How not to be deceived when buying by ad - 6 tips

Can I buy ads? How not to be deceived? What if the seller lives in another city? How to protect yourself?

For 4 years of active work in the music market, I managed to be both a seller and a buyer. Today I want to share with readers some tricks that will help you not to fall for the hook of scammers and scammers.

So you've found an ad for a drum kit/digital camera/beard curler for sale. The seller writes that the product was used quite a bit, even the packaging was preserved, in general: not beaten, not beautiful, they didnt smoke in the cabin, a girl drove.

If you and the seller live in the same city, everything is simple: meet, check, buy. But if you are from Tagil, and the seller is from St. Petersburg? It's more difficult here. Therefore, we read on. So, what you need to do to protect yourself from possible fraud:


1. Check phone number in search engines

The very first thing to do is to drive the seller's number into the Google and Yandex search engines. Do it in different variations: +7, 8, 8911, with and without spaces. If the seller is "professional", i.e. constantly sells something, then you will definitely find his other ads, perhaps reviews. If the seller sells his personal item one-time, then perhaps you will find his account on the social network, a message on the forum of aquarium fish lovers, and maybe on a dating site :-) . All this is good. This means that the person is alive and uses his regular phone to communicate with customers. If you did not find a single mention of a phone number, this is a reason to think.


2. When calling, ask the reason for the sale

It would seem that a seemingly meaningless question, asked unexpectedly, can help. For example, in response, a person says: I bring tools from Germany for sale, you ask him how long he has been working, he says: More than a year, everyone knows me. We look at point 1 and either we find a bunch of his ads and rejoice, or we dont find it, and then it will be logical to ask the second question: Why is there no data about you on the Internet?. They may answer you that the phone number has changed (in this case, you can ask for the old one), but in any case, this is already an alarming bell. If a person says that he is selling his own, then you can already turn to the next paragraph.

3. Method, "Is there a similar one, but without wings"?

The tricky method is based on the fact that you need to ask a question about the property of the product, which definitely does not exist, but which the seller, if he is not the owner, does not know for sure. For example: We call: Hello, here is an advertisement for the sale of the Roland TD-30K drum kit. Is there a complete set? They answer you: Yes, of course, there is even a package. You ask: Does the bag come with it? If they answer you: "Of course, here it is rolled up here." Then this is 99% a scammer or a person who has never seen a product in his eyes.


4. "Photo with a cat"

If the seller said that the goods are in his hands, you can ask him to take a photo. Ask him to write your phone number on a piece of paper and put it next to the product. This way you can make sure that the seller has the product or something similar to it.

5. Ask to send a scan of your passport

If in general everything suits you, then you can ask the seller to send a passport photo. The method is controversial. On the one hand, an honest seller may refuse to do this because of his fears: the tax office will run into him, they will take a loan, he will recruit the NSA. On the other hand, a fraudster of such docks will have a wagon. Acquiring such "documents" on the black market is not difficult. However, if you continue to pay for the purchase by transfer, for example, to a Sberbank card and the payee will differ from that indicated in the scan, this is a reason to think carefully.


6. Imaginary friend help

So, you are already friends with the seller, the product according to the description and photo suits you, the seller is ready to accept payment to the Sberbank card and send the goods by mail. OK. We take out our last trump card from the sleeve. We say: I myself live in Verkhnyaya Salda and I cant come to you in Moscow, but I have a friend in Moscow who can come today, check and if everything is ok, then buy. If the seller didnt immediately merge after that, then we take another phone and call, introducing ourselves as a friend: Hello, this is Nikolai from Sergey from Salda about the Behringer mixer that you sell. Where can I go to check it out? We ask the seller to give the address and agree on the time. If at this step the seller did not merge, but sits and patiently waits for our Muscovite Kolya, then most likely he can be trusted. We call and say that Kolya fell ill / overslept / drowned, in short, he wont come, and you are ready to transfer money for the goods to his card.


And now a few words about what NOT to do.

1. Will you deceive me?

Do not ask the seller: What are the guarantees that I will transfer the money to you, and you will send the goods to me?. Honestly, what do you hope to hear in response? When I am asked such a question, in my heart I want to answer: No! There are no guarantees :-) ". But of course, I dont answer like that, but I say that Ive been working for a long time, that there are no negative reviews about me, and its very stupid to cross out the reputation built over the years with one kid for a couple of hundred euros. And, most importantly, all this is true :-) . But the fact is that a professional scammer will have such a monologue prepared, and you will most likely confuse an honest seller, he will be embarrassed and will not sell anything to you at all. :-)

2. I want an overlay!

Don't rely on cash on delivery. For some reason, many consider this protection against deception. There really is NO protection. All you get is a guarantee that "something" will be sent to you. This something can be just packaging, garbage, bricks. Real case. The customer ordered an audio-video recorder Zoom Q2HD (white) from us. We successfully made the shipment, and the next day I look and cant believe my eyes: the box with the recorder is on the rack ... then what did we send?!?! After a couple of minutes, I understand that we sent an EMPTY box from a display sample !! :-) . I grab the phone, call the buyer, ask: Did you receive the package?, to which a cute female voice says: Yes, thank you, they just brought it, they havent opened it yet .. In general, the story ended happily, the real Zoom Q2HD was sent to the same day by some mega-super-express method, and the girl received her purchase. From this conclusion: cash on delivery does not give anything in terms of security.

So, buying on an ad on the Internet is an opportunity to save money when buying the right thing or get an exclusive that simply cannot be found in local stores. For residents of remote areas of our homeland, this is sometimes the only opportunity to purchase the right product. At the same time, undoubtedly, there are additional risks associated with the fact that the seller and the buyer cannot always meet in person.

I hope that my advice will help you save money and get the most out of your purchase.

I would be glad if you share your experience of buying goods through ads in the comments below!