Online buying and selling aim to make transacting with fellow Filipinos easier, faster and more efficient. This is why we like to keep our platform free from fraudsters. In turn, we encourage our users to take precautionary measures by staying vigilant and keeping transactions local. If you do encounter buyers from abroad, we hope our tips below in dealing with online buyers will help you.
So when you find yourself in a situation where a buyer from abroad contacts you expressing their interest, what is the next best action?
Generally speaking, we discourage shipping items abroad, especially if the payment hasn’t been made prior to the shipping. Instead, we urge users to keep transactions local as it can pose more advantages:
1. You can deal using your local mobile number instead of negotiating through email.
Email poses more risks when dealing with a buyer. A lot of phishing attempts like getting your bank details, personal information, or providing bad links happen through email.
2. You have the option to meet up instead of having to ship items abroad.
Meeting up can reduce risks significantly. You can transact at a safe place that you’re comfortable in, you can give the item when they can pay you upfront, and you can back out of the deal when things get fishy. Shipping items, on the other hand, does not give you the assurance that the payment will be sent as agreed upon.
3. If things get out of hand, you can report to local police.
In the case of a local cyber crime, you have a higher chance of finding the culprit when they’re local. There are also Philippine laws against online scam that can protect you. And just in case, you may check our guide on how to report a scammer.
4. The local community grows.
When we deal with legitimate local buyers and sellers, we cultivate a safe and fair platform in OLX, leading to more win-win exchanges in the community.
So, is it safe to deal with buyers abroad?
The short answer is that it’s discouraged. But if your instinct tells you otherwise, there are some safety measures that you can take:
1. Verify the payment upon receipt.
If the payment has been made by the buyer, make sure it’s legitimate. Confirm if the transfer has been made by checking your account. Otherwise, do not agree to do the shipping if payment has not been made.
2. Do not be afraid to back out.
If at any point, you feel that the buyer is not being truthful to you or if they are trying to rush you – feel free to back out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
3. Be wary of buyers who said they mistakenly overpaid you.
If a buyer claims they overpaid you and demands that you send them back the excess amount, make sure to verify the payment they sent. Did it go through and is it the amount that they indicated?
Happy buying and selling!