Times are tough and we all need to tighten our belts and earn extra cash wherever possible. Marketplaces are one of the best ways to save or make money. OfferUp is an exciting marketplace where sellers and buyers can negotiate with one another and make money. In this article, we’ll show you how to search for a seller on Offer Up and protect yourself against scams.
How does OfferUp work?
OfferUp is a mobile app that allows people to sell everything from clothing to cars, for free. During the pandemic, it’s become very important to support your neighbors. OfferUp lets you do that by buying unwanted secondhand or homemade items. There’s no fee but if you want your item to get more attention or find a buyer faster, you can pay to have the item featured or bumped to the top.
Usually, a buyer and seller will speak and make a tentative agreement about the price, then meet in person. The buyer will inspect the item for sale (e.g. a used cell phone) in person and if they are satisfied, they’ll pay the seller directly with cash or via Venmo.
One of the benefits of OfferUp is that you can not only search for items you’d like (e.g. laptops, couches) but if you love their wares and taste, you can also search someone on OfferUp to see if they have good listings again and again.
When you visit OfferUp, you can search for an item you are looking for by using the search bar or visiting the section or category related to that item. You’ll see a list of items near you to choose from.
You can also search for someone on OfferUp by clicking their name or seller icon under the item details. You’ll see all of their items for sale or follow the account so that you stay in touch over time.
On the downside, you can only search for profiles on OfferUp if you know their username. You will only find this out if they share it with you or if someone who has bought from them before shares it with you. Don’t worry – there’s a method of getting around this.
How to search a seller on OfferUp
Unlike other marketplaces, you can’t search for someone by name on OfferUp. As we’ve already said, you can have to search for them by their username. The good news is that the username is usually the seller’s email address.
If you remember the seller’s name or have their number saved in your phone but can’t find their profile on OfferUp, use a public records search to find them online. Most of these sites are free but the ones that offer the best information usually carry a small fee. This will not only enable you to find out all email addresses associated with that person, but will provide valuable background information about a seller before you deal with them.
Why do you need more information about sellers?
Marketplaces are breeding grounds for scams, which is why looking up a seller before meeting them in person (or handing over your cash!) is a good idea. Here are a few of the common scams you might encounter on OfferUp:
- The seller posts a valuable item for sale but postpones meeting in person. They may request that the buyer pays a deposit to secure the item or offer to mail or deliver the item to you. The buyer pays the deposit but the item never materializes.
- The seller posts an item for sale and meets with you in person, but doesn’t reveal that the item is actually broken or swaps the item with a dummy item that resembles the real thing. (This often happens with cell phones!)
- The seller and buyer meet in person but the seller or buyer holds up the other person at knife- or gunpoint and takes their cash or time.
There’s always an element of risk when you deal with strangers online. Now that you know how to search a seller on OfferUp, you can do your research and stay safe online…and take advantage of the great deals on offer!