How to Safely Sell Used Outdoor Gear Online
I have heard far too many stories about sketchy exchanges on online marketplaces. Back when I was little, everyone that used online classifieds was a con artist or a cold-blooded murderer. The stories our moms tell us. That’s why it’s important to know how to sell safely online as a woman. At Rerouted we’ve spent some time thinking about what it would take to make selling used gear online feel safe.
There are many dangers in the world that we have to fear as women. We should be able to choose used & make money from our loved equipment without having to stress about the risks involved. Many of us are moms that would prefer to not have to drag our kids across town to meet at the random strip mall to ensure that they have ski boots for the coming season.
As I have worked with our team to build Rerouted, I thought about my past experiences selling gear through major peer-to-peer platforms and the obstacles that I faced when using them. I realized that there are three major things that need to be done and considered when a woman wants to sell used gear online safely - research, location, and understanding the scams.
Research is the First Step
Choosing the Right Platform for Selling Your GearWhen selling your gear online there are a number of different routes you can take and each has its advantages and disadvantages. There are a number of questions to consider when trying to choose the best platform for you.
- What are the protection policies of the platform?
- Does it have a return policy?
- What are the expectations for buyers & sellers?
- Is it a local marketplace?
- One that is run via shipping items?
- Do they hold my money until delivery?
- What assurances or protections does the platform offer?
A couple of words of caution. If you looking at using large, unregulated online marketplaces, beware that these peer-to-peer exchanges can leave you vulnerable to scams. We will discuss digital scams later in this post. With these platforms, the individual (you) is ultimately responsible for ensuring a smooth exchange. However, these platforms are fundamentally free except for the time, energy, and effort you put into your listing and meet-up. It is for these reasons that we built Rerouted in the first place. We wanted a way that was not only easy but safe, which is why we take on all the risk for our customers, by facilitating the exchange of gear, offering returns, and ensuring the transfer of money.
Social marketplaces offer slightly more protection because they correlate with people’s identities. This offers more security for a buyer & seller. Additionally, these platforms provide a super simple way to research & communicate with potential buyers.
It is for these reasons that it is extremely important to do your research so that you can make the best choice for you on where to sell your gear online safely. Knowing this type of information will help ensure that you are able to sell your gear online in the safest way possible.
Researching your buyersIf you sell on Rerouted you never have to meet someone in person. That’s one of the ways we’re making it safe to sell online. If you decide to sell on another platform and the platform you chose allows you to interact with potential buyers, this can be a good opportunity to decide if you’re comfortable meeting in person. This is an especially important step if the buyer is raising any red flags. If you are having a strange interaction with them, it can be a helpful way for you to tell if this is a person you want to do business with.
There are a couple of different ways you can do this.
- Look for buyer reviews - have they paid, have they been easy to work with, are they reliable?
- See if you can track down a social media profile - browse their profile or start a conversation.
- Especially for high-value items, see if you can track down other sellers that have worked with this buyer for bonus insight.
In all the above cases, trusting your gut is key. If something seems off at all - don’t hesitate to cancel or end the conversation. You can find another buyer. No reason to risk it for a couple of bucks.
By doing your research on the platform, you will be able to tell which ones are a safe place to sell gear online and which ones are a little riskier. It is important to remember what you as a seller are truly comfortable with when you are deciding on which platform you are going to try and sell your gear through. Research is what gives you the power to make the right decisions for yourself, and as you sell more online you will learn what works best for you.
Picking the Right LocationThe right location is only applicable if you chose a site where you need to finalize the sale in person. There are only a few sites where you would end up meeting a person to make the sale. However, it is important to make special considerations if you are going to meet a stranger to sell your gear safely. If you find a buyer for your gear and they are local this can be a good thing, it means that the exchange happens in real time they get to see what they are buying and you get your money.
If you plan to meet in person to make a sale, there are a few important tips to think about.
- Meet in a public place that’s populated
- Choose a time in the middle of the day
- Try to avoid telling people your own address
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you expect to be done
- Bring a friend (just be sure to take them out for a coffee/beer after)
One slightly bizarre nuance to the used gear exchange is payments. Really, you should try to accept cash only. In some situations, a cashier's check may be appropriate. Never take a personal check, it’s high risk and unreliable. Lastly, I would encourage you to avoid using a money wiring service. Cash is king in my opinion when it comes to selling in person. Last but not least we come back to the most important piece of this blog. Trust your gut, if something doesn't feel right then walk away. There will be another person that’s less risky and interested in buying your gear.
