There is no doubt that selling online is a very popular way to do business or sell on unwanted personal items. The numbers around the internet and popular online marketplaces illustrate just why this makes sense in the modern age. eBay, for example, has 175 million active users in 2018, while similar numbers can be seen in other marketplaces such as Amazon or Alibaba. The global reach that this gives when selling online far outstrips old-fashioned ways of doing it, such as putting an ad in the local paper!
With over 4 billion people using the internet around the world, selling online is a great way to make sales and also get more money for items – but is it as simple as diving right in and listing your item instantly?
As great as selling this way is, you do need to be aware of online safety to avoid any disasters. Not paying attention to this could see you lose money or even put your own personal security at risk. While these are rare instances as most buyers online are reputable, it is still worth being aware of beforehand.
What do you need to know to stay safe as a seller?
The very thing that makes selling online so amazing is also the thing that you have to guard against to an extent. Being in contact with people you do not know from around the world means that you need to protect your safety at all times.
Here are some great ways to go about it:
- No personal details or meetings – whether it is selling online for business or personal reasons, never give out sensitive details such as your address or email. This will ensure that people cannot misuse them in any way and also protects your personal security. By the same token, never meet up in person with someone you do not know to complete a sale. No serious buyer will ask to do this, so pull the plug on the sale if they do.
- Know about the popular scams – although new scams are always being developed, some are well-known ones for which you can be on the lookout. This can be buyers claiming not to have received goods in order to get a refund and keep the item or claiming that the goods were damaged on receipt for the same reason. If you know about these scams, then you can ensure that you take steps when selling to combat them.
- Cyber security – whether it is your business systems or personal computer, cyber security is key when selling online. You do not want to find that you have been maliciously hacked when in the process of negotiating or completing an online sale. Make sure that your firewalls and IT security systems are robust enough to keep hackers at bay.
- Use only well-known marketplaces – as mentioned previously, the best way to stay safe is to only sell through reputable marketplaces. If you come across one that you have not heard of or sounds suspicious, then just give it a miss. Do not be drawn in by false promises or seemingly amazing special offers! Doing this will ensure that you can sell online with total security and confidence.
- Ship with professional couriers – a great tip when selling online safely is to use professional couriers such as UPS to ship. If you also add in insurance, then you are covering all bases against some well-known scams. After all, it is hard for people to say they have not received the item when the courier has proof of delivery from them!
- Tag items yourself before shipping – one other common scam is for buyers to wear clothes when received and then try to return them. Get around this by adding your own tag to the item when shipping that must be there to return the goods. This will nip the problem in the bud in no time at all!
External consultants can help
Very often, it can be worthwhile employing professional selling consultants to help with online transactions. Amazon seller services are very popular with many businesses as they can help them sell in a safer way – Digital Brandworks seller services do this and help many people sell securely online in this way.
Safety is crucial when selling online
Before you jump right into selling anything online, you should take into account how to do it safely. This will not only protect your business and personal IT systems but also protect your personal security and guard against any scams. By taking into account the above tips, you will be well on the way to selling with total peace of mind.