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Minimize Your Risks When Selling to Strangers

Roseville, Calif.- Spring is in the air and many of us are working on our annual spring cleaning. As we start to clean out our garages and decide what we want to get rid of, many of us will decide to use online sites as a platform to sell our items.

Here are a few tips safety tips for selling online.

Sell Locally

If possible, try to sell locally. Avoid selling to buyers that require you to ship your goods. This can often have fake buyers or scammers that promise to pay, but never follow through. Meeting a local buyer increases the likelihood of positive sales transaction.

Your Address

Avoid posting your address on social media sites or providing your address to strangers. When selling items, it’s usually best to meet in a public location that offers plenty of lighting, people, and access to help if needed, such as a grocery store or police station parking lot.

Payment Types

If possible, avoid accepting personal checks, cashier’s checks, or even money orders. Using digital forms of payment, such as CashApp, Popmoney, Venmo, Paypal, etc., might better protect you from fraud because many digital banking services offer fraud protection. If you opt to meet the buyer at your financial institution, it’s best to deposit the method of payment into your account right away.

Better Safe than Sorry

Most importantly, trust your gut. If something seems “off” or “not right,” you’re probably right. Recognizing that something isn’t right and stopping the communication is much better than continuing with the transaction. It truly is “better safe than sorry” to discontinue the communication with the potential scammer.

It’s wise to prepare for scammers when selling online. Remember, always sell with caution; and if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and walk away.


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