Classified ads can be an amazing way to buy and sell stuff on the Internet, promote a business or a service, and generally get your ad across in front of thousands of potential customers. When you’re a customer looking to buy an item or a service, you can definitely find some great deals in classifieds, but beware, there are scammers out there you need to be on the lookout for.
All classifieds websites count on their users to report ads that may be misleading, contain false information or untrustworthy descriptions, but that doesn’t mean that it’s possible to spot every scammer this way.
Let’s look at some common things you need to check to make sure the seller/provider is trustworthy.
There can be many red flags that should be going off in your mind if you encounter any of these issues, so make sure to take note of this list and check every ad carefully.
- The Listing Has Bad Grammar
This on its own might not be the most relevant one. But it is something that needs to be taken into consideration as well. People usually try to make their ads well written so when encountering a poorly written one it might mean the seller isn’t really trustworthy. Then again, they may only have a medium understanding of the language, so this is case by case.
- The Listing Has Generic Pictures
When looking to buy a physical item off classified ads, carefully look at every picture posted next to it. Do the pictures look a bit too generic, similar to what you’d expect to see on an online store? They might be taken right off Google instead of being actual pictures of the product. Do a Google image search for that product and see if you can find any of the pictures there. If you do, then stay away from that listing.
- Making Excuses Not To Meet Or Talk In Person
So you’ve found an apparently good listing, but the seller doesn’t want to meet, offers excuses not to give out their phone number and is generally weird about having any type of contact with you. Move on from them.
- Trying To Rush You
If the seller is trying to rush or bully you into making the purchase, then that is a pretty obvious red flag that something is wrong. Communication should be key here, so if they’re not polite and they’re trying to rush you into buying from them, it’s a good idea to pass.
- Asking For Money Upfront or Partial Payment
Especially when buying a physical item, you need to see it for yourself first before paying any money for it. Don’t transfer any money into their account before meeting face to face with the item present for you to look at. If they want any type of payment before allowing you to check the item out for yourself, simply refuse to do business with them.
As a general rule, always use common sense when dealing with people selling stuff on classified ads. Most are reliable sellers that simply want to find a customer for what they have to offer, but to make sure you’re not being taken for a ride, always stay vigilant. Thanks for reading!