Sunday, November 15, 2009

Protecting Yourself When Buying Through Online Classified Sites

By: Kaiz Karen

Internet shopping is bigger than ever. You can find anything and everything for sale online. Many times, you can find it cheaper online than anywhere else. Internet shopping offers so much more than a discounted price tag, though. Online shopping gives the luxury of browsing hundreds of stores from your living room, while saving on time and frustration. It provides the chance to compare prices to your heart's delight on a near limitless selection of brands and models. But buying through online classified sites also has risk. There are so many fraudulent and scammers who will be waiting to always scam.

So, below are some of the ways that help you to protect yourself while buying online:

1) Purchase with PayPal, Paymate or direct deposit. PayPal and Paymate guards against fraud for both buyers and sellers. They are a secure and reliable way to transfer money over the Internet. No wonder PayPal is the most popular online money transfer service.

2) Never send money to un-verified sources via Western Union. - Most scammers use this. If need to, deal in small amount first. At least your loss is minimized.

3) Never disclose personal information. Limit the amount of information you share about yourself. After the seller has answered some questions and seems credible, you may need to disclose more information about yourself such as your name and cell phone number. Try to keep it limited to that. In addition to communicating over email, we recommend talking to the seller by phone before meeting them.

4) When buying any used car, online or not, always research prices. Used car prices can be checked for free on web sites such as,, and

5) Meet the seller in a public place if possible – during the daytime when other people will be around. If the item is large, like a piece of furniture, and you must go to the seller's home, always let someone know where you are going. You may also want to share whatever contact info you have for the seller (their phone number, email address).

6) Make sure you are paying for the described item. Check before payment whether you are paying for the right item you have chosen.

7) In online classifieds, it is best to pay cash and to keep the payment simple. Do not use personal checks, money wires, and Western Union or Money grams. Do not give out any personally identifiable information such as social security number, bank numbers, credit card numbers, etc.

8) Never complete a transaction without some sort of contract. Retain a lawyer to draft a contract and represent you, but if you can't afford one, the terms of the deal should be written and signed in English by both parties. A buyer or seller that resists or is hesitant is usually a strong sign of a potential problem.

9)Don't believe delivery orders - you never know what is inside the box until the item is in your hand. E.g. you ordered a Notebook and you get a notebook.

10) Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions about money or investments. always get independent financial advice.

11) If you are buying a product or service from a website, then search in major search engines if a scam has been reported about that website or products, simply add 'scam' or 'fraud' to your search term consisting of the product / service name or the website's URL. This would fetch you relevant results. If it is a fraud or scam, you will know it immediately. Then spend some more time on reading reviews about them.

12) If there is no option to pay through PayPal or any of the 3rd party merchant websites such as Clickbank, eBay, Amazon etc and the buyer is accepting credit cards only, then you should verify a few things.

a. The URL shall display https:// instead of http:// while filling out various forms to place an order.

b. You should find a logo of any of the SSL certificate providers such as Verisign, geotrust, rapid SSL, comodo etc, somewhere on the order pages.

c. The site shouldn't ask for too much information than it is necessary.

d. Some web browsers support 'phishing detection'. If you turn this option on, the browser alerts you if the selling website is known for 'phishing'.

e. Read the seller's money-back policies and terms and conditions carefully.

13) Check for good deals and coupons at top shopping sites.

14) Finally, use your common sense before buying.

Article Source:

About Author: is a free, feature rich, one-stop online classified site.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please send in your feedback. I appreciate your visit.