Selling in person can help eliminate some of the online scams that you can face, but it can also put you in the same place with people that you might not want to be around. So make sure you plan in advance, and take care of yourself, selling your gear is not worth getting hurt over. This is all about how to sell your gear online safely!
Knowing the Most Common Scams and How to Avoid Being Duped by Them
Even though the majority of scams out there are targeting buyers, there are some scams out there that are actively targeting the seller too. Once you have chosen the site you are going to list your gear on, I would make sure you know and understand the scams most common and the newest ones taking place. This will ensure you are protected and able to safely sell your gear. Below I have listed a few common scams that can happen on the various types of sites.
Partial Refund Marketplace Scam
An example of a common peer to peer marketplace scam is where the buyer will offer to overpay a buyer for their item and use counterfeit funds to make the payment and then claim to have made a mistake, request a partial refund after the fact, forcing the seller to refund part of the money before the original payment has even made it to them. The seller ends up losing the total amount of the sale while at the same time paying money to the scammer. To avoid this scam never accept overpayment for your item, no matter how tempting it might be.
It is important to note that this scam can only take place when the site has regulations in place and they have a return policy. The site needs to be acting as a middle man managing the funds for this scam to be possible. This is an example of when regulations can be manipulated in a way that is negative, and one of the things we protect you against at Rerouted. It is our goal to do all of the work for you, there is a set price for your gear and the seller makes a purchase much in the same way that they would on a retail site.
Key Takeaway: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Post-ship Refund Marketplace Scam
Another scam that can happen to sellers on an online marketplace, is one where the buyer makes the purchase and then requests to have the shipping information sent to them as soon as possible. Once the buyer knows the item has shipped they cancel the order to receive a refund while keeping the item at the same time. The seller loses the potential profit from the sale and they lose the item they were selling.
At Rerouted the buyer deals with us, and we will notify the buyer only when the item has shipped. Additionally, we will not process a refund until we have confirmed the item was successfully returned without any damage to the item. It would not be possible for you to have to deal with this scam while selling on Rerouted.
Key Takeaway: Be knowledgeable about the policies of the platform
With this all being said if you are selling on a peer-to-peer website where there is no middle man or regulations I would sell only locally. The risk involved for both buyer and seller when there is no person helping mediate the transaction is high. The seller is at risk of shipping an item that never gets paid for and the buyer is at risk of paying for an item that never gets shipped or the wrong item shipped or broken. This is where meeting in person to finalize the transaction makes more sense.
What is important to remember is that there are many ways you can sell gear online safely if you are knowledgeable and keep up to date with potential risks. Once again I will remind you if it doesn't feel right, walk away.
Safely Selling Gear Online as WomanThere are so many unknowns and anonymity when you buy and sell gear online. These reasons are why the team and I at Rerouted are working so hard to create a marketplace that protects both the buyer and the seller. As a woman (and a mom), I know I am capable of meeting people and selling things in person, but if I don't have to I’d rather not. Especially in this continued pandemic. My time is valuable and to spend the least amount possible selling my gear and making the most money. I deserve to be able to sell my gear and not feel like I am compromising.
I have dedicated myself to creating an online marketplace dedicated to doing everything it can to make selling gear online as safe, easy, and environmentally friendly. Rerouted designed our platform for women to feel safe selling their gear online through our platform.
We have created a process where the seller is protected, by keeping the money in escrow for three days after the item has been delivered which at the same time protects the buyer. We will take any returns after the fact. We also have made the process as simple as it can be taking less than 5 min for you to upload a piece of gear and our hope is that as we grow your item will sell almost instantly. We know your safety and your time is valuable because I know mine is.
The most important thing I want you to get from this is that you are able to sell gear online safely as a woman. There are some steps that need to be taken along the way but there is an easy way for you to make some extra money and not have to worry about the potential negatives that come along with selling your gear online.
So if you’re ready to sell gear, and want to ensure that you can safely sell your gear online without all the hassle, go check out Rerouted. Download our App, on the Apple Store, or Google Play, and start selling with ease.