In the world of reselling, one of the apps that have gained a lot of ground and popularity is OfferUp.
OfferUp is a marketplace that allows sellers to sell items locally to buyers.
Since OfferUp features independent sellers and not branded items or official stores, you may wonder how legit the site and its products are.
The good news is that OfferUp puts a lot of work into keeping its sellers and buyers safe.
Here are 10 reasons OfferUp is a legitimate place to buy and sell items.
Is OfferUp Legit? (10 Reasons It Is)
1. Identity Confirmation
One of the biggest concerns that most people have when dealing with people and not official businesses is whether the seller is authentic.
There’s always a chance when dealing with a seller on an unverified site that they might be lying about who they are.
They may also be lying about the item that they have for sale.
Their goal is to get you to come to their home or a place out of the way where they can kidnap or harm you.
This is a legitimate concern that people have when buying items from other people.
OfferUp is legit because it forces its sellers to confirm their identity.
It does this in a few different ways.
One of the most important is with ID.
A seller has to submit a photocopy of their ID to the site before they can start selling.
OfferUp also requires the seller to give them information about their email and phone numbers.
Finally, they’ll sometimes ask for a Facebook profile to further confirm the seller’s identity.
They call this service TruYou.
There is also some form of identity confirmation for buyers, too, albeit not as extensively as for sellers.
Confirming identities is a great way to make an app legitimate.
People who are looking to harm others don’t want their identities on the app.
It’s an easy way for the police to track them down and find them otherwise.
As such, they’ll use false identities.
Since you can’t list an item for sale on OfferUp until after you’ve confirmed your identity, this dissuades criminals from using the app.
It also adds just enough complexity to keep scammers from using the app, too.
Scammers want a quick means of putting items up for sale and then running away with the cash.
Since making a profile on OfferUp is a bit harder, it dissuades them from using the app, too.
OfferUp is legit because of their TruYou technology.
2. User Profiles
Another reason OfferUp is legit is because of its use of user profiles.
