How do I buy a large or heavy item?
When you ask about the dos and don’ts of online marketplaces, one of the first pieces of advice you hear is to meet in a safer location, or Community MeetUp Spot. This can be a challenge when you’re buying large items like couches and appliances and they are located in someone’s home, but there are still ways to get the items you want and practice safety at the same time.
Before making arrangements to pick up anything from someone’s home, or before having them come to yours, do your research on their identity. Look at their OfferUp profile and check if they have other ratings, or profile badges like TruYou. A blank profile doesn’t mean that person is untrustworthy, but should give you room for pause if you’re meeting them at home.
If you’re going to pick up an item from someone’s home, always bring a friend or two — especially for something heavy! You could use the extra muscle, and it’s nice to have someone familiar with you while you do something unfamiliar.
Instead of getting your hands dirty, consider using a third-party pickup service like Dolly, Lugg or TaskRabbit. All you have to do is include information on what item is being picked up, where, and you can get it delivered and even assembled in your home. Check your area for active service providers near you.
Some sellers are happy to help deliver their large items, which makes the arrangement much more convenient. If that’s the case, invite a friend over, or consider buying a security camera or doorbell camera to record their entry and exit.
What’s the safest way to buy electronics?
Popular tech items like phones and laptops can be expensive, so millions of people turn to OfferUp every year to find the gadgets they want at more affordable prices. In fact, cell phone shopping is so popular, we have an entire category dedicated to this one item. A lot of sellers focus on trading cell phones because there’s a lot of room for profit. As a buyer, here are some things to look for to make sure you’re buying the best phone from the right seller:
Like above, always look at someone’s profile before agreeing to meet up, especially with expensive items. Again, an incomplete profile doesn’t mean someone is untrustworthy, but there are a lot of things to consider when you’re buying a phone or computer, so it’s better to buy from someone who has taken the time to confirm their identity and build their reputation. You might also want to choose a seller that specializes in tech, since they’ll know more about the product like specifications, imperfections, etc.
Never buy an item that you can’t turn on or thoroughly test — it could be broken, lost, or otherwise inoperable. Come prepared with a list of things you want to check, like the IMEI/ESN for cell phones, external buttons, basic features like Wi-Fi connectivity, and if the item is compatible with other tech you have. If you have an extra charger, bring it with you just in case the battery is low.
Power the item on and off again — this is a good way to test that the phone isn’t a clone or counterfeit. Look for things like the correct logos, names, fonts, and any misspellings. If something seems a little off, it’s best to thank the seller for their time, move on, and try again with someone else.
Schedule your meetup at a technologically-savvy place! If you’re buying an Apple product, meet at the Apple store so they can verify the phone’s condition and get your information transferred between devices in the same visit. Always meet somewhere like a bank lobby or inside a populated store to complete a meetup for an expensive item — there’s no need to go to someone’s house to buy a phone when you can easily meet halfway in a more trusted location.
Should I buy a used car on OfferUp?
When it comes to cars, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all — everyone is looking for something different on their hunt for a new set of wheels. Even with different needs, shoppers all run into the same problem: where should I go to buy a car? For a large selection and an instant way to connect with auto dealerships or private sellers, OfferUp Autos and the Cars & Trucks categories is the first place to begin the search.
Once you’ve found the car of your dreams and either messaged the seller or called a certified dealer using “click-2-call,” you have to see it in person. But before scheduling a meetup, check the weather. It’s generally a bad idea to go car shopping at night or when it’s raining because those conditions can mask things like body damage and problematic paintwork.
Auto listings got an upgrade when we launched OfferUp Autos, so now you can easily find important information like the make and model, mileage, and the VIN of every car posted. You can even download the vehicle history from the app or website, which is a great idea to do while researching; it’s cheap, and you can find out everything you need to know about damage, and number of owners. That way you can focus on the most enjoyable part of car shopping: the test drive.
Every state has different laws, taxes, and inspection requirements when purchasing a used car, but all car sales need to include the title! Avoid buying from sellers who are unable to provide you with the title, unless it’s still being financed and you have a plan with your bank to assume ownership of the loan.
Can I find designer brands?
Looking like a million bucks doesn’t always mean paying a million bucks — at least not in the clothing and shoes category on OfferUp! From mid-level to luxury designer brands, great deals on gently used apparel are posted every day. When it comes to buying designer items, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’re buying an authentic and stylish new addition to your closet.
Similar to electronics, one of the biggest concerns when it comes to shopping designer brands on online marketplaces is authenticity. Unlike electronics, counterfeit clothing makes up 60–70% of the $4.5 trillion dollar fake goods market, so there are a lot of knock-offs being circulated. Although it’s getting more challenging to detect a knock-off, there are still things you can do to test if you’re buying the real thing.
There are three things you should look at first when examining a designer item: the seams, the logo, and the price. The seams should always align with the fabric — if it looks sloppy or imperfect, it’s most likely ingenuine. Next, the logo should be spot on, and double-check that the brand reads on the item as it should. If you’re buying a Fendi, it should say “Fendi,” not “Fundi” or other near-miss names. Finally, the price. If someone is selling a Louis Vuitton handbag for $20, that’s a good indication the item is a fake.
Read through the item’s title and description to look for any nods to “replicas” or “brand-inspired” items. Terms like these just mean an item is counterfeit, and these are not allowed on OfferUp. Please help everyone out and report suspicious items in the app so our team can take a look.
What happens if someone sells you a counterfeit item? Our buyer protection can cover the cost of your item. Contact the seller right away to let them know, and if you can’t sort it out with them in two days, then submit a claim and provide the item ID.
Keep checking back on the blog for new safety content, and let us know in the comments if you have additional tips for buying these items that we missed.