How To Stay Safe When Selling Your Items

Selling items online has become pretty commonplace now. While it has many advantages, there are also a lot of reasons to be careful too.

We’ve pulled together a list of tips to keep in mind when negotiating online and staying safe. So, if you’re looking to sell a few items you have lying around or are planning on making it a side-hustle, follow this guide for the best results.

Negotiating Tricks

We all love getting a bargain, but some people will try anything to get you to give them an unreasonable discount. These are some of the most common to look out for.

Of course, if you don’t want to negotiate, then you could consider using sites like which will agree to a fair price with you upfront for your items.

Accusing you of not describing the product accurately

You’ve been honest with your descriptions, pointed out any issues, and taken great photos. But then a potential buyer tries to make you feel like you’ve misrepresented the item. They may then try and negotiate you down further because you’ve disappointed them, or make you feel like they’re doing you a favor by taking it off your hands.

Making you think you’re losing a sale

If a potential buyer is trying to pressure you to drop the price because they’ve found it cheaper elsewhere. The fact is, if they could get it cheaper, they would.

Not having the right money

A clever buyer may turn up with high-value notes. So let’s say you have agreed to $25 dollars for something, but the buyer says they only have a $20 or a $50. They’re betting you don’t have a change, and that you aren’t going to quibble of $5. Before you start selling items, have a lot of change on hand and watch their face as you tell them you can give them change for $50 or $100.

Safe selling

While the vast majority of transactions are absolutely safe, you need to take some common-sense precautions when it comes to selling your items.

Exchange in a safe place

If you are not posting the items directly, then you will need to arrange a safe environment in which to exchange the item. If the item is very large and needs to be picked up from your property, arrange to have someone there with you when they arrive, especially if they need access to your property to pick up the item such as a sofa or other heavy piece of furniture.

If it’s possible, move the item to a garage or outside so that they cannot access your property.

Arrange to meet them in a public place that has a lot of people and security cameras. If someone is trying to get you to meet in a secluded spot, or late at night, take this as a red flag.

Count the money yourself

One of the oldest tricks in the book is for a buyer to make a big deal of counting out the money in front of you (while actually giving a lower amount). They are counting on your being too trusting or embarrassed to count it out again in front of them.

Count the money yourself.

Don’t take checks

A check is easily forged or canceled, so it’s not the best method of payment to take from someone you don’t know. Venmo, Paypal, or a direct transfer are much better options.

If someone is pushing this as their only method of payment, then pass on the sale.

Use a specialist site

Sites such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace have their advantages as they are not anonymous. You can see any previous buyer activity and the platforms can remove those who are reported. It’s not foolproof, but it can give you some extra safety features.

Stay up to date on the latest scams

There are always people out there looking to take advantage of people or worse, actively do them harm. New and more complex scams are popping up all the time. From time to time, do a search online to find out what’s happening so that you can be on the lookout. Also, if you experience something, do the rest of the selling community a favor and put your story out there too so they can be on the lookout.


Selling your items is a great way to clear space and make extra cash, but you need to be careful so that you’re not taken advantage of.

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