Safety Top Concern For Users Of Online Classified Sites

Worry over fradulent ads

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With online classified sites becoming increasingly popular with Internet users, one of their top priorities is the safety of such sites.

A new survey commissioned by Kijiji, eBay’s free local classified site, found 36 percent of visitors to online classified sites are concerned about ads that may be misleading or fraudulent.

More than a quarter (28%) of visitor’s worry their email address will be spammed, while 26 percent are concerned about getting a computer virus and 24 percent are concerned about classified ads that may have adult content.

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While misleading ads and computer viruses may prevent some consumers from visiting online classified sites, more than half (56%) of those surveyed indicated that people who buy and things via online classified sites are responsible for looking out for themselves.

Kijiji provides the following tips:

Think Local: Making local connections helps reduce fraud. When buying or selling, always meet in person to see the product and exchange funds. Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers.

Ask Questions: To ensure you know exactly what you are considering purchasing, ask about the condition of the item and when it was purchased.

Use the Buddy System: Whether you’re selling or buying, bring a friend along with you to check out the item you are considering purchasing or selling. In addition to being a safety precaution, you’ll also have someone there to provide a second opinion on your potential purchase.

Be Prepared to Negotiate: Most sellers price their items high, knowing that potential buyers may try to bargain. When purchasing an item, it doesn’t hurt to ask the seller if they’re willing to be flexible on the price — you may be surprised at the deal they give you!

Listen to Your Mother: You may not have wanted to take her advice when you were young, but your mother really did mean it when she said, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is." Like anything else, use your common sense when purchasing an item. If something about an online listing or user raises a red flag for you, trust your gut.

Be Descriptive: Be as descriptive as possible when developing your listing. Include the size, measurements, color, model, style and any other unique features about the item in the description. Also, be sure to take clear images of the item from

Safety Top Concern For Users Of Online Classified Sites
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  • http://ocala4sale.com Nicholas Ward

    Great article, Mike. Sadly, the other half of those percentages are people who are unaware that there is any danger. Their first experience on the Web could be costly.

    Most people who have been victims of fraud will admit that they saw the signs, or that something seemed wrong, but they ignored those “gut feelings” or just didn’t understand them. By the time they ask for help, it’s too late.

    Not sure whether you are working with a scammer? Here’s our tongue in cheek resource, “You might be a scammer if…”

    Thanks for raising awareness about this growing problem.

  • http://www.mkv-converter-mac.com/ MKVCONVERTERFORMAC

    Great. Thus users will know the safety of themselves.

  • http://www.sciencelives.com ScienceLives

    That’s a good reminder for people to be careful. There was a recent case in my area where someone posted a high ticket item for sale, then when the buyer came to pick it up, the poster robbed them of their money. That said, there are a lot of normal people out there buying and selling on the classifieds, and most transactions are legit. I’ve never had a huge problem, beyond spam and people writing insulting emails and people offering extremely low offers or not showing up … and that one creepy man who I refused to sell to. But yes be aware and use your brain when using the classified sites.

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/dame+scribe Gin

    I would also recommend informing others around you that a meeting will occur at such such time, place and estimated time of return. As part of that quote says, ‘ You may be the World to one’ it’s always best to be stay safe. Great info!

  • http://www.cornerbrookclassifieds.ca Corner Brook Classifieds

    It’s difficult for smaller sites to gain trust. Engaging the user base and hoping that you can crack the confidence issues is a big deal for many new startups.

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