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Are you trying to sell your old clothes? Or are you looking for a way to get rid of your furniture? OfferUp is a platform that allows you to sell your preowned garments, furniture, and anything in between. And it also lets you buy pre-loved stuff. If that sounds too good to be true, you might be wondering if OfferUp is legit or a scam.
OfferUp is a legitimate platform, but all sellers on it are third-party providers, which means the platform is not responsible for any transaction that happens off-site after connecting to the app. Consider buying from (and selling to) verified OfferUp profiles to reduce scams.
Keep reading, and you’ll discover the dos and don’ts of buying and selling on OfferUp so you can benefit from the incredible purpose-driven reach of the platform without falling for a scam. You’ll also learn why using the platform is worth it despite the risk.
Buying on OfferUp: A Brief Overview
Buying items on OfferUp has risks because you don’t buy from individual buyers on the platform. The question, then, shouldn’t be whether OfferUp is legit but whether specific sellers are trustworthy.
OfferUp offers an opportunity to connect with a limited degree of quality control. From verifying certain sellers by their ID to requiring members to validate their cellphone numbers, the platform takes a few steps to discourage blatant scamming. Still, buyers need to know how to tell scams and legit offers apart.
How to Know an Offer Is Legit on OfferUp?
To know whether an offer is honest, you must check the seller reviews and ensure the transaction happens on OfferUp.
More importantly, the offer should be grounded in reality. On platforms with third-party sellers, an offer that is too good to be true…usually is too good to be true. 🙂
4 Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed on OfferUp
You can follow the best practices below to avoid scams when buying on OfferUp:
1. Avoid In-Person Purchases
There have been instances of people getting robbed after connecting on OfferUp. Even though the chances of this happening are low, the consequence is severe enough to avoid the risk altogether.
2. Deal With TruYou Profiles
OfferUp allows users to validate their identity with a government ID to earn a TruYou badge.
This badge lends a degree of credibility to the seller’s profile. Making a false TruYou profile with a stolen ID is possible, so this badge shouldn’t earn your blind trust.
3. Look for at Least 15 Consecutive Positive Reviews
As mentioned earlier, the TruYou profile can be gamed. Avoid getting scammed by restricting who you deal with among TruYou sellers to those with at least 15 positive reviews.
4. Do Not Pay Outside the OfferUp Ecosystem
Finally, to avoid dealing with scammers who fake positive reviews by “selling” to their own fake account, buy from ones who accept payments on OfferUp.
Most scammers need to take payment off-platform to swindle you successfully.
Is Buying on OfferUp Worth It?
When you see the list of precautionary steps you must take before buying on the platform, you might wonder if it is better to make your purchases elsewhere.
The best practices listed above apply to all platforms that allow third-party sales. OfferUp isn’t uniquely risky or exclusively secure – it is a reflection of society itself.
Buying on OfferUp is as “worth it” as buying any second-hand item online. There is always a risk of getting scammed, but there are also steps you can take to avoid getting disappointed. OfferUp’s longevity, as well as relative security, compared to Craigslist, makes it worth it for the intelligent customer.
Selling On OfferUp: A Brief Overview
OfferUp made headlines not because of buyers getting scammed but because sellers were robbed. We usually assume that the buyer is at risk in online transactions, but the opposite applies to situations where an online interaction leads to an in-person purchase.
Especially when selling a high-ticket item, you might be unintentionally advertising your possession of it to someone who intends to get it without paying. There’s also the problem of trust. Just like you can’t trust buyers, they can’t trust you.
This creates a stalemate that keeps transactions from happening, especially when you’re a new seller with zero reviews. This section will address the bifurcated problem with selling on OfferUp, starting with the potential for scams.
How to Avoid OfferUp Scams?
You can avoid OfferUp scams by simply refusing to engage with in-person transactions. Almost all OfferUp incidents where the seller suffers happen in an in-person transaction. The risks of robbery and snatch-and-run are present only when you choose to meet a buyer.
After receiving money on OfferUp, you do not endanger yourself or risk your finances if you ship the products. Moreover, you don’t have to deal with last-minute renegotiation when the customer starts to talk you out of the previous deal after making you come a long way to visit them.
How to Build Seller Trust on OfferUp?
As covered in the overview, the second problem with selling on OfferUp is that you aren’t trusted as a new seller. And because you don’t sell enough, you cannot get the reviews required to build your trust.
Here are a few things you can do to build trust as an OfferUp seller:
- Start by selling low-ticket items – People have an easier time buying low-priced items from a new seller.
- Accept payments online – When you accept payments online, you can’t get the money until you deliver the product. This allows strangers to trust you.
- Get a TruYou badge – This shows the customers that the platform has your government ID, and you’re not likely to scam them.
- Gradually move towards selling higher-priced items – Once you have accumulated over 15 five-star reviews, you can start selling pricier items. People are less likely to suspect you after that, especially if you accept online payments and have a TruYou profile.
Conclusion: Is OfferUp Legitimate?
OfferUp as a platform is legit, but that doesn’t guarantee the legitimacy of all the sellers.
When dealing with third-party sellers or any buyers, keep everything (including payments) on the platform and choose to ship over meeting in person. As long as you’re reasonably cautious, OfferUp is a legitimate option to sell your used things and a modern alternative to Craigslist.