Getting Rid of Your Old Stuff Online? Here is How to Avoid Getting Scammed

Are you selling stuff online to make some extra cash? These days there are thousands of online marketplaces selling new and used products, from used smartphones to over-booked concert tickets. Facebook market, Craigslist, and eBay are some of the most popular online marketplaces that attract a lot of sellers, buyers, and scammers. As online shopping increases, so do online scams. Being watchful while buying or selling on a not-so-popular online market platform is crucial because scams often involve taking money the buyer willingly transfers from their bank account. As a result, there is little that you can do legally to get your money back.

Whether you have been preyed upon in the past or haven’t been a scam victim, you should be vigilant when scrolling through online marketplaces. Here is what you can do to avoid getting scammed.

Too Good to be True

We have all come across such deals which are too good to be true. Does the product match the listed price? Is the buyer offering way more money than your asking price? Yes, scammers do fake overpayments, especially when paying via a cheque. They tell you to deposit the cheque and send the extra amount to them.

Also Read: Worried about your credit card details being stolen online? Here are some ways you can minimize the risk.

If the deal is too good to be true, explore the market. Check the product listed by other sellers and compare the prices. If you think you’ve got yourself a too-good deal, think it through. If the price difference raises suspicious, avoid the buy, and move on to other genuine-looking deals.

Use Trusted Online Resale/Buy Platform

Before selling or buying anything online, run a background check on the site you wish to sell/ buy on. Poshmark and ThredUp are some websites used for accessory and clothing sales; they authenticate designer products so buyers know they’re looking at a real deal. Several other luxury consignment sites also go to lengths to verify legitimate luxury goods. eBay and Facebook marketplace allows you to sell or buy online or locally. eBay offers fraud protections, whereas, with the Facebook marketplace, you always have the option to meet in person and see the product.

Meet in Person, if Possible

As mentioned earlier, the Facebook marketplace encourages meeting in person, if you want, to complete a transaction. It is harder to get cheated if you sell or buy in person. As a seller, you can collect the cash right there, and as a buyer, you can check the product's authenticity in-person. This way, you will not have to worry about damaged goods being delivered either.

When in Doubt, Google

Google is your best friend when it comes to buying or selling online. If you see an unfamiliar brand or product up for sale, google the product name or the brand name to see if the product exists. You are likely to find the source. You can choose to pay the original seller or take the risk and get your hands on the knockoff. Googling will also aid your decision about whether to buy the product or not. Scammers tend to sell knockoffs at the price of the original product.

Check the Reviews

Reviews are another way to tell if the seller is genuine or a fraud. Take some time to review the reviews. If there aren’t any, if there are five stars but no content, if there are vague compliments without any supporting pictures, these are all red flags to back away. Online marketplaces are most likely to have a review section. You can check the seller’s reviews or add in your review if you have encountered a scam. That way, you can help prevent potential buyers from being scammed.

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