Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the enormous impact Facebook has had on our lives. From a social network designed to help people connect, it turned into one of the biggest advertising platforms out there. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself talked about how the platform’s primary business model now is to sell ads.
But, as it turns out, ads are not created equal on Facebook. Whether we’re talking about scams or startups with poor customer service, more and more people are becoming the target of fraudulent ads.
So, are Facebook ads trustworthy or should you just stop shopping from the social media network?
The truth is that when it comes to online shopping, you need to do your due diligence before you share your personal data and credit card information. With that in mind, here are some tips you should pay attention to when trying to decide which ads from your news feed you can click through and which you are better off ignoring.
You might also be interested in CAN YOU ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK IF YOU DON’T HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE?
The Product Photos Are Usually a Good Indicator of a Scam
If the ad uses blurred or computer-generated images, then that’s usually a good indicator that something is off. Ads from reputable sellers use clear images that show the product from different angles.
That’s to say, a good product image is not a guarantee that a Facebook ad is not a scam. Shady sellers can steal images from Amazon or other marketplace and use them as their own to convince prospects that their ads are legitimate. If you’re not sure whether an ad is a scam or not, you can do a Google search to see if the image comes from another source.
Pay Attention to the Shipping Details
Another way to spot a shady seller is by looking at the shipping details presented in the ad. Most scams will only provide a “dispatch time,” which only tells you when the package will be sent out, not when it will arrive at you.
Look for ads that have clear shipping details, mention when the products will arrive at your door and have tracking available for your order.
Check the Return Policy
Make sure that there is a clear return policy in case you are not satisfied with the product. It should be fairly easy to contact the company and they shouldn’t charge a restocking fee for returns.
Don’t fall for international retailers that offer free refunds, but don’t mention shipping. More often than not, the cost of shipping something overseas exceeds the actual price of the product.
What To Do If You Were Scammed
The bad news is that Facebook can’t give you your money back if you were scammed or if you are unhappy with the product you ordered. But, there are ways to make advertising on Facebook safer and better for everyone.
The social network created an ad feedback tool that unhappy shoppers can use to report sellers. If a seller gets enough negative feedback, Facebook will first notify it of the problem, then it will reduce the number of ads it can run on the social network. If the negative feedback continues, then the seller can even be banned from Facebook entirely.
You can get the tool through the “Recent Ads Activity” link in the “Explore” navigation bar.
Over to You
The guidelines shared above can make online shopping safer on any platform, not just Facebook. Always proceed with a healthy dose of skepticism before sharing your data online. If a product looks too good to be true, it generally is.