Safety Tips From Community Members

OfferUp employee

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Trust and safety are our number one priority. There was a thread that was created in our Meet Your Neighbors forum that has been in the top five threads for quite some time now, so we wanted to share it with all of you.


The original thread on safety tips and a discussion about staying safe can be found here. Thanks to @SydBey for starting this thread! Some highlights are below. 


By the creator of the thread @SydBey


"Meeting what we call a 'Neighbor' can be very dangerous when you don’t know who you're meeting. They instantly turn into strangers when they live miles away. But there are a few suggestions that I have:


1) Avoid inviting a neighbor into your home. Instead, meet in a public area.

Store, Populated park, Local Library

2) Be aware of warning signs.

Most of us come on OfferUp to sell used items. And there's a lot of New (Unopened) sells too. (which are the best) But if someone has paid/asked for a large amount of money for an item and they haven't opened it I would be wary.

3) Feel more safe by joining TruYou and buying from TruYou Members only. That’s the only way to validate someone's identity before meeting with them.”


By @Got2sell


“Good idea ...police station parking lot. Perfect suggestion for a meet up when you are buying or selling expensive items....I think a seller would not want to meet there if their goods are not on the up an up…”


By @Ana_g


"Try to meet up during the day”

“Try not to go alone. It's always best to bring a buddy if you can- even your loyal dog would count!”




“If Single, try to set Meet-Up time & place w/multiple SALES (when possible)Also, try to meet-up within 5 min of your location. Lots of savings; Time, understand Wish you many Safe SALES!💜”


By @Lapua


“Setup the meeting location at a Starbucks or something similar, close by your home to qualify the buyer (has the appropriate truck, money, manpower,etc.). Once you feel comfortable, proceed to the actual location.”


By @Truthbomb71


"Safety is so important and we can never be too careful! Communication with the buyer, not too much just enough to get a feel for who they are. Then when I’m meeting them in public I pick a location that has cameras and I park right in front of them. Don’t get in their car or let them get in yours. I do the transaction outside and go on my way. Also, listen to your gut. If something feels off don’t go and wait for another buyer. And lastly don’t get greedy, it will cloud your judgment. There will always be another buyer. 🙂💜"


By @dnurse84


“I will never meet someone by myself. I will always have someone I know to go with me when meeting a buyer.”


By @Authenticness


“I always make sure I have someone with me to wait for me when I do deliveries.”


By @ofheavenonearth


“I wouldn't text or email anyone. The chat on the app serves the purpose it was intended, and they tell you not to communicate other than through the app; they can reach personal info through those channels.  If they insist on email/text, I'd move on; the same thing if a seller insists. There'll be other buyers. Better to be safe.”


By @PJSNew2U


“I give very little info until the day of pickup. When the buyer confirms the meet, then it is in a public parking lot, busy area and during the day only. Winter gets dark early so husband goes with me if it is dusk but still a very public place.”


By @Dad_Tired


"I always meet in the front of the shopping store entrance ( Walmart, Target, etc). That way you have a video of you meeting the buyer, and have a record in case something unthinkable happens like receiving fake money or goods.”


By @Tulare


“McDonald's has top-notch surveillance surprisingly. Especially ones with the kids play areas. The organization builds the whole place with safety a top priority (to avoid lawsuits) Extremely safe place to transact and enjoy a 1$ large beverage.”


By @6stringSamurai


“I found a user's past reviews incredibly helpful in feeling comfortable meeting them. I sold an amplifier to another musician, who asked if he could meet me at 10:30pm, due to the fact that his work shift ended so late at night. Initially skeptical, he actually had plenty of positive reviews and feedback from other users which helped me to conclude he would be alright to meet with. He turned out to be a very cheerful, pleasant buyer! Without any reviews or feedback on his profile, I would never even have entertained the idea of meeting someone so late into the night.


Always exercise due caution, but take into account how much positive feedback they've acquired from fellow users. Typically, if they have accumulated a significant source of positive feedback, they have proven themselves trustworthy in my eyes. But again: caution is the best course of action, regardless of other factors!”


By @Lulu101


“So far I had great experience selling via this app. I ask them to meet in front of one of the stores in my nearby mall. If someone is seriously interested in my item, they get very responsive and confirm. So far, so good. It has been smooth sailing. Very polite buyers!”


