Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buying and Selling Online: the Caveat Emptor

One episode in DigitalFilipino talks featured the General Manager of, Jon Santico. is one of the classified ads sites that I frequent. In light of the mushrooming multiply and facebook online shops, I admit, I’m a little old school using a classified ads site.

Generally the episode tackled the buy and sell business. I liked that Santico opened the topic about secondhand items that are being sold. He even mentioned of cleaning out the old stuff from you closet of home and then selling it online. I never thought of buy and sell that way before. I thought the buy and sell business is purely buying individual items at very low prices and then selling it for a little profit. I didn’t think that even the simple act of putting your old wares on sale is already buying and selling.


One important topic that the episode covered has something to do with security. How much or how little information about you, as a seller, should you divulge to prospective buyers. This is a very good point. I have seen sellers who include in their post the RFS or Reason For Selling. This must have stemmed from a particular tendency of buyers to ask the seller why he’s selling his item, especially if its secondhand. Reasons could range from badly needing money for something else, to a duplicate or extra item, etc. I doubt if all of these is true.

Let me say that buying and selling online should first and foremost be on the professional level. So far, I’ve only encountered two j@cka&$es online. One is someone who insists on knowing why I can’t buy his phone just yet, where is my husband etc. The other is someone who constantly sends text messages of reserving my phone for him and who keeps on texting me even after the deal has been consummated. I am even thinking of changing my phone number now.

Now, Santico said that the item description is and should be enough if you’re selling something. There is no need for you to share your email or cellphone number if you don’t want to. and other classified ads site has this feature that prospective buyers can contact you and inquire about your product through a form that the site has provided. This I think is very safe, albeit a little slow mode of communication. Currently, for the items that I am selling online, I have chosen to use this feature to minimize spam texts and spent cellphone load. 


Santico also offered tips on how to buyers can protect themselves from scammers. One is to ask the seller to meet you in a public place. If he doesn’t want too, that is one red flag. Another is to be suspicious of sellers who ask you for downpayment before shipping out the product.

In my early years of buying online, I was almost victimized by a Nigerian scam. I was selling my old cellphone then. A man inquired about it and expressed interest in buying it. So, details for the payment were discussed. Most users in that particular site back then were using money transfers, so I thought that would be a good idea. I told my buyer to send his payment through that money transfer. He then returned my mail and said that they already have the control number for my payment, which they included in the email. But it was missing the last three numbers which they said would only be given to me after I ship the cellphone to them. I was already wary. But still I checked out the shipping rate for the address my seller had given, and it was more than the amount of the item I am selling! That made me suspicious. So I went to the Forum and sought help from the oldies but goodies of the site. They told me that it was a scam and that they’ve already suspended the account of that buyer. The next thing I know, this seller is sending me private messages that he’s not a scammer and that it’s me who doesn’t know who to make a deal.

By the way, I found numerous threads there of accounts of being scammed. One girl was even scammed of the laptop she was selling. She fell for the same modus operandi.

For me, I pride myself in being street smart and I would like to think that I am internet savvy too. For added security I never transact alone in a place I am not familiar with. Earlier on, one “buyer” made me come all the way to Monumento and didn’t show up. I wasted several cellphone load on her as she was constantly asking questions about the unit, using different numbers and personas nonetheless. Still, stupid me fell for that! The next day, when I was standing there at our meeting place for more than an hour, no one was answering the cellphone number she used.

Eniweis, another security measure is not to transact at night. I make sure I always do business in a public place while there is still light. And lastly, I don’t divulge that I am a girl. I offer that information on the last minute, when we are already meeting up.

What about you, what security measures do you take when transacting online?

Like this post? Please click the button and share your views. :)

Read more about this by clicking the Read More Link below. Like this post? Click the button and let the whole world know! You can also subscribe to my feeds and follow my blog so you'll never miss a thing. Smiles!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your 2cents worth please? :DD


Related Posts with Thumbnails