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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tips for staying safe when buying and selling online

The statistics are pretty staggering, and tell the story - we love to buy and sell online!

Virtual garage sales are popping up all over (I belong to several, myself).  I've been both a buyer and a seller and had good success, for the most part.   However, I am well aware that I need to protect myself while dealing with people I don't know, online when selling my stuff.

Tips for staying safe

Be very careful what information you reveal.   Consider setting up an email account solely for buying/selling transactions, which doesn't include your real name.

Arrange a time prior to exchanging goods to have a telephone conversation.  It is a good way to get a feel about the person you are about to meet.  If anything doesn't feel right, don't go any further.

When the time comes to exchange items/money, meet in a public location during daylight hours.  It would be ideal if you could meet at a place which has video surveillance.   I've meet at grocery store and Tim Hortons parking lots, and always feel very secure there. 

If you absolutely have to meet at a home, never step inside.  Conduct your business on the doorstep.  If you are doing a transaction at home, be sure to take someone with you, or have someone at home with you.  I always take either my husband or teenaged daughter when I meet someone. 

Try not to offer a name or home address in any ads.  There is nothing wrong with using a pseudonym.

If you get a gut feeling that something about the exchange isn't right, walk away.  There will always be another buying/seller.  Getting a good deal just isn't worth jeopardizing personal safety.   If it seems too good to be true, most likely it is!

While, I am still fairly new to buying and selling online, I've only had one negative experience.  Most of my dealing have been through local facebook groups, which I think offer me a sense of security.  Since my less than perfect experience, I now take those tips to heart and keep in mind that someone else will come a long if a deal falls through.  

Do you buy and sell online?  What are your thoughts and practices for staying safe?

Disclaimer:  This post is brought to you by MusicMagpie.  All content and thoughts are those of this blog.  


Kathryn Lavallee said...

I have bought a few things from our local buy and sell group and sold a few as well. I love how easy it is and in a small town, I feel completely secure about the sales which is a bonus! Thanks for the tips!

Brandi Yee said...

These are great tips! It's important to be cautious and as long as you're careful and aware, it can be enjoyable and beneficial for many people :) Thanks for sharing!

Aeryn Lynne said...

Those are awesome tips! I usually just sell/buy online at sites like ebay or trend trunk with some success. I haven't tried any where I'd have to meet to make the exchange yet.

Jeannie Lam said...

Great tips! I have sold and bought stuff online and I didn't even consider some of your tips at the time. Will be referring to this post in the future again!

Fan R. said...

Great tips, from my experience the worst thing is when you are ready to buy or sell and the person willing to do that disappears.

Sydney Bows said...

My dad uses Kijiji a lot for car parts and such, he usually meets in a parking lot plaza to be safe.

Holly Messana said...

It has gotten very scary buying and selling on line. There are so many scams out there on top of the crazy people looking to steal/hurt someone.....After the murder of the fellow from Toronto I have decided that I would rather give stuff away to the Salvation Army, however, I never actually thought of meeting someone (weird, I know) elsewhere. Thanks for your blog!

Stephanie LaPlante said...

In my city, a man was brutally murdered by trying to sell his truck on kijiji. Everyone is extremely cautious now. You can never be to careful.