What do you think about these tips from your fellow community members? Let us know what you think and if you have any to add in the original thread or comments below! Smiley Happy


Community Helper



Love this! 

Appreciate in inclusion!!!

OfferUp employee

@KSARASARA Glad you like it! Smiley Happy

Level 1

Sellers need to be clear on the location. Tell the buyer it's a Walmart , McDonald's etc. As a buyer, I'm trying to save gas money, and data, so I like to have my schedule ahead  of time .  Waiting til the last minute to give a place and time is a turn off for me.  A seller of an electronic item gave an address of a strip mall that had an electronics shop that was closed at time of meeting.  I find out later he meant the drug store, and my phone was dead for the day- this constant contact thru the app is not efficient when you're driving for 16 hours to meet sellers.  Why can't they just be ear and learn to tell time? These off site meet ups are always problems for buyers.  Also near impossible to inspect items due to weather, poor lighting, and no electricity.   There has to be a level of trust or better screening. Again I ask why did I hand over my driver's license and personal information?  

OfferUp employee

@Rotten Hey! I agree that sellers need to be clear on the location. Trust and communication are key. I'm curious - do you know about Shipping that we launched? You don't necessarily need to be driving 16 hours for a sale, but for those pieces that can't be shipped and that you really want, I totally understand. As for "why did I hand over my driver's license and personal information?" - can I ask more about what you mean by this? Let me know Smiley Happy


I can't seem to send a message to a seller or respond back to them cuz it says I might be in violation of communication. I don't know what I have done wrong or know how to fix so that I can communicate with the seller


I have a question... I’m new here and I’m trying sell sell a few items, I have a potential buyer but he is askin for my full address, phone number, full name and he was going to write me a cashier check.   It is that how it works? Sorry I’m just a little skeptical.

OfferUp employee

 @SynWright You need to contact Customer Care for those issues, but it looks like you did and everything is fine now. 

Community Helper

-There is no reason for "anyone" to need your personal information-☺

OfferUp employee

@Je291 No, that's not how it works. We really are against sharing personal information like that to a buyer. There is no need to, to make a transaction - that's why we have our messaging system. I would move on to another buyer. But about this buyer - do they have a good reputation profile? Does he or she have good ratings? Please take time to view the tips from our members on our tips blog and forum as well! I think they'll help Smiley Happy

Level 9
Je291....That is a scam. Unless you intend to use OfferUp's shipping/payment option, keep all transactions local/in-person with cash only.

Thanx ... I saw his profile and no pic, no followers, nothing and says that he just opened up his account

Level 1

 I came here for safety tips. I am moving in a month, so am selling furniture and new in box laminate wood flooring the new homeowners wont use. 


Therefore they come to my home for these. (I meet close to home for other things I sell.)


After one buyer with no pic no feedback, so I never gave him home addy, then a third buyer with a woman pic (I am a widow) and 5 stars but no comments about her as a seller or buyer - wanted my Name, sent me her phone nmbr and directed me that I call her, asked twice for my exact home address yesterday.


I only gave the block for what I do is go outside and wave them to me once they are on my block.  I did not give my name nor phone nmbr.

She excused herslf from coming today after I said I communicate thru OfferUp app.


It unnerved me enough that I read your safety tips. Thank you and great idea to person who says to have them meet close by to size them up and only if feeling safe proceed to house. Great idea. That is what I will do on the rest of the furniture and flooring. 


Level 1

PS. This says some of you are my neighbors with Neighbor name next to you. When they dont have to come to your house, I always put MPU off Hawkins and then direct them to either Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble at The Fountains or at the Shell Station on Hawkibs and Viscount. Both have cameras. 


Yes, they did contact me. Explained how I needed to communicate with the seller, By using the embedded communication tags for first messages. Anyway it all worked out and we were able to make the sell. :-) thank you

Level 3


Community help needed...


