Best etiquette practices to encourage drama free online buying & selling

Posted at 11:00 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 00:24:39-04

Millions of people turn to Facebook groups, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to buy and sell items. They hope it'll be a drama-free experience.

To that end, some Facebook groups have established a list of rules, to prevent threats, rude comments, and profanity from tainting a potential sale.

Jenna Kircus and Janie Higgins run the Macomb Furniture and Home Décor Facebook group, which has more than 27,000 members.

Although online disagreements and arguments can happen, Kircus and Higgins say they monitor the page and remove unruly users. We talked to them about their rules, that are really good common sense no matter where you're selling...

  • Don't comment on a post if you're not interested in the purchase.
  • Don't post phone numbers or personal information on a post.
  • When posting, be honest. Is it new or used? 

“If you’re not interested, don’t make comments on it,” Higgins says. “That causes drama and you’ll get removed if it continues.”

It's bad etiquette to call someone out on a page for a violation of rules or a bad post. Most sites allow you to click a dropdown and report it to administrators. 

“After we get three complaints from three separate people with proof that this person was doing something wrong, we add them to a list so that people are aware,” Kircus added. 

If you're selling an item on these sites, there's a way to bump your post to the top of the feed, but we've learned it's tacky to do it too often. In fact, Kircus and Higgins only allow someone to do it once a day on their closed group.

Most of these swapping groups are closed groups on Facebook but not all. Facebook has also recently launched its new Facebook Marketplace, which allows you to buy & sell with anyone in a certain designated radius.

No matter how you're doing your buying and selling online, picking a safe location to meet up to do the sale is critical. Many local police stations are happy to serve as a meeting point.