Buyer Beware: Think Twice Before Buying Products From Facebook Ads

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’re on Facebook and see deals in your feed, you may want to think twice before clicking on them.

“I was scrolling thru my Facebook feed, and I saw it multiple times and I really liked it,” Chelsea Flaherty said.

Flaherty clicked the Facebook ad and ordered her would-be graduation dress.

Weeks later, when the dress hadn’t arrived and the company was unresponsive, she realized she should have done more research.

“I found a group on Facebook that was like a buyer beware,” she said.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about buying clothing from Facebook ads, citing several advertisers with F ratings.

“Year over year we’re seeing a 20 percent increase of these types of complaints,” Michael Lai, of the review website Site Jabber, said.

Lai said they received more than 16,000 complaints last year alone.

Many cited targeted Facebook ads using photos, which were taken from other sites. Then, if the items come at all, he says they almost never look like the image.

“Facebook has a strong history of policing what goes into the feed, so people feel like what shows up in their feed is something that they can trust,” Lai said.

He says, unlike Google or Amazon, which aggregate reviews and ratings from people who’ve made purchases, the likes and comments on Facebook ads can be misleading.

“It could show up with a million different likes and look like its being recommended form a friend, but your friend could have just liked the picture that they saw that showed up in their feed,” Lai said.

He says Facebook needs to be more transparent that it doesn’t vet these companies.

Facebook said they are always working to make ads relevant and useful. They are also testing new ways for people to give feedback about businesses.

“You would think they would check the companies on their site,” Flaherty said.

For now, it’s up to users to do their own research.

That’s how Flaherty’s boyfriend found the exact same photo of her dress on another site, and had it rush ordered just in time for graduation day.

None of the companies with complaints featured in our report responded to requests for comment.

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