OfferIt’s app has been downloaded millions of times with millions of items posted for sale. The vast majority of OfferIt’s users are trustworthy and online classifieds have been used securely in the U.S. and around the world for decades. Still, it’s important to always take the proper precautions to avoid scams, as you should anytime you buy or sell online.
Our number one priority is and will always be our users’ safety and satisfaction. We want you to have a great experience buying and selling on OfferIt, so take a look at the tips below before you start hunting for a laptop or sell that bike you never use anymore:
- Meet in person and use cash to complete a transaction, and choose a public place to exchange payment and items, like a coffee shop, supermarket, mall, or your local police station’s parking lot. Be wary of users who are unable or refuse to meet face-to-face to complete a transaction, those who insist on dealing with something other than cash and those who ask you to mail payment for an item. Don’t send payment to someone you haven’t met in person and don’t buy something without seeing it first.
- For larger items like furniture, you may sometimes need to meet a buyer/seller at home. We strongly recommend having someone else with you in these cases.
- Don’t use personal, certified or cashier’s checks, and never wire money (e.g., Western Union) to another user. If you decide to use PayPal, make sure to protect yourself against fraud by being aware of the most common PayPal scams.
- Beware of users who make unusual requests/suggestions, e.g., if a buyer insists on sending a check for more than the asking price (this is part of a common scam on many sites).
- There are millions of great deals on OfferIt, but be wary of items with unrealistically low prices, spammy descriptions, catalog photos, or other photos that obviously haven’t been taken by the user. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- The best way to complete a transaction is to exchange the item and pay at the same time. Never transfer funds or use a debit card/check to pay someone in advance as this makes you more vulnerable to scams.
- When receiving payment in cash, verify that the bills you receive aren’t counterfeit. Read the Federal Reserve’s tips on how to recognize authentic currency here.
- Don’t trust users who make requests that are out of the ordinary or who send messages that seem spammy. Buy and sell locally as much as possible, avoiding users who are overseas or in another city/state and ask to ship items.
- If you’re unsure about someone’s identity and want to verify that they are who they say they are and are really located in your area, it may be helpful to give them a short phone call before arranging to meet or to look them up online.
- Never give out your personal financial information to make or accept a purchase.
- Avoid certified/cashier checks and money orders as these methods may leave you unprotected from scammers.
- We recommend communicating with other users only via OfferIt’s in-app chat feature.
- If you have any doubts about a user’s authenticity or suspect they may be scammers or spammers, find another seller/buyer. There are millions of them on OfferIt!
- Always check a seller’s profile page (the same goes for potential buyers).
- Make sure information on the condition of the item, price and payment method is clearly outlined and agreed upon prior to meeting. If a user can’t answer basic questions clearly about the item he/she is selling, find a different seller.
- Before paying for something and completing the transaction, inspect the item and check that everything matches the seller’s description.
- Test an item to make sure that it works properly before purchasing it, especially if you’re purchasing electronics, a car, a bike or something similar.
- Note: When purchasing a vehicle, always verify the vehicle identification number (VIN) and consult third party sources that can check the vehicle’s history for theft, damage and identification. Certain phone carriers also provide this service at their stores and will be able to tell you if the phone has been reported stolen.
- OfferIt uses a combination of human and artificial intelligence to help keep our platform safe and fun to use, but we also ask our community of users to help by flagging inappropriate content or users. If you believe another OfferIt buyer/seller is offensive, spammy, a scammer or attempting to deceive users on our app, please report this user immediately so we can investigate further and take appropriate action, which may include blocking that user. Our goal is to keep OfferIt 100% free of scams and spam, and we appreciate your cooperation with this! If you are defrauded by a user or feel your personal safety is threatened, contact your local police department immediately.