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Hi, is this available?

Probably the most asked question on Facebook Marketplace.  Why would that even be set as the default question to pose to the seller?

It’s like walking into a store and asking them if they are open and then pointing to a product on the shelf and asking if it is for sale.  On a dating site, your first inquiry to a prospective love interest would not be “Are you available?”.

Why do they even need to have a default question?  Would a buyer not know an appropriate way to address the seller?

Why would you waste everyone’s time asking the most obvious question there is?  Asking this question always necessitates a subsequent question.  In the interim, while the buyer is waiting for the seller’s obvious response of “yes”, the buyer has already moved onto another bright and shiny object never to be heard from again.

This is not a cocktail party where you’re using an icebreaker to initiate a conversation.  This is a transaction and we all know why we are here.

Maybe this option was specifically designed for scammers to warm you up for their next message where they entice you with a full price offer.  They then ask, “would you accept a check as payment then after it clears, I’ll arrange for a mover to come for the pickup”.  Spoiler alert, those movers never come and your bank account is missing a sum of money.

One of the largest companies, with some of the smartest people, where usability and revenue are top priorities and this is what they thought would be a helpful question?

Now as I write this, I realize that is probably by design.  This question lengthens engagement which increases revenue for them.  I guess I just asked and answered my own question.

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