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Avoid scams when buying online through OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and more
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Secrets to finding good stuff on OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace

There are a lot of risks and rewards with online marketplaces. Although you can find great deals, you’ll also find con artists looking to trick you with lousy goods. In this tip, we’ll help you avoid scams when buying online.

You must be especially careful if you’re trying to score a great deal on Facebook Marketplace. As the world’s second-largest marketplace, it attracts many scammers. Tap or click here to avoid five trending scams on Facebook Marketplace.

Of course, there are also a ton of hidden treasures you can find on local online marketplaces. We’ll help you tiptoe around all the tricks so you can snatch the best deals possible. With these online shopping tips and tricks, you’ll find hidden gems on digital marketplaces.

1. Buying furniture? Search for high-end furniture brands

When renovating your home, you might want to upgrade the furniture. This means you might start typing search terms like:

  • Best online marketplaces to buy luxury furniture.
  • Where to buy designer furniture online.
  • What are the best online furniture stores, according to interior designers?

Looking up these terms means you’ll find many results — including a lot of junk. Tons of people are trying to unload low-quality furniture onto the market.

You should only bother looking for good furniture brands online. For instance, look for Wayfair furniture, which picks as the best affordable furniture brand.

Of course, you can also look for luxury or designer furniture brands. You want to focus on good brands, so you’re getting quality couches, chairs or tables. You might luck out and find someone trying to sell high-quality furniture. If you’re extra lucky, you can haggle the price down.

2. If you’re meeting in person, do it in public

For your safety, never meet an internet stranger in private. You never know what type of person you’re meeting. You could be in danger if you meet with a seller who has an anger problem.

🧘 Take your time and breathe

🛑 Don’t rush. Take a minute to review the item you’re buying for damage. Also, look at the tag to verify the brand.

🤥 It may sound unnecessary, but many sellers will flat-out lie. They’ll try to pass off a low-quality product as something made by a better company.

🏷️ So take your time to check the label and verify that you’re buying the item you actually want.

😡 The seller might lash out if they’re caught in a lie. Meeting in public means people will be around to help if things go sideways.

However, purchasing a big appliance or heavy furniture might be tricky. That Facebook Marketplace seller may be unable to lug a huge couch into a public park.

If you must go to a stranger’s house, don’t go alone. Bring a friend or two along to have trusted people nearby for backup. Just in case, you should also bring some of these self-defense tools.

3. Checking reviews is a great way to avoid scams

This way, you ensure you’re interacting with trusted sellers. Of course, this depends on the online marketplace you’re using. Not all of them enable reviews.

This is a good option at your fingertips if you’re using eBay or Etsy. Instead of impulse buying, look over previous customers’ reviews. See if they’re pleased with the product — or if they say they’ve been misled.

Chances are, if someone else was tricked, you could be too. Avoid untrustworthy sellers with bad reviews. Go for sellers with high ratings and happy customers.

While you’re at it, look at the review photos, if there are any. Many buyers will upload pictures of the products they purchased. This helps you figure out whether you will get a high-quality product.

4. Look up items from your favorite online stores on eBay or other marketplaces

This clever tactic takes advantage of a seller’s labeling shortcomings. Often, sellers might not include the brand name of an item; instead, they’ll list where they got the item when they resell.

Think of an online store you trust with the items you’re looking for. Let’s say you’re looking for luxury women’s shoes. If you’re shopping for great deals on Etsy, type “size nine shoes ThredUp” into the search bar.

You may find some items from a designer brand like Kate Spade without the expensive Kate Spade level. This applies to any type of good or online store you can think of, so get creative!

Keep reading

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