Tips for having safer transactions...
When you’re meeting anyone and money is being exchanged, safety must be a priority! We've compiled the tips below for your convenience, so please read and review them periodically. Please review our avoiding scams page and personal safety page too.
- When buying or selling, you should meet in-person to see the product and exchange funds.
- When meeting a buyer or seller, pick a public place (e.g. coffee shops, banks or police stations).
- Never meet in a secluded place or area for any reason.
- Bring a friend or family member with you, and/or let someone know your plans.
- Always bring a phone for safety.
- Get a 2nd opinion if you're not sure about something.
- If you suspect illegal activity, contact your local police department.
- The simplest and safest way to deal is directly, in person, with the buyer or seller.
- Payments should only be made in cash or money order.
- Beware of sellers asking for deposits into bank accounts, Internet payments, etc.
- Beware of buyers offering to pay by check.
- Keep transactions and arrangements simple.
- Always negotiate and agree the price before meeting.
- Always agree on the form of payment before meeting.
- Never arrange to meet a seller or buyer on your own.
- Always choose a safe, public location in which to meet.
- If you’re selling an item from home, arrange to meet during the daytime if possible and don’t give out unnecessary information about your daily routine, family life, etc.
- This is a business deal, not a social meeting – keep your contact formal.
- If you’re not open to bargaining on a price, let the buyer or seller know before you meet to establish a clear boundary and avoid embarrassment or discomfort between parties.
- If you’re thinking of buying an item, make it clear to the seller that there is no deal unless you’re happy with the item in person. This is especially important if the seller is traveling to meet you and avoids any feelings of being obliged to buy.
- It’s best to inspect and try out the item you intend to buy before you pay for it.
- Inform the seller that you want view the item in person before you discuss buying it.
- Take your time inspecting it: Don’t feel rushed or embarrassed to give an item a thorough inspection.
- Electrical items should be switched on to verify they’re in working order, so they need to be viewed at a suitable venue.
- If you’re selling, be aware that buyers might want to check items closely, so give them the space and opportunity to do so.
- Look for instruction booklets or manuals, if available.
- If you don’t see what you like, an item doesn’t match its online description or photograph, you are under no obligation to buy. You always have the right to walk away from an offer.
Finally, don’t leave yourself vulnerable to buying a stolen item or simply a dud. And, if you get a bad feeling about a buyer or seller, just walk away. When it comes to buying and selling, trust your gut. A deal might seem too good to be true. Ask questions like the following:
- Why is the item for sale?
- How old is the item?
- How did you come in possession with the item?
- Did the owner have any problems with the item?
- Where was the item originally purchased?
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