In the article, “Facebook Marketplace: The Wild West of E-Commerce,” a perspective is presented of Facebook Marketplace that makes the platform appear to have several faults. People have had numerous negative experiences on Facebook Marketplace including fraudulent payments, fake profiles and transactions gone haywire. The platform, while offering buyers and sellers opportunities for business, also provides plenty of opportunities for people to be put in a risky situation.
At the end of 2018, the estimated amount of duplicated accounts on the platform was 11% and the number of false accounts on Facebook Marketplace was 5%. The article provides suggestions for how to safely use Facebook Marketplace. Among the safety tips recommended are to bring a friend with you to the location where the transaction is taking place, do not disclose any financial information, and to verify the item is as described in the ad before the payment is completed. Statistics included in the article mention that one in three people use Facebook Marketplace in the United States.
The items sold on Facebook platform range from worn dentures to old shoes to used vehicles. While the list of items that can be put up for sell may appear to be without limits, Deborah Liu, Facebook’s vice president of Market and Commerce, uses machine learning to detect and block products that violate the policies of the platform. Frank McKenna, a chief strategist at PointPredictive, mentions that Facebook Marketplace is vulnerable to acts of fraud because it lacks oversight. The restrictions for Facebook sellers include the user cannot be new to the platform and must be over the age of 18.
Facebook Marketplace may be a useful tool for consumers but the article raises some questions about the safety of the platform. However, there are several other similar platforms on the internet, such as Craigslist, which include risks as well.