for a 5.5″ rubber hunter dee ring bit. For some reason, this has been hard to find used! I posted several “in search of” posts in various groups, and I had someone comment saying they had one! I double checked that it was a 5.5″ and went ahead and purchased the bit. However, when I got it, it did not fit my horse. Sure enough, it was even labeled a 5″! Despite my best efforts, I had ended up with something in the wrong size.

In this situation, I had a couple of options. I could either contact the seller, request a refund, and ship the bit back or I could attempt to re-sell it myself. I decided to go ahead and send the seller a message first. She was a little bit frustrated, but she did go ahead and refund me. I shipped the bit back right away, tracking a provided, and all was well.

When buying sized items such as clothes, blankets, and bits, always request pictures of the size labels! That can prevent a lot of the mishaps with sizing issues. I had asked for a picture of the bit, but the way the bit designed made it look like a 5.5″ when it was really a 5″. Fortunately, everything worked out well for both parties.

If a seller does not want to take a refund, Paypal offers options for buyers who receive items that were not as described. Take advantage of these if you must, but always try and communicate with sellers first. Be kind and patient – most of the people selling on Facebook are not out to get you. They’re just horse people trying to buy and sell, just like you.

I sold something, but the buyer hasn’t paid yet!

Always make sure you receive payment for an item before shipping it out. Most people these days use Paypal, which makes it easy to keep track of orders and their shipping options. Use the invoice option, which gives you the opportunity to include descriptions of the items sold, shipping costs, and appropriate taxes.

Keep in contact with buyers. I use the Facebook Messenger app on my phone that makes communication easy. However, oftentimes messages get sent to the “other” folder when I’m not friends with buyers. The app does not offer the option to check this folder, so make sure you check it frequently from the website! I’ve missed several messages that way.

Remember that other people may be in different time zones from you. They may be at work. They may have to wait until they get home to access Paypal. Be patient!

These are only a few of the ways that Facebook sales can go awry! The most important things to remember are communication and patience. Always try and talk things out with other group members. Be polite when interacting with others.

Look for Part 2 of this series soon!

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Thrifty Tips: Buying and Selling on Facebook Groups

Thrifty Tips: Buying and Selling on Facebook Groups

Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with other people who have similar interests. Perhaps you’re in a group of musicians in your area, or artists, or maybe other horseback riders. In this case, the groups I’m talking about are for buying, selling, and trading tack. There are a ton of horse people online looking to sell the things they no longer use and buy new things.

There are groups for every discipline you can imagine. Finding a group to suit your needs only requires a quick Facebook search. English, Western, Saddleseat, Eventing, international, or local, there is a group for everyone. I’m a member of several, but my personal three favorites are English Tack Trader, Quality English Tack Trader, English Riding Apparel, and Dressage Tack & Clothing Swap.

The most important thing to do when joining any tack trading group on Facebook is to read the rules of the group. Each group is run by volunteer moderators who have the group’s rules posted, usually in a pinned post at the top of the page. Groups typically have rules about what can or cannot be posted. Some groups allow questions and non-sale related posts, and others do not. The rules also specify when posts can be “bumped up” to the top of the page, done by commenting on the post. Being aware of the rules makes everything go much smoother.

When buying or selling on Facebook, be polite! When writing your posts, please spell all words out fully, and make your best attempt to clearly articulate what you want or what you are selling. If you are in search of something in particular, include sizes, color preferences, brands, budget, and any other information. If you have an item for sale, make sure you include brand, size, color, whether it is used or new, and price. Most groups require that you include a price, not just “make offer.” It’s fine to mention that you are open to offers, but make sure that you have a price listed. If you’re including shipping in your prices, mention that; otherwise, make sure to say that buyers pay shipping. I write all of my posts out in advance to make sure that I have everything in order before I post.

Be sure to take pictures of all of your items before posting in the group. Keep pictures clean and simple. Clear the background behind your object. Take pictures from multiple angles, and show any damage clearly if the object is used. If an object has a size, be sure to include a picture of the tag or measurements. Photograph one object at a time to make it easy for potential buyers to view your items.

An example of an appropriate sale picture: the item is clearly visible with no distractions, and the size is clearly marked.
An example of an appropriate sale picture: the item is clearly visible with no distractions, and the size is clearly marked.

Respond to people as quickly as possible. Only cross-post items if you’re available to manage multiple listings, as it can get quite confusing if people in two different groups are interested in one item. Cross-posting, meaning posting ads in multiple groups, can be quite helpful when trying to sell items quickly, as you will reach different people.

When shipping items, attempt to ship within a day or two of making the sale. Keep buyers informed throughout the shipping process. Always ship using a method that offers tracking on the item. I prefer priority mail through the United States Postal Service. It takes 2-3 days on average and comes with $50 of insurance and tracking. Be sure to give the tracking number to the buyer.

Whether buying or selling, always use PayPal. A PayPal account is free but can protect you in the event of a scam. Sellers can send invoices to buyers, listing item inventory as well as any shipping costs. In the event of a damaged item, unhappy customer, lost package, or a dishonest seller, PayPal helps mitigate and resolve disputes.

Overall, Facebook groups can be a great marketplace to find new and used tack and apparel at affordable prices. If you’re willing to wait a little bit to find the perfect item, it can be totally worth it. Sometimes it takes a few months of poring over listings, but when you do find that dream item, it’s incredibly satisfying. I’ve found fantastic pairs of breeches, plenty of saddle pads and wraps, and even a pair of custom pair of Equifit D-Teq boots with my horse’s name already on them! I’ve also sold bridles, saddle pads, and breeches that I no longer need or wear.

If you’re in the market for something new or new to you, give Facebook groups a shot! If you want more advice, feel free to shoot me a message on here or Twitter! Look for Part 2 of this series soon – what to do when something goes wrong!

English Tack Trader

Quality English Tack Trader

English Riding Apparel

Dressage Tack and Clothing Swap