Buying or selling online has become a part of the modern way of life. Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist are popular examples of online platforms that allow millions of people to buy and sell different products and services online. Despite their advantages, these platforms have some downsides, especially regarding safety. So, how can you stay safe when buying or selling online? These tips can help.
1. Protect your personal information
Many online platforms allow both buyers and sellers to communicate. This makes it easy to deliver products or services, receive feedback, and nurture good relationships. However, it is advisable to limit business communication to those platforms. Depending on what you’re selling, choosing platforms that do not require you to publish personal contact information and phone numbers is safer. This is especially important if you’re selling photos or videos that may contain personal or sensitive information. If you want to sell feet pictures, or any other quirky photos for example, it’s best to sell through a platform that will protect your personal information.
2. Always insist on a detailed receipt
Regardless of what you’re purchasing, always insist on the detailed receipt of your transaction, whether in a digital or print format. While most sales may be final, your receipt serves as proof of purchase that can help you return a wrong product, get a broken product fixed, or even swap for a new product. For sellers, the receipt is proof that you received and delivered.
3. Don’t meet people in secluded places
When conducting business online, the last thing you want to do is meet a prospective client or seller at a secluded location, much less one of their choices. Fortunately, several safer delivery options are available to avoid possible harm, such as non-contact delivery. However, if you need to meet your seller or buyer, be sure to meet in public areas like the parking lot of a local police station. Also, take your cell phone with you, go along with someone you can trust, and always let your loved ones know where you’re going. Where possible, recommend electronic payment options or bank transactions instead of paying or receiving payments in cash.
It may take some effort, but it is always important to conduct background checks on sellers before buying online. You want to make sure that you’re purchasing from a reliable seller to limit the risks of receiving fake products or being scammed. It can be difficult to conduct background checks in some cases, so your safest option is to do business only on trusted online platforms. Also, look up profile ratings, either of a seller or buyer, before doing business with them. Almost all the trusted platforms allow users to rate buyers and sellers, some leaving reviews. It helps to check out the reviews about a seller to learn about other people’s experiences doing business with them. That can indicate whether a seller (or buyer) is trustworthy enough to do business.