How to Avoid Scams When Selling Online

When selling on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, and OfferUp you are bound to run into scammers. Running a buy, sell, trade business, we run into scammers on a daily basis. With a little common sense and the right information, however, it is easy to avoid these scams. Here are the most common signs you should avoid when selling your items online.

Avoid Bad Grammar and Unnatural Language I put this first because it is the most common and easiest tell you are not dealing with a real buyer. For some reason or another, these scammers can't imitate basic human language. Their spelling, grammar, and capitalization are usually all over the place. Because most of these scams are automated, they will talk about your item either in extremely specific or generic terms.

AM TEXTING YOU ABOUT UR Electronic on CL, IF IT IS AVAILABLE, I'm busy at work , Pls EMAIL at

Avoid Cashier's Checks

If someone offers to pay with a cashier's check you should immediately be suspicious. Because, honestly, who uses cashier's checks? Scammers will offer it as a form of payment because most people don't know what a fake one looks like and even if it is a "real" cashier's check you won't know if they actually have the funds to back it up until you try cashing it. By this time your item is long gone.

Perfect!,but i'm out of town right now,i'll send u a cashiers check,i'll include movers payment,u get it cashed at your bank,deduct ur payment and give the excess to my mover when he comes for pick up,Okay?

Avoid People Who Immediately Offer to Overpay When's the last time you negotiated to pay more than the posted price? Probably never. If someone is overpaying they are most likely trying to force a rash decision out of you. Tread carefully. This is often combined with the cashier's check scam. They will offer to overpay by a large amount and tell you to give the change to their "movers". That way they get your item and your cash while all your left with is a bogus check.

hello do you still have it for sell ??Samsung Galaxy S8+ 64gb Tmobile - $550 hope the price you listed for the item firm? i will pay you $670 including the mailing fees to my cousin address am getting this for her as a birthday gift , i will send payment to your paypal account now please send me more pictures ??

Avoid Responding to People Through Different Channels If someone contacts you only to tell you to respond to them (or their friend/mom/boss) at a completely different email/phone number, you should be extremely wary. Most selling platforms have safeguards to automatically block common scams and report accounts who break their policies. So, it is in a scammer's best interest for you respond off the site.

i”m Neal, my Mom wants your Acer Aspire 5517 Windows 7 Laptop - $110 item posted on Cl ,so email her where to meet so that she can come and take a look and arrange for pick up immediately, email her at thanks

Avoid Unusual Account Alerts and Notifications

This is one of the sneakiest scams in my opinion. Unless you have memorized Facebook and Craigslist's policies you might think getting texted about account issues is a normal thing. It's not. Now getting an email can sometimes happen but usually it is longer and more official then the alert you see below. So what do you do if you're not sure? Don't worry, just ignore the alerts. If there is a serious issue you will notice it while using the site.

Dear Facebook user, your account is reported to have violated our policies, to avoid account suspension visit: (Note: We changed the URL to say fakebook to keep users from following this link)

Is There A Scam We Didn't Mention?

If you have dealt with a scam we didn't mention, feel free to share your experience. If you think you are being scammed, do some googling and use your best judgement.


Of course, if you are fed up with scammers, you can sell your items to us. Simply message 206-486-5818 or with pictures and details of your items for an online appraisal. If you are interested in our estimate, we will arrange to meet or ship your items to complete the purchase.

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