I have sold and bought items through offer up.  I am by no means interested in burning people, or taking advantage of them by selling non working items.  I know what it felt to drive far away, buy a washer and dryer have it not work and lose that money.    Today I sold an item that was BRAND new never been used.  I opened box was not what I wanted but lost receipt so since I'm clearing garage decided to sell, for way less of what I bought it for.  Now buyer wants to return item saying there's stains on it, leaking or lose hose, I don't know how to feel.  It was BRAND new NEVER EVER BEEN USED, i turned light on saw it was functioning, it had been in garage for a long time, so wanted to make sure it turned on, did not tested to where i put anything in it, since i posted it was new and i wouldnt buy it used myself.  Took out this morning And i put back in box this morning...HONEST TO GOD, I feel horrible what do you beautiful people suggest I do?? help!!


Community Manager

@Jessgigi I'm sorry to hear about this! As for the transaction, once funds have been transferred, the transaction is actually considered complete. We always recommend a buyer to fully inspect the item before completing the transaction. You're not responsible to offer a refund or exchange to this user. Personally, I'd probably just block the other user. 

Level 3

Okay.  Thank you @Mj_206  I thought I would get in trouble and my account blocked.  Good to know.  Thank you again. ☺ GOD BLESS

Community Manager

@Jessgigi not a problem! Smiley Very Happy



First time poster. I’ve read of people being weary of giving out their phone numbers.  There are apps like TextPlus that allow you to generate a number to use for texting. I’ve used apps like that in the past for this app and CL and I’ve had zero issues. 

Level 1

I use google voice. I dont give my nmbr as i dont want them knowing it. Why demand my phone nmbr when buyer has offerup message system? Message system is evidence of bad behavior if buyer behaves badly.

Bad buyers know that. As do brats wasting time, psychos, scammers, predators.
They absolutely have no business demanding my phone nmbr so that they can run their scams outside of Offer Ups eye.
Community Manager

Smiley Happy Welcome @Taz31 and @Claire!

Community Member

I have 3 spots that I use, so I don't have a set pattern to be trapped by,all 3 spots have out door survalience so I don't interfere with the stores business. Also I never do business unless both buyer,and seller are out of our vehicle's.


Love this! 


Thumbs up! I take my dog. A little older woman that bought from me, has pepper spray. She was a sweetheart! I always meet at stores except when it's a large heavy item. But I'm never alone when they come. So far everyone's been wonderful! 

Sold a camera one week ago and the guy is using his “daughter” as an excuse to have me give him a refund. “Because I am stealing from a little girl?” the device was clearly demonstrated in person prior to purchase to show him its flawless function, and now he claims that the camera shuts off after a awhile as the reason, I had advised him that it’s an auto low power setting feature that conserves the battery when the camera is not in use after a duration of time in which almost all cameras have that option. I told him user error is one thing and not liking the camera  is another. Over time this guy starts threatening that he would send “people” to get back his money. He indicated that he was recently released from prison. I told him he crossed the line and if he continued I would involve law enforcement for his threats.


 On October 2nd i met a buyer at a gas station near my home. I explained that the item i was selling needed one thing done to it to work properly and he agreed .When we met he then no longer wanted the item due to having to have that one thing we talked about done .I thought this was strange since we had discussed it and he knew about it and agreed to purchase it . I was on foot and alone and on my way home i was attacked , beat up and robbed . I am certain that the man i met with and the man that attacked me were working together .There were a few signs of this .Not only did he get the item i was selling but he got alot more as my purse was stolen in the attack .When i looked back on everything there were signs that are now obvious but at the time i did not see them. I thought that i was being cautious since we did meet in a public place but the attack happened after we met .I believe i was being watched .My advice is to never meet anyone alone, even if it is in a public place. Pay very close attention to signs .If something seems off, listen to that feeling and call for back up or dont follow thru with any further conversation with the person.  Never give the buyer too much information such as kind of car your in or if you are walking to meet them and never meet anyone at night .Had i payed attention to the signs and taken it seriously i would have called for a ride home and this horrible incident would not have happened .Its very easy to dismiss something odd as just you over reacting.  Dont dismiss it as it could be your safety or even your life on the line and no amount of money is worth that. 

First and foremost, meet publicly; with a friend if possible. Check the product at time of sale, keep your money concealed until you've made your final decision following inspection. I have stopped many people from walking off after I exchanged an item for cash, just to insist they check the item to make sure they're satisfied with it. Before they leave, I tip them with the unfortunate worldly knowledge which is, there are individuals out there who market bogus/broken/falsely advertised items to make a quick buck. Be safe and don't be afraid to examine an unguaranteed product before you spend your hard earned money.

Community Member

 When making drop offs, be careful to watch you surrounding and ck you rear view mirror making sure you are not being followed.🚘


I'm new, I've had an offer, but hes emailing me asking price, talking shipping. I put local and pickup and price clearly stated. Im has to be picked up, of course my husband and son will be there. Any advise? Anybody else have people to their homes.

Level 1

I let people come to my home but I tell them I will meet them out front when they arrive. Plenty of my neighbors use video surveillance as well as watch my home. I'd rather not meet anyone because alot of people flake and it's a waste of my time. It's all up to how comfortable one is I suppose. 


so i had a friend help me buy a car and know my friend wont answer the problem is thenpeople i got the car from ddint sign all the papper work for me to register it and also they claimed it was a clean tittle and when i went to the dmv its not i got all there information and also the messages they sent me saying it was a clean tittle i dnt know what to do or how to, or who to report this too! i need advice or help please!!!


2 weeks ago a guy name Jose, contacted me saying he was interested in to buy my 14K bracelet. I asked him to meet me at coffee bean at USC, lot of police around, and he agree. I got there and waited for him for an hour, He said he was on his way. Then he said He was at work, I asked him why he made me waist my time, he said he forgot he has to work and then he asked me to meet him at 10 pm. I knew he was a scamer and a thief. He just had a 2 broken cellphones for sale on his profile. I reported and blocked him and I hope offer up erased his account. If he still around and contact you report him inmediately. 

Level 1

All very good information, since I am fairly new at this.

Level 5

Sorry, I will never be comfortable exchanging in person.  My humble position is shipping and payment through the site only.  It appears to protect both the seller and the buyer.  That's only my position and preferred method. 


I got ripped off  from buyer  contact me 

Level 5

@Sexyswagg Ohhhh that is sad.  I do not wish to be nosey and pry into your business.  If you have followed all the safety suggestions and were stolen from,  I hope you can make it back in sales.  Perhaps a video of meeting could be suggested to avoid such behavior.  Sorry to hear of your experience.  


Just about to start and appreciate the tips.  I’m a little concerned about my first sale as I have no history.   But looking forward to some fun and extra cash.   Here I go. 

Just run your deals in a safe location and you’ll be good. You got this! 👍🏻

Community Member
Hi to all. True enough one cannot be 2 carefull, in this day & age! I use the apps chat at every transaction!,...But their are some people who demand an address,...You really should stay clear of the demanders! I SIMPLY DO NOT SELL to these kind of people! Most of my stuff is 2 big 2 be carrying around ,...So how I do this is I chat a lot and feel them out so to speak. Then while chatting I cruise on over to their profile their page,..I call it,.. And check them out. All the obvious sign's will be there people but you must go look, ,!!!! almost every one I have dealt with has come to my house,... But they have had great profiles they 2 have things to sell,...So if u pay attention to all of the signs u need to be aware of,.. And if something doesn't feel rite, or seems to good, it probably is!! Go with ur gutt, and always always, be alert and use commem sense I am a single middle aged female but no one knows this,...Ever!!! So it can work !!! For me,..Letting the customer come to my house, for me is much more safe than meeting a stranger in a location where no one knows me and my CAMERAS aren't running, and no body ever steps into my home .electric is set up out side in my gated yard, and if not, transaction takes place with me behind my locked gate. It just depends,..And if I'm comfy enough to let the person come to my home then when u see them u even know a bit more. Not saying this way is for all. But to date not a problem I always use a work phone,..And keep private phone separate.If I don't feel 100% comfortable with the person in chat, they don't chat with me again,..And sure there have been bad eggs, but usually they show their true colors rite off ! Feel them out guys use your gutt,....Never give out 2 much info,....Who's home or married or not, if anything let them believe, lots of people live and reside with you.BUT AGAIN THIS WAY IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY!! IV been doing this since Craigslist barely started. So stay safe all of you, and if it doesn't feel rite pass it on by!!! Happy selling.
Community Member

Sellers Please be aware of those that does not want to use pickup points instead they rather come to your home I have met several appointments 4 drop off at my pick-up point and they don't show up once they find out it is not my home. please use a pickup point. Points like Winn-Dixie Walgreens or even Family Dollar were lots of people are around.