Are you interested in creating extra income by selling some of your household items online? Listing them on the internet can be a creative way to generate money, but it’s important to do it safely.
Use these techniques to protect yourself and your family:
1. Research sales websites carefully.
Each website has different policies for the types of items that can be listed. Pay attention to fees for using the website and selling an item. Shipping or delivery rules can also vary.
- Niche websites that are geared toward specific audiences or markets can help you sell some items. Do you have a rare antique doll you want to sell? Consider using a website that only sells antiques or dolls. This may help you sell the item faster and find legitimate buyers.
2. Post photos carefully.
As you post photos of your items online, avoid using pictures of yourself or family members.
- Your children may look adorable playing with the toys you’re selling, but as a safety precaution, it’s wiser to avoid images of your family in the photos.
- Avoid posting images of your home, other belongings, or pets as well. Criminals can track things easily, and any of these images can provide clues about you or your belongings.
- Be careful with the background you use in the photos because it can provide information about you or your family. Find neutral backgrounds such as bare walls or clean tables.
3. Find a safe spot for business transactions.
If selling your items online involves meeting the buyers in person, then seek out safe spots where you can meet.
- It’s popular to use public parking lots and other public locations to do business. However, you may also want to check with your local police department. Departments around the country are starting to create safe havens for online transactions.
4. Choose safe payments.
If the website you selected allows for safe online transactions that don’t require meeting the buyer, then you may want to consider this option. Some websites allow the use of an escrow service that protects you from fraud.
- Online sales can be a target for scams, so it’s important to carefully consider how you’ll accept payments. You may not feel comfortable with checks, debit cards, or credit cards. Money orders and cashier’s checks might be forged, even if they look identical to the real versions.
- Cash is one of the most popular payment methods for household items. You can make sure the money is real by going to an ATM with the buyer to withdraw it.
5. Watch out for common scams.
The type of item you sell may attract specific scams. It’s important to research them and be aware of the tactics.
6. Notify friends or family about meetings.
If you plan to meet the buyer in person, notify your friends or family first. They should be aware of the meeting location, time, and purpose. They can call and check in on you during the meeting.
- Better still, bring a friend or family member to the meeting for safety purposes.
Selling items online can help you increase your income and pay your bills. Be safe with your transactions, so everyone benefits.