As social media meets garage sale, Facebook Marketplace has made it easier than ever to get your hands on preloved hidden gems. But there’s always going to be a risk in doing business with strangers, and that’s something TikToker Ali got a sobering reminder of when trying to buy a jacket for her daughter.
“I’m sure men will hear the story and think that there’s nothing wrong with it and I want to know from the women,” she explained in a video which, as of Sunday, has amassed 1 million views. “Am I justified in feeling freaked out? Was my Spidey Sense right, or am I just emotional and overreacted?”
Ali explained that after her daughter asked for a specific jacket worth $400, she sought out a cheaper deal on Facebook Marketplace. After some back and forth, she arranged to meet the seller at 10am, “So that man knew I was absolutely coming.”
“I get there all the lights in the house are off which was kind of weird to me because it doesn’t look like anyone’s home,” she recounts. “But I knocked on the door. And then this man came out and looked right past me, looked at the sky and said ‘Wow, look at the sky’ […] And then he said, ‘Hello. Can I help you?'”
Then, when Ali informed him she was here for the jacket, she said he didn’t seem to know what she meant—despite texting about the item minutes prior to this. “So it was already a little weird that he didn’t have the jacket,” she added. “He pretended he didn’t know what it was even though we were just texting.”
According to Ali, the man then encouraged her to go down to his basement, claiming that’s where the jacket was. “My first instinct was to turn and do what he said ,and then Corinna George’s voice was in my head saying ‘F*ck politeness.'”
At this point, Ali said, “Alarm bells started to ring. Why did this man not have this jacket ready for me? Why did he want me to go to his basement suite?”
Instead of complying, she asked the man to get the jacket for her. “I’m texting my mom who was waiting in the car and I was like, ‘This guy wants me to go down to his basement. If I don’t message you back in a minute. I means I’m dead.,'” she said.
Ali then went on to add that she “knew something was weird. Why would he not have [the jacket] already? Why would I go down to his basement suite with him? So I said, ‘No. Can you go get it for me?'”
Women, was i justified in feeling scared? Men don’t realize that these are the thoughts going through women’s heads all the time. Contsantly being on our toes just in case.♬ original sound – ali
The most shocking part was that after asking the seller this, “He reached in the doorway and grabbed the jacket. He was just a few steps in was right where the jacket was.” So, it seems the jacket was never in the basement as he previously implied.
“And that is when my legs kind of turned to jello and ice ran through my veins,” she said. “And then he said, ‘Maybe there’s something else you want down there? And I said, ‘No thanks. Just the jacket.'”
“As I walked away, my heart was pounding,” the creator explained. “I’ve never had an experience like that where I felt instant fear. And I’m replaying the incident in my head and I told a man about it and he said, ‘Oh, he probably just had some other stuff he wanted to sell you.'”
“Am I justified in feeling weird?” Based on the TikTok comments, it’s clear Ali wasn’t the only one who got red flags from the situation.
“Always trust that weird feeling,” one commenter wrote. “Maybe he was just an odd guy with no social intelligence, or maybe he had bad intentions,” another added.
“It’s possible he had some other stuff he wanted to sell you, but he should never have put you in that position,” a third concluded.
The Daily Dot reached out to Ali via email.