GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Facebook garage sales can be a good way to save a few bucks, but can be costly if you get scammed.
One alleged victim reached out to 24 Hour News 8 to warn other online shoppers. Experts say most of online purchases are impulses and we don’t take the time to research who we’re buying from.
East Grand Rapids mother, Kim Owens was on Facebook when she says she scrolled by a crochet hat that caught her eye. It was for sale on a Grand Rapids garage sale page. She ordered the hat and met up with the seller who was operating under Mrs. FroggyLady Custom Crochet.
“Everything was good and I really liked the product,” said Owens.
She liked it so much, she bought more. Again she paid in cash, but this time she only got some of the items she ordered.
“Because the first order went well I thought, you know what, I’ll be okay and that’s really where I made the mistake was giving her the cash up front before getting the item,” said Owens.
That was more than a month ago. Since then, she says she has made multiple calls and sent messages. Lots of promises, but no delivery.
“I mean there was always an excuse for why she wasn’t showing up,” said Owens.
A search found other costumers complaining about the same thing. The Better Business Bureau of West Michigan has seven complaints that were filed in 2015 for not delivering items.
The company never responded so the BBB gave it an F rating. The name slightly changed and now a new investigation by the BBB is underway.
“It’s just important that you do your homework,” said Terry Glenn with the BBB.
She says make sure you have a working phone number to contact the seller in case you have problems, meet in a public place to make the exchange, and don’t give money before you get the product. Also, check customer reviews. If it’s a company selling on Facebook, you can look them up on the BBB’s website and find any previous complaints.
If you can’t pay cash, she says don’t wire money or buy a prepaid card. Credit card is your best bet because there are ways to get your money refunded.
“You only need to be victimized once to think, before you think oh my gosh I wish I would have taken the 15 minutes to buy it,” said Glenn.
24 Hour News 8 got in touch with the seller of Mrs. FroggyLady Custom Crochet. She claims she isn’t a scam artist. She tells 24 Hour News 8 she’s going to deliver the products that were already purchased by Owens, but so far she has not come through.