Many of you buy or sell items online. I use Facebook Marketplace a lot to look for cool furniture or stuff I need but don’t wanna pay full price for.

And I know many of you also use Marketplace or the Facebook Yard Sale sites to do business. It’s quick and easy and you reach hundreds or even thousands of people. It’s a great resource.

However, like everything else on social media, the buying/selling platforms are not without their annoyances. I mean it should be simple, right. If you wanna sell something just post a photo, say how much you want for it and if someone wants to buy it they’ll message you and buy it from you.

Or if you’re selling something you’ll take photos of the item, write a brief description and wait for someone to message you to buy it.

I know I ain’t the only one who gets really frustrated sometimes when people simply don’t stick to the plan.

Here’s the problem — because most of the time these people don’t know you, they can be pretty inconsiderate. Because y’all are not acquaintances and they’re not dealing with you face to face, it’s easy for them to be rude to you or waste your time because they’ll probably never interact with you again.

So this leads me to a list of some of the more annoying social media marketplace situations. If you read these and you’re guilty of some of ‘em, then please know that someone is complaining about you to their coworkers right this very minute...

1. The non-reader: This is the person who it appears did not take the 7 seconds needed to read the item description so they ask you several questions that were already answered in the original listing. As an example, here’s the description you wrote — “Wooden chair for sale. Very sturdy. $40 FIRM. Must pick up in Lindale.”

The non-reader’s first question is “Where are you located?” Followed by “Would you deliver?” No. No I won’t deliver. I said MUST PICK UP. To which the non-reader asks “Would you take $20?”...... Do you know what the word FIRM means? This is infuriating for sellers who would LIKE to say “just read the dang description I took the time to write.” But they can’t because that would seem impolite and might ruin the sale.

Take the time to read an item’s description before asking questions. I see this a lot for real estate listings. The description will CLEARLY say the price the house will rent for, the deposit and that pets are not allowed. Here comes the first three comments: “What’s the rent on this?”, “How much is the deposit?”, “I have two dogs. Is that ok?”

2. The ghost: These are the people who express interest in an item and then ghost you (completely close off communication). One of the first ways Facebook Marketplace suggests you reach out to someone is with the message “Is This Available?” Well I can’t tell y’all how many times people ask if something is available, I tell them it is, and then never hear from them again. At least have the courtesy to say “Sorry, I’m not interested anymore.”

3. The low-baller: As many of y’all know I love a bargain so I never fault people for trying to get a good price on something, but don’t insult a seller by offering them a ridiculously low amount of money for something you know good and well is worth much more. Don’t ask someone right off the bat if they’ll take $10 for a beautifully painted side table. Value people’s time and their merchandise. It’s okay to negotiate but don’t insult someone by offering pennies on the dollar for something you know is valuable.

4. The no-show: One of the most annoying things is when people agree to purchase an item and simply don’t show up at the agreed-upon time or worse, they never show up at all. I don’t care if you found something you like better or you found something cheaper, you’ve made an agreement with this seller to purchase the item. Honor that. Or have the courtesy to tell them you won’t be there so they don’t waste their time.

5. The double-dealer: This is the buyer who promises to sell you an item and at the last minute says “Sorry, I know we agreed to meet at 4 but I just sold it to someone else.” That’s just plain rude. It’s ok to tell buyers that you will not hold an item and it’s ok to let people know this item will go to the highest bidder, but if you promised someone that you would sell them an item, don’t turn around and sell it to someone else just because they offered you more money. Honor your deals.

6. The stay-at-homer: Online selling and buying requires a lot of compromise. There are some people, however, who want everyone and everything to come to them. I see so many ads with the words “must pick up in so-and-so.” I know there are some people who simply cannot meet to sell an item for whatever reason. But whenever possible, offer to meet people at an agreed upon central location. It’s just common courtesy when you offer to meet instead of having someone drive all the way across the county just because you don’t wanna get up off the couch.

7. The unreasonable nit-picker: This is the person who starts pointing out EVERY SINGLE imperfection in an item that you already stated was used or imperfect. If something is advertised as brand new or never used, then it’s perfectly fine to look for imperfections before paying for it. However, if the seller has already told you that the item does have flaws, then there’s no need to point out every single little scratch and bump. The nit-picker is also usually a low-baller who’s trying to get you to knock the price down. Don’t fall for it.

I hope y’all find some great deals out there and be nice to each other.

Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune

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