Selling Online and Staying Safe

Author: PeopleFinders on March 18th, 2019
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Some people sell things online to make a little bit of money on the side. Some people sell just to get rid of their old stuff. Others actually use it as their full-time income. No matter what you use internet selling sites for, one thing is for sure: they can come with a bit of risk.

This is especially true when you actually have to meet up with someone to hand over your items. Any time you’re going to meet someone you don’t know, you take on inherent risks. However, it’s possible to minimize those risks and sell online safely. Here are the top five ways to stay safe when you’re selling items online.

Secure Payment First

Whether you’re meeting up with someone in person to deliver goods, or are shipping it across the country, you want to make sure that you get paid first. Waiting for a money order to come in the mail, or getting cash in person is risky and, these days, unnecessary. Online payment services, like Paypal or Square, ensure that payments are transmitted quickly and securely.

Always Bring Another Person

Whenever you’re going to go meet up with someone you don’t know, don’t go by yourself; bring someone else along. Even if not a physically intimidating person, their presence can be enough to dissuade a would-be attacker. After all, if the other person decides to attack or otherwise threaten you, he or she will have to contend with another person who can fight back or alert authorities.

If you absolutely can’t find anyone else who’s able to go with you, at least let someone know where you’ll be and when you should be back. Then, if you’re out for a suspiciously long time, someone knows to check on you.

Don’t Go to Someone’s House

When meeting up in person to complete a sale, be sure to arrange that meeting in a public place. If you visit someone’s house, there’s no one around to be alarmed if things start going downhill. By passing things off at a park, at a mall, or in an open-air center, you can make sure other people are around who’d notice if something goes awry.

Do It in Broad Daylight

In keeping with the theme of the previous tip, you always want people around who could come to your aid if something went wrong. When you meet up during the day, it’s more likely that other people would be around to react to someone attacking or otherwise assaulting you. It also makes it easier to keep your eye on your surroundings.

Be Honest with the Other Person

You don’t want to give the other person any reason to distrust you either. If you’re selling something secondhand, for example, make sure that you describe the item and its state as accurately as possible. Although it’s unlikely that anyone would become violent if it were discovered that you were holding back important information, it’s not a chance you need to take in the first place.

Do a Little Research Ahead of Time

There’s nothing wrong with checking out someone’s Facebook profile when he or she reaches out to you about an item you’ve posted, or doing a quick Google search of his or her name. Well, if doing a little research is a good idea, doing a lot of research is a great one! That’s where a public records site like PeopleFinders comes in and makes it a breeze.

With PeopleFinders, it only takes a few seconds to perform a public records search on the person you’re going to meet. If you find anything especially damning, such as an assault conviction in recent years, that may be a good reason to back out of the deal. With most meetups, you’ll be dealing with perfectly normal people, but it’s still a good idea to make sure.


Selling things online can be a very useful way to make some money on the side, and many people are even able to turn it into a sustainable source of income. The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep safety in mind throughout the entire interaction with any customer. Before you meet up with a stranger, use PeopleFinders to try to keep yourself safe while making some money.

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