As a BUYER you must:
- Choose your seller wisely.
- Do not settle for sellers who give minimal background information about the item and ask you to pay in advance. Remember, there are a lot of sellers to choose from and you have the upper hand in freely choosing the seller you're most comfortable transacting with.
- Always ask for actual photos of pre-loved items to gauge the condition of the item. Don't accept pictures that are obviously lifted from the internet. If you are not satisfied with the quantity and quality of the photos, be honest with the seller and specify what in particular you would want to check.
- If the item is brand new, sellers are permitted to use photos borrowed from other sources. You may ask the seller if this is the case to assure your expectations of the item.
- Knowing the reason why it is being sold can help give you a hint on the item's true condition. Aside from the background info, make sure to ask this from the seller.
- You've seen the photos and you know the seller's RFS, next is to read the item description thoroughly and ask the seller specific questions if you are not satisfied with the amount of information originally provided. This helps set your expectations and in turn, save time both for you and the seller.
- You can avoid being scammed 99% of the time if you deal with someone who is near your location. This way, you get to meet the seller in person and consider if the quality of the item is acceptable before you part ways with your money.
- If the seller permits it, always choose to pay via COD because not only are you protecting yourself from fraud, you will also have the chance to inspect the condition of the item first before closing your transaction.
- Test if the item is still in good condition. Whether it be examining cabinet hinges, checking the phone's camera, assessing home power outlets, or doing a vehicle test drive! It is completely okay to back out of a deal if you feel that the item you are buying did not meet your expectations.
- Is the price too good to be true? If it is, do a little research on what the usual price is first. Avoid ads that are priced way below the normal as these could either be stolen, defective, or even bogus.
As a SELLER you must:
- Encourage meet-ups.
- Refrain to go through a deal if you cannot meet in person. Someone who makes excuses to meet in person or speak on the phone is a big red flag. Be very cautious of buyers who are out-of-area. There are scammers who will contact you via email and come up with excuses that will lead you to ship your item internationally, this is often an indication of fraud.
- Never ship your item if you do not even have a down payment or the full payment. Preferably, deal with someone you know or is referred by someone you know.
- Research, ask questions, use the internet and other social media sites to check your potential buyer.
- If something feels "off" or fishy or seems too good to be true, the chances are it is. Your intuition or "gut feel" is your best weapon against getting scammed in a sale.
Think carefully what mode of payment you are willing to accept and if the courier is a trusted one. Exercise caution when accepting cheques as it may take a time to clear from the bank. If the item being sold has significant value, push for a full payment. Meet inside a bank where the buyer can deposit the money before leaving – this way you are secured that you have your payment already.
- Agree to meet in a safe public place and during daylight hours only. Turn down any request to meet an unfamiliar place.