So, you just started selling online and you start getting messages from people looking to buy your items, they are offering more than what you are asking for it or asking you to do something on top of ship it to them. You feel like it's too good to be true, you are going to make more money then you even thought.
Then, you start to second guess yourself, is this real, should you trust this person? What if they are trying to scam you?
All very common questions, especially in today's day and age of selling online. There are always going to be the lowest of the low trying to steal your money online because then they don't have to go rob a store or someone in public.
Luckily, over the last four years of flipping items on eBay and pretty much every other platform you could think of, I have come across almost all of the scams (yet there are constantly new ones) and have figured out what to watch out for and avoid when deciding if you want to sell to a specific person or not.
Two important things to remember, if you feel like you are getting scammed you probably are and there will always be another buyer or seller for the item if you are not comfortable buying from or selling from a certain person.
Don't pressure yourself to buy or sell if you aren't comfortable with the deal, there will always be another one.
Rule #1: How Does Their Profile Look
The first thing I always look at is the profile of the person who is trying to buy, if it is through an app and not on a platform like Craigslist where they just call or text you. I look at their profile picture, their reviews, when they joined, what methods of verification they used and if they have any other items up for sale.
If they don't have a profile picture, just joined the app and verified with email only (on apps like Offer Up), just avoid them, heck don't even respond. I have never had a good experience with this type of account and likely never will, if they were real they would have taken time for like a Facebook verification as well as a profile picture.
Also, if they recently joined, it could be real but the scammers accounts get deleted all of the time so they are constantly making new ones, so I am always skeptical. If they recently joined, it means they don't have any reviews or sales yet, so no history to base on and if they have no items up for sale, I get skeptical because new members are usually trying to sell something at least.
I also look at their username or profile name, does it look real or is it a bunch of random letters or does it sound fake.
Rule #2: Are They Asking You To Ship it Somewhere Else?
Next, a huge scam going around on eBay and other platforms is when someone messages you and asks to ship it to a different address than the one on their profile and they will usually ask you to send it to their "friend" or "kid" as a present.
If you were to send it, they could file a claim that they never received the package and you will be out your money and your item. A tell tale sign if they are asking to switch addresses is that they will usually ask you to overnight the package as they are "in a hurry" and they will give you an extra $50. Don't do it.
If you are buying/selling on a local platform, like Facebook Marketplace, sometime you will get messages from people who are a little farther away (over an hour usually) asking about the item and if you can ship it, or saying that they can only ship the item if you are buying. Don't do it, save your life some stress and find a more local buyer you can meet up with.
Rule #3: Are They Asking You To Do Anything Extra?
Sometimes you will get people messaging you about doing something extra for them, on top of shipping the package to them, such as overnight shipping like I mentioned above. I have also had people ask me to do things like add an extra $200 iTunes gift card or other gift cards and they will pay me to do it.
These are just greedy scammers, never ever do this! These scammers just want even more of your money, just don't believe their stories.
Rule #4: Do They Want To Pay More Than You Are Asking?
"I'll give you an extra $50 to ship it over night," "I'll pay you $500 instead of $400 to ship it to my cousin in Florida," "I'm going to give you an extra $50 for you driving out here."
Nope, nope, nope. Always be super skeptical with people offering more money than you are trying to sell it for, they are just trying to make sure they get the product and they don't care how much money it is because the payment will eventually not go through. If the deal is too good to be true, it must likely is. Always follow the gut as it is right almost 90% of the time.
I have even had a sketchy local buyer do this once and he ended up giving me fake money, live and learn I guess.
Rule #5: Are They Trying to Get You To Pay Through A CashApp?
If they are telling you that they only take payments through Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, Western Union or any other cash transfer platforms, they are scamming you. If they refuse to take payments through the preferred method on the app, it is because they are trying to scam you. These people will come up with some crazy stories to try and get you to believe them and send them money on these platforms.
I have heard everything from "trust me I'm a Pastor" to "I have been scammed through the app before so I only take payments on Venmo." They are all lies and even if you pay and they ask for your address and say they will ship it out, right when you ask for the tracking number you will never hear from them again.
Bonus Local Rule: Are They Acting Sketchy?
A few tips for selling local that I have learned over the years...
If they are acting sketchy, just straight up don't sell it to them. Say you just decided you don't want to sell it anymore. Some tell tale signs are them counting the money facing away from you (likely fake money), and not wanting to meet INSIDE of a public place. Always meet inside if possible so you can see their money and you won't get robbed then.
Also, if they show up and they are very different than their profile, major red flag.
Thank you for checking this out! I hope it saves you thousands of dollars and hours of your time, so that you don't even have to worry about a scammer because you will spot them right away.
If you are interested in finding those first items and then how to sell them, I made a free little guide that includes that as well as how to use your profits in order to start traveling for CHEAP!
Click here to download that guide >>
See ya tomorrow!
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