Everyone is spending more time at home these days, so now is the perfect time to tackle the clutter. Selling your pre-owned items online helps you earn quick cash and frees up space at home. It’s also environmentally friendly, keeping items that are in good condition out of the landfill.
Plus, with easy to use apps like Poshmark, Depop, and OfferUp, as well as popular websites like CraigsList and Ebay, selling your old stuff is easier than ever. All you have to do is snap a photo, write a brief description, and wait for prospective buyers to contact you. While most people are aware that they should take extra precautions when shopping on sites like these, many are unaware that selling poses some risks as well. Unfortunately, scammers use online selling platforms to target their new victims.
A potential buyer responds to your listing, wanting to pay with a check. The potential buyer says that they will mail a check to you as payment through overnight shipping. You accept the offer, but when the check arrives, it is for an amount higher than the price your item was listed for. The buyer instructs you to deposit the check, but they also ask that you keep the cost of the item and transfer the remaining balance back to them. You agree, but a week after the check clears in your account, the bank contacts you, requesting you pay the money back for insufficient funds.
You might think that you’re in the clear once a check’s funds have deposited into your account, but it often takes longer for a bank to realize that a check is bad. This lag in time between when a check reaches your account and when it’s discovered to be a forgery is exactly what scammers are counting on. Follow BBB’s guidelines for selling used items online to avoid getting scammed.
BBB offers these tips when selling used items online:
If you encounter a scam, we ask that you report it to our BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/scamtracker. Even if you don’t fall victim to the scam, the information allows us to protect the public from scammers.
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