Selling Items Online? Here’s How To Avoid Scams

A new, wonderful year is beckoning, and with it the chance to start afresh. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting your side hustle or developing a hobby that earns some cash. This might involve selling items online, such as handmade products on Etsy, old belongings through auction sites like eBay, or even custom items for collection. Read more to learn how to avoid scams.

While the internet can connect us to a wonderful global market, and potentially even help you gain more exposure than you know what to do with, there are downsides to that much connectivity, too. Namely, sometimes selling items online can put you in proximity to bad-faith actors who just want to take advantage of your small enterprise, either willingly or as a last decision after fulfilling the order.

If you feel like selling items online, it’s worth understanding how to avoid scams, not only precisely but through general practice. Let’s consider that, below:

Use Secure & Trusted Payment Platforms

Never trust payment platforms that don’t have some kind of verified measure to keep transactions fair. PayPal is good, especially if you use this guide on how not to get scammed on PayPal to ensure you make the most of those protection systems. Cash in person, checked against being counterfeit, also works. Beware of anyone offering you swaps, don’t accept bank transfers (this can be reversed through false chargebacks), and make sure you communicate your process before the purchase even begins.

Track Every Step Of The Way

It’s good to document your process. Purchasing tracked delivery can prove that you sent the item at a particular time of day and on a specific date, and that it arrived at a certain time. You can also take a picture of the item you sent, perhaps with today’s date, so that you can prove any accusation of the item not arriving or it not fulfilling the order is completely dismissed. As unfortunate as it is, many sellers have to protect themselves from these outcomes, and baking that kind of prevention into your process may save you hours of lost time and revenue.

Trust Your Instincts & Gut Feelings

Trust your gut. Sometimes, an issue might seem like nothing, but other times, you may worry about a delay. For example, if someone mentions that they get paid later on in the week so can you please put the item aside for them until they can pay outright – you might accept this and give them one chance. If another gives you a convoluted story about how they need to pay differently this time, or if they ask to come and collect it at an odd time, or if they want to meet for collection somewhere not public, or if they are rude and dismissive of your basic requests, then it’s worth blocking that customer and not interacting more. Your subconsciousness can pick up on unworthy scenarios more than your professional and accommodating self might want to, but it’s wise to never ignore that sense of trepidation, it could potentially help you avoid a scam.

With this advice, you’re certain to sell items online going forward, avoiding any unhelpful buyers along the way.