Selling items online is a common way for many people to earn some extra cash. With the technology available today, it’s a great way to earn some supplemental income or to explore a passion or hobby. Unfortunately, there is also risk that comes with selling online. That’s why we wanted to showcase a few tips to help you stay safe.
- Keep Your Information Personal – Never give out your personal information to someone online. If you’re selling something online, there are many ways to keep yourself safe and still make your sale. Whenever possible, use the trading platform to speak to your potential buyer. Apps like Facebook Marketplace and Offerup allow you to speak to the buyer through the app rather than by phone. If you need to speak over the phone, use technology like Google Voice rather than your mobile phone. There are many ways you can use technology to keep yourself safe and your information private.
- Always Meet in Public – If there’s any way to avoid it, never meet someone at their home or allow someone to come to your home. Always meet in a public place instead.
- Bring a Friend – There’s safety in numbers, so it’s always better to bring a family member or friend along for the sale. Especially if you need to go to someone’s home or allow someone in your home, be sure you’re not alone.
- Avoid Unsecured Payment – Always avoid personal checks, wire transfers, money orders, or cashier checks. Unless you’re an expert, it could be hard to spot fraudulent checks. It’s always best to stick to cash, digital payment options (Popmoney, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.), or invest in a card reader for ongoing sales.
- Trust Your Instincts – If something feels off, then walk away from the sale. You can always find a new buyer if you feel uncomfortable.