The Rising Problem With Facebook Marketplace
If you can remember back to 2016, Facebook had an idea to be the new Craigslist. CL had reigned supreme for years, in some markets Bookoo grabbed a small hold, but overall, the aging platforms weren't keeping up with the times. Naturally, Facebook had an in-the-can win with the idea of selling stuff on an official platform designed for just that. Marketplace was born.
The best part of Marketplace has historically been this... You know exactly who you are dealing with, and you could leave instant feedback which would determine whether you'd want to take a chance on a person or not. It was solid. Over the course of the next few years, that's exactly what people did. They listed and bought stuff through Marketplace, but coaxing reviews and feedback out of happy people was a bigger ask than they thought.
You've probably heard a million different phrases to describe a simple truth, but the gist of it is, nobody speaks louder than a slighted customer. It's a human thing. If a deal goes off without a hitch, there's no incentive to leave feedback. It's just an additional step to a deal that you're now done with... But if you were slighted or cheated in that deal, you're going to let the entire world know about it right? Call it cancel culture if you want, holding others to their word is how we create better people. That doesn't mean you should drag people through the mud, it just means you should speak up and allow others the choice to do the right thing... Given that Facebook is a steaming pile of vile, doing the right thing is rare. Millions and millions of sellers gained very negative ratings, and I can only assume participation in the platform started to wane. What was Facebooks plan to restore it? Erase all feedback and give everyone a clean slate again.
Whether you agree with that move or not, it was probably the right move. Historically bad sellers now realized their actions had consequences and were given a chance to be a new, better seller... or they can remain the same a hide their feedback entirely. Buyers could have also been given a clean slate to start over too, but instead, Facebook made those ratings private altogether. This allows crappy buyers to become even crappier buyers.
Almost two years after the big reset, mix in a global pandemic and a considerable lack of spending cash among the public, Marketplace is once again becoming a victim of its own success, and it's starting to show. Egos are now controlling the masses who either want to sell or buy. It's as if the transaction of goods and services for legal tender is now some big "Well, you can do it on my schedule" kind of thing. I can't tell you how many trips to Snyder, Frederick, Elgin, Faxon, Duncan, Chickasha, etc... I've made only to be ghosted by a seller. Buyers are just as bad. The "I'll take it, tomorrow." people that never mention it again. Makes you miss the days when issues were resolved through combat.
If you still use Marketplace, which is harder and harder as the pandemic has people avoiding other people, I hope you're a good person when it comes to your deals. I hope you can spot your own shortcomings and overcome them. There are plenty of good people out there looking for what you're selling, be a good human in your communication.