Best Practices for Buying and Selling with OfferUp Shipping

Nationwide shipping is one of the best tools available on OfferUp. It’s the latest in a series of innovations that make it easier for you to buy and sell online, and if you haven’t tried it yet, here’s why you should.

  1. It’s still your neighborhood, just bigger. It’s always fun seeing what your neighbors have for sale…now imagine having 3,000 times as many neighbors selling stuff. And if you’re selling an item that can be shipped, you have millions more buyers looking at it now.

  2. Pay for items and track shipments right in the app. Shipping is seamless — you can find items, make offers, use payments, and track when your items will arrive without ever leaving the OfferUp app.

To help you reach thousands of new buyers or sellers, we compiled some of our top tips that can guide the path to a positive experience.


1) Make sure the item description makes sense for you

  • If you’re reading the description and seeing words you don’t know, be sure to ask the seller what they mean, especially with easily replicated items like phones, or clothing and accessories.

  • Counterfeit items are not permitted on OfferUp but be on the lookout for sellers using words like “replica,” or “UA” (unauthorized authentic) since these items aren’t genuine. If you do see an item matching this description,

    so our team can take action.

2) Take a close look at the photography

  • If there’s something specific you’re looking for in an item, for example, a certain kind of lining on the inside of a jacket, you’ll want to zoom in and make sure it’s there before you confirm the purchase. If the images don’t show what you want to see, ask the seller to add that picture for you. If you’re really interested in an item and have questions about it, ask for more examples.

  • Try to avoid sellers who only post stock photos and are unwilling to show the actual item, especially with high-value items like shoes or electronics. There are millions of items available via nationwide, so one seller isn’t catering to your needs, another probably will.

3) Stick to the OfferUp app

  • You don’t need to switch to text or email to get the information you need. Need more images? The seller can add them to the listing. Need more details? The seller can send them using the in-app messages.

  • When you’re ready to pay, you can make the offer in the app, and once the seller accepts, you’ll be automatically charged using your selected payment. Once our item ships, you’ll even get regular updates right there in the message thread. It’s that simple.

4) Leave the little details to us

  • When a seller accepts an offer, we automatically email them a prepaid shipping label. They just pack up the item, label it, and drop it in the mail. No hassling with making sure they get your contact info correct. That way, you can focus on the fun part: tracking your order. Just make sure the address listed when you’re reviewing your offer is correct before you confirm. You can still edit it before you submit.

5) Trust your gut

  • If something seems too good to be true, or the seller is trying to direct you off the app, it’s okay to tell them no. It feels good to find stellar deals, but we never want you to feel nervous about a purchase.

  • When you’re shopping, check the sellers’ profiles and look at their ratings from previous interactions on the app. Buyers usually reward good sellers with positive ratings, so that’s usually a good indicator that your seller is trustworthy.


best buying

1) Get an accurate weight — don’t guess

  • Weight determines the cost of shipping an item, so overweight items technically haven’t been paid for yet! If you planning to ship regularly, invest in a

    so your measurements are always exact. Otherwise, you’ll need to go home and come back with a new label. If you’re not sure about an item’s weight, you can get it weighed for free at USPS ahead of time.

2) Communicate with your buyer and anticipate their needs

  • As soon as you’ve accepted an offer, your buyer will want to know one thing right away: when can you ship? Be proactive by thanking your buyer and telling them when you’ll get it in the mail. You have dive days to ship before the offer is canceled.

  • For good measure, reassure buyers that you’re there if they have any questions along the way. Buyers remember sellers who’ve gone out of their way to allow for an easy and positive experience, and it’s a great way to separate yourself from the competition.

3) Never rush a buyer into a purchase

  • Sellers are shipping a lot of things on OfferUp, and have schedules in place to make things run more smoothly. For example, you might like to prep your shipments in the evening and drop them off in the morning on your way to work. While this is an efficient process to have, it can lead to sellers rushing buyers to decide on a purchase so they make the next scheduled drop-off.

  • Instead of saying that you “need to know” if someone’s buying the item today, pause and consider changing your phrasing. Instead, tell them you’re dropping off other shipments in the morning and if they decide to order tonight, you’ll be able to include their shipment in your next drop-off, otherwise, they may need to wait a day or two.

4) Protect your item from both human error and the elements

  • Check out the packaging tips below, and keep in mind that delivery drivers sometimes ignore “fragile” stamps or stickers. Clothing and things that are oddly shaped or partially exposed are more prone to damage from improper packing.

  • You don’t need to check the weather before shipping, but assume that every package will travel through muck and rain before arriving to your buyer. Imagine how disappointed they’ll be to open the pair of Air Jordans they were waiting for, only to see they’ve arrived soaking wet or covered in mold. Consider all of this when deciding what packing materials to use.

5) Ask for a rating

  • In an online marketplace, your reputation is one of the strongest ways to separate yourself from other sellers. If someone else is selling your item at a similar price, buyers will likely choose the seller with more five-star ratings. You know your buyer had a great experience, so always let them know you appreciate their business and you’d love to get their feedback with a rating.


best packing

1) Limit your carbon footprint with eco-friendly materials

  • We recommend using a combination of packing peanuts and bubble wrap when shipping. Extra newspaper substitutes well for peanuts, and

    can stand in for bubble wrap. Both of these are easier to recycle than their substitutes.

2) Create a “brand” with affordable throw-ins

  • Online resellers know that you need to

    to be the most profitable reseller you can be, and one way to do that is to “surprise and delight your recipient.” Add your own distinctive thank-you notes with

    from OfferUp or your local dollar store. You can also get things like transparent wrapping paper to protect fabric items, or small knit bags to keep smaller items all in one place. Buyers remember these little touches and will remember you for doing them the next time they shop.

3) Learn about box sizes and packaging tape

  • You should use the smallest box possible since empty space can cause damage if the contents inside get jostled around. It can be easy to confuse packing tape and storage tape, but making the right choice will help your item arrive safely.

  • Packaging tape is sturdier and more likely to allow for your item to arrive safely, whereas storage tape is less secure, but is more likely to stand the test of time while it sits in storage. Make careful decisions and get into good habits early on to ensure all your packages arrive safe and sound.

4) Don’t over/under pack your shipments

  • While it’s smart to size down your box, you don’t want to overpack it or it could burst in transit. It’s wiser at that point to pick a bigger box and add extra padding than trust on the strength of the tape alone.

  • With any box size, make sure all items are as secure as possible — you don’t want them jostling around because the more they move, the more likely they are to break or become damaged.

5) Always, always use your OfferUp label

  • The label helps you track your item, from the time it’s scanned at the post office all the way to when it arrives on your buyer’s doorstep. As soon as you accept a shipping offer, you’re emailed the label you need to get your item shipped and successfully tracked. This label will help you get your funds in a timely manner. If you have not received a label or run into other problems, you can contact our team to get further assistance.