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Am I in the wrong for selling first come first serve on Facebook Marketplace?

by Nancy D 5 months ago in social media

#blog #ettiquette

This has happened to me twice now while selling things on Facebook Market place. I knew a lot of people were interested an item ... but they never follow through. So now I personally believe in first come first serve. However, not everyone seems to think this ... in fact, people get really upset and even aggressive when they found out that I have sold the item to someone else.

When I told one woman that the item had already been sold for the asking price she told me that she was already on the highway ... oops. To be fair, how was I suppose to know that she would even commit. People ask if they could come the next day all the time and my priority is selling the item fast.

When people find out an item is sold I get messages like "Are you serious? " and "I thought we had a deal". These are actually calmer examples, I have had much worse. I did a quick google search an I quickly realized that I not the only person who has asked this question first, Is first come first serve a rude policy for websites like kiji and Facebook Marketplace?

I found several people who both think 'Yes' or 'No'. However, I noticed very fast that the people who think that selling first come first serve is rude ... where by far the most irrational and vindictive people of the bunch. Some of them even tried to 'expose' the seller by telling people their real first an last names in their blogs ... yikes.

Here is an example of an angry person who felt they have been wronged somehow because the item was sold ...

"I told someone at 1157am that I wanted to buy an item. She told me at 457 that item was still for sale 5hours later. I had already told her I wanted it. Then she sells to someone else. Her name is ##### ####. If someone said they wanted to buy it shouldn't the next thing they said is to set up time and place?" - JN

One response to this was: "If you're complaining about them not replying until 5pm, it sounds like you have an expectation that they always be available at your beck and call at any given moment, instead of understanding that people have jobs, etc.. Sounds to me like they probably got right back to you as soon as they were getting off work.

When you are a seller, you will see for yourself how many people say they want an item, but never follow through, or flake out, no show, etc." - Valeska

Here is an example of a person who sold first come first serve and got an angry buyer ...

"So I'm selling a handful of items on my Facebook marketplace and cross posting to various local yard sale pages as well. I've had numerous inquiries on most things and literally about a hundred on one item that I posted. I've been overwhelmed with the responses and I realized I'm coordinating the sale of one item to two different people. The first buyer asked to meet Thursday and I agreed. The second asked to meet tomorrow. I realized my mistake after asking buyer #2 when and where she could meet me. Buyer 2 replied with a time and now I am wondering with I do. I want the stuff gone asap so I'd love to sell them to buyer 2 tomorrow but then I have to tell buyer 1 that the item is no longer available. I'm really bad with awkward situations and I got myself into a pickle here. What would you do?" -Annana

One response to this situation was: "You just tell them that you got a great offer and it's no longer available, wait until after you sell it though in case the 1st one falls through. Agreeing to meet isn't a binding contract, just like they don't have to buy it because they met up with you. You're overthinking this." - Creadivne

See the difference?

After reading through the internet a bit I think it's safe to say that yes first come first serve is an okay rule for selling stuff online. Agreeing to meet is not a binding contract. You were not 'wronged' if someone got there first, and they did not "sell out the item from under you". You just missed out on a good deal. Also, if the person doesn't want to meet you somewhere ... then fair is fair. Some items are pickup only, they don't need to offer a delivery service.

Want to avoid this conflict? Here is a couple of tips I found online:

If you are a seller, write "No holds" or "first to pick up gets the goods" when making your listing . This helps weed out unmotivated and uncommitted buyers.

If you are a buyer, tell the seller ahead of time how far you have to drive and when you think you will be there. If you really want to get a guarantee that the item is yours, pay on Paypal ahead of time.

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Nancy D
Nancy D
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