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Safety Tips From recycler.com

by recycler on August 23, 2010

Using classified resources like recycler.com is a great way to find fantastic deals for amazing items, but you want to protect yourself in the event of…well, in any event! So let’s discuss some simple and logical ways to protect yourself so you can classify in peace and harmony!

We highly recommend that you check out our detailed Safety and Fraud Prevention Center after reading this short article for more information.  We strive to deliver a family friendly safer online classified experience, and encourage you to set yourself up for success by doing your homework before buying or selling using recycler.com.


When you find something online that interests you, the first thing you want to do is take a deep breath and think. Emotions often get the best of the best of us, so you want to begin any classified transaction with a cool head and maintain that coolness throughout the transaction. A common aphorism we like to toss around here is:

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Repeat those words to yourself. Most cases of fraud involve rare or exotic or even ordinary items that are listed well under the normal price—so any item priced way below what seems to make sense, though an enticing deal, should be approached with caution. We aren’t suggesting you ignore a great deal, but you want to avoid letting the “deal” cloud your judgment. Use common sense and be prepared to walk away from any deal, no matter how far along you are in the process if it just doesn’t seem to make sense or feel right.  Bottom line:  use your judgment and trust your instincts.

There are certain guidelines that, if followed, will increase personal safety. You will want to heed these tips because even worse than being ripped-off is putting yourself at risk or in physical danger. Now, we know better than anyone the great majority of classified buyers and sellers are your average everyday people, just trying to make a buck or find a good deal, but there exists that small minority of people who will try to take advantage of you…or worse.

First you’ll want to get the seller on the phone. Communicating via email is good for initial questions and clarifications.  However, communicating only with emails the the seller the advantage and puts you at a risk. It is very important that you speak directly with the seller over the phone to work your way up the trust ladder before agreeing to a meet  anyone.  If the seller refuses to talk over the phone, you should walk.

If you have spoken with a seller and have a good feeling, you can proceed in meeting with the seller.  Be sure to bring a friend! We cannot stress this enough. There is no reason to go alone. Also, we recommend you agree upon a neutral, public meeting location, such as a coffee shop. You should always tell a family member or friend or two where you are going, when, why, and with whom. There really is no such thing as being too safe!

You are under no obligation to purchase if you are not satisfied with the item.  This is understood.  If you are not satisfied with the item, thank the seller , explain why you’ve decided not to purchase the item and leave.

If you are convinced the item is something you’d like to buy, pay using cash or a cashier’s check.  Never wire money.


When selling, you will want to follow much of the same guidelines as when buying. You should speak with the buyer on the phone to establish a level of comfort.  You will want to meet in a neutral and public meeting location. You should not meet alone and should inform others where you are going, why, etc.  Chances are you’ll be fine and the seller will be a pleasant, friendly, kind human being—probability is your friend here! However, why risk it?

As the seller, you also want to protect yourself from fraudulent payment. The safest and smartest way to do this is to only accept cash. Of course, if you are selling something that is more expensive it isn’t uncommon to request a cashier’s check.  These are easy to fake, so we recommend you both go to a bank to verify the check before accepting it and handing over the item for sale.

Whether you are buying or selling, you will want to set yourself up for success by managing your personal safety. There is no reason to compromise your safety for a good deal.  As long as you are prepared and use good judgment, you will be able to buy and sell using classified sites without any problems, safe and sound.

For information about protecting yourself please visit our Safety and Fraud Prevention Center

Stay Safe Recyclers!



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