Facebook has launched a classifieds marketplace in South Africa, taking on the giants in the space such as Gumtree and OLX.
Facebook Marketplace offers users a single destination, built into the social media’s website, where they can buy and sell goods with people in their local community, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The service is already available in 47 countries.
The company has released a set of guidelines to help users avoid fraud and to keep them secure when using the platform to buy and sell goods.
They should verify items being bought — examining them carefully for quality, condition and authenticity — before paying.
If it’s not possible to meet in person, Facebook recommends using a service such as Standard Bank’s Shepherd to arrange safe payment and shipment.
“Shepherd keeps the money for a transaction in a trust account and releases it to the seller once the buyer verifies he or she has received the correct item in good condition.”
It also advised buyers and sellers to meet only in safe locations. “Don’t invite buyers or sellers to your home. Meet in a public place like a coffee shop or the mall. Before going, tell a family member or a friend where you will be, bring your cellphone and consider asking another adult to come with you.
“Use cash … or person-to-person payment methods… If you choose to pay electronically using EFT, avoid payment links and log in directly through the payment method’s website. If the value of the item you intend to buy or sell requires a significant amount of cash, you might consider using a person-to-person payment method, such as PayPal or FNB eWallet.”
Users shouldn’t share their financial account information, such as payment login and password or bank account information, with buyers or sellers, it added.
“Make sure your Facebook privacy settings are up-to-date. These settings help limit what other people can see — status updates, location, photos — on your profile page and what you share…”
Users can report people for abuse using the Facebook platform, it added.
Buyers and sellers can communicate with each other using Facebook Messenger. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media