Best Practices for Buying Items

OfferUp employee
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Here are a few best practices when buying items on OfferUp. As always, we want to hear from you and learn what your best tips are, so feel free to share your best practices or tips in the Pro Tips forum
Look at the profiles of potential sellers
As with selling, it's important to take a look at the user's profile when buying. Key things to check out and look for are their ratings, photos, profile photo, and if they are a TruYou member. If you are ever unsure about something, you can always ask, or look for users who already have a strong rating.
Review the listing photo and description closely
We all know how important photos are. Something to ask yourself: is the image a photo of the actual item for sale or a catalog photo of the item? Remember, sellers, are required to display an actual photo or photos of the item they have for sale. This lets you see the item condition ahead of time. If the photos and description are unclear, ask questions through OfferUp's messaging system. If the item isn't allowed under our Posting Rules or Prohibited Items List, please report them so we can investigate. 
Communicate with OfferUp
Having any type of communication outside of OfferUp makes it more difficult for us to protect your information and puts you at greater risk of fraud and other security issues. We strongly encourage you to communicate using our messaging system and recommend you don't share personal information with other users. 
Selecting a location to meet
OfferUp is a marketplace for local buyers and sellers, so we recommend meeting in person. Whenever possible, agree to meet at a well-lit, public place, such as a cafe, shopping mall, grocery store, or a frequently visited parking lot. Be sure to remember to take caution when meeting for a high-value item, and consider meeting at your local police station or Community MeetUp Spot. We understand that people occasionally meet at a residence to purchase larger items. If this is necessary, we recommend having a friend or family member with you. If you are purchasing a large item, it's always best to bring a friend to help lift or load the item into your vehicle. 
Be considerate
Unfortunately, sometimes transactions just don't work out. We've all been there. It can be disappointing if an item turns out to not be what you were looking and hoping for, or if an item sells before you have a chance to purchase it. It's still very important to remain polite and courteous as chances are you will soon find the great deal you are looking for. 😃
We hope these best practices help! If you have any questions, share them in the comments below. 
New Member

Are messages under items visible to the public?

OfferUp employee

@ClothesNStuff Hi! Do you mean the description of items? Yes, that is visible. Smiley Happy

Level 1

Thanks for the tips!

New Member

Great info thank you

Great tips.



Level 1

Great tips! Thank you


I saw a cook top that I like. I made an offer and I got a reply sold. I am new at this. Was this item sold to me, if so how do I get it. I do need this cooktop. Thanks



OfferUp employee

@Cubo Hey there! That's great! It sounds like the seller likes your offer. Have you messaged them back asking where they would like to meet to make the transaction? Let us know so we can help you. Smiley Happy

New Member

Some of the cars for sale are spam

they say their family died and you must send money at Walmart and it’s safe 

I don’t believe this 

buyers beware 

OfferUp employee

@MARIElybrand Hi! Please report anyone that you feel is going against our guidelines so our Trust & Safety team and Customer Care team can look into their accounts. Thank you! 

Level 1

Wish I’d read all of these things prior to my last transaction! But given you don’t recommend giving up contact info beyond msg, what about contacting a seller that sold a defective item, then refuses any refund, no talk, just eat the cost?

Level 1

 I have a question but if you're meeting somebody who has say a good star rating and you suspect that their items possibly could be stolen but maybe it is maybe it isn't what do you do in a situation like that I had a situation where I was going to buy some DeWalt tools brand new in the box  why dont return them instead of selling them for cheaper i didnt want to insult them they were 1/2 price she showed kind of a ratty up old car i bought them but havent really felt right about it since but I don't know for sure if they are stolen or not man this is tough especially when you a person who is very trusting until I get screwed over or stolen from then that person has a long road ahead of them gaining my trust back i see that she has tools for sale off and on there new and there dewalt so crap what do tondo wirh out coming out and saying are these stolen because nobody is goingbto say of course they are.


Thank you



New Member

What if you post a comment /complaint about a seller and you want to take it back?

New Member

I'm here to trying make money. Like how keep my marketing stay up. So I selling my items to make money then buy anything stuff that some people on my list want buy this but kinda can't afford. So I order then improved good quality stuff then sell low to people that can afford the prices. Keep my bussiness running and marketing. buy used then improved Good Quality and Seller Lowest price make people Happy good Joy and Save money. Thank hope you have nice day


I posted an item within seconds someone said they wanted it, I responded when would you like to get it- no response back?


I’m guessing that person is trolling. Do I report them?

Level 1

For My Posts I Feel like the best Business. Practice Is Always Watch Out For Scams,Always Look up the item On Google And Get A General Idea of what a fair Price To Buy And to See Items

Level 9

Profile is not that reliable. A certain seller's profile says responds in minutes. Its now been 3 days. Dont believe those profiles to be accurate.  Just saying.......

New Member

I am curious about posts that have been up for a long time. I have inquired about a few items that have been up for over a year, but I don't get a response from the seller. 


Any advice on how to reach them. These items are vintage / old. Over 40 + years. I'm not likely going to find others anytime soon. 

Level 1



Just because someone is selling items lower than 

retail prices doesn't mean that they are stolen.

 A person could be getting them at wholesale prices... and there are many reasons to re-sell than trying to return things to a store.

   Judging a person by the vehicle they drive up in isn't going to do you or anyone else any good. Consider 86ing your cultural bias before dealing with the public.


I have a question as a seller. Someone wants to buy an item & I accepted their offer.  I hadn't realized the meet place is a bit far, and now looking at their profile, I'm concerned about going.  They have no profile pic, no sales, no rating, etc.  Just wondering if I have to go thru with the sale?? 

Level 2

people need to stop assuming and stereotyping people