Forget the phrase “Buyer Beware.” I’ve decided I’m going to start living by the mantra “Seller Beware.” Especially when selling to moms who are looking to score major deals on a Facebook page. Yikes!
I recently (as in an hour ago) went through the most stressful time I’ve ever had on Facebook. I wanted to sell a Coach purse for $20. I took my photos of the front, back, bottom, and inside, and posted them on the Momma Market page for my area with this description:
Authentic Coach purse, paid $110 at the *local* mall. Excellent condition, smoke-free, pet-free home, asking $20.
I wasn’t asking much for the purse because I’d seen Coach purses in similar condition to mine on this and other yard-sale type groups, and they never seemed to sell. Usually even $40 wouldn’t get a nod. I wanted it gone, so I was asking $20.
I turned off my phone so I could take Julieboo to the mall to play on the indoor playground, and didn’t think much about it. I’d sold things through this particular group before, but for the most part things don’t go the first time they are listed. But as we were putting on our shoes, I turned on my phone to call Jay and OH. MY. WORD.
Since I hadn’t closed out Facebook there were at least 10 private messages popping up in front of me, all insisting they could pick up the purse tomorrow night. Tonight. Immediately. Some were begging me to sell it to them no matter who asked first, since it was exactly what they were looking for for themselves or their friend or their wife or their mother. Some were offering $40 or more for the purse. Some were asking me to post more pictures. This was all within less than 5 minutes of posting the listing.
The only thing that seemed fair to me was to look at the timestamps and see who had sent me a message first. That was Caroline, so I sent her a message to arrange a meeting time. I responded to the other messages, saying that I had a pending sale, then closed out the messaging part of the app.
Then I saw the actual post. Another 10 comments were waiting for me – and this is where it gets good. The first lady said she was interested but wanted to talk to her husband first. The next lady wanted me to take more photos. The 3rd one to respond, Lauren, wrote, “interested.” The next one to comment was Caroline, who also said, “interested,” then told me she was going to PM (private message) me. The rest were the same.
I commented to Lauren and explained the situation, apologized for my mistake, and told her that she would be next in line if it fell through. She was not happy AT ALL. She started rallying the other moms, getting them to agree that she should have first dibs because she commented on the post first. Meanwhile, she’s sending me PMs (the screenshots are of our conversation) telling me that it’s basically not cool of me and that I should make it right and sell it to her. Other moms are commenting on what’s right and what’s not, I’m apologizing but standing my ground, and Caroline is assuring me she will be there. I start getting PMs from other moms telling me not to worry, it’s just a purse, telling me to mark it sold, delete it, relist it later, etc. One mom in particular kept telling me I should reduce the price if it didn’t sell. Really?
So I post that it’s sold, and I still get 5 more PMs offering more money and immediate pickup. So I finally just deleted the whole thing. And thankfully, the messages stopped.
- Check comments before private messages.
- “Interested” means they want to buy it and are waiting for YOU to contact THEM. This seems incredibly wacky to me, because if they are really interested then they should reach out to me, but whatevs.
- If you want buyers to PM you if interested, put that in the listing.
- Hold your ground. You have a right to sell to whomever you want to.
- NEVER give out your address – after this I am SO glad I live by this rule. I would never want one of these moms knowing where I live – especially because so many of them are friends in their non-Facebook lives.
- Coach purses are worth more than $20, especially before Mother’s Day.
Honestly, when it all comes down to it I don’t even care that I might have gotten more. I’m just glad to get the dumb thing out of the house!
PS – Caroline was extremely surprised yet apologetic about the drama that went on over the purse. She happily gave me $20 and I happily drove away, positive that the right person got the purse for the right price. 🙂