How To Safely Sell Items Online
If you are thinking of starting an online retail business or simply want to sell some of your unnecessary possessions, you need to know how to safely sell online. There are a number of steps that you can take to stay safe while selling. Of course, the steps you need to take will vary depending on how you are selling your items.
Creating A Safe Advert
The first step in how to safely sell online will be creating a safe advert. This is something that you need to do regardless of where the advert is. When creating your listing, you will need to stick to the facts of the product you are going to sell. Do not add any information which could identify you personally if you do not need to. It is important to remember that every piece of information int e advert could be used for a purpose that you do not intend.
To successfully sell online, you will need to include pictures of the item. You need to carefully look at the pictures that you have and are going to use. Look for any information in the background that could be used to identify you such as house numbers. You also need to be careful with number plates and people in the pictures.
Safe Contact Information
To sell the item, the potential buyer will need to be able to contact you unless you are using a website like eBay where they can simply buy or bid. A lot of classified advert websites will have a built-in messaging service that you can use. It is recommended that you use this if it is available.
If there is no messaging service, you will need to create an email account for the sole purpose of selling. Do not use your personal email address and ensure that the email address you use does not show any personal information. Using your personal email address will open yourself to harassment from unhappy potential buyers and can make selling online a nightmare.
If you want to provide a bit more convenience for the buyer, you can allow people to call or text you. When doing this, you should use a disposable phone number. You should never put your personal number on your advert because you do not know who is going to see the ad. There are also a number of reverse look-up services that people can use to get more information about you based on your phone number.
Choose A Safe Payment Option
When it comes to how you will be paid, you need to choose a payment method that is safe. Some sites that you sell through will only have certain payments methods that they accept. PayPal is generally used by eBay, but you can also choose to be paid in cash if the buyer has to pick up the item.
A lot of people suggest that cash is the best option when selling online. You are less likely to have a problem with the payment and there is no way that the buyer can reverse the transaction after they have the item. Of course, the payment method that you choose will also need to correspond with the price of the item. If you are selling a high ticket item, cash might not be the best solution and a bank transfer could be better.
Safely Communicating With The Potential Buyer
Once your safe advert is up, you will be contacted by potential buyers. There are some steps you need to take to communicate with them in a safe manner. The first is to stick to the anonymous email account or your disposable phone number.
If you feel that something is strange about the buyer or you feel uncomfortable, it is better to stop contact. Your instincts are there for a reason and you need to listen to them. While there might be nothing wrong with the buyer, it is generally better to be safe than sorry.
As you communicate with the potential buyer, you need to stick to talking about the product. Do not disclose any further personal information than what you have included in the advert. If the buyer seems to be fishing for information, you need to stop contact.
Showing The Item
If you are selling via a classified advert, you will have buyers who want to view the item before they purchase it. When arranging this, you need to be careful and show items you can transport in a public place. You should also have someone accompany you when you show the item as this increases your safety.
If the potential buyer is interested, you should not hand the item over until you have your payment. You should also not accept any partial payments. If you have agreed on a payment method and the buyer wants to change this after seeing the item, you need to walk away.
If the item cannot be transported, you will need to show it in your home. You need to be very careful with this as your home has a lot of information about you. Ideally, you should move the item to your garage or somewhere outside of your house. If you cannot do this, you need to assess the route they will take in your home and remove any items of value or that have a lot of information.
A lot of people wonder about how to safely sell online. There are some tips that you can use to help make any sale safer for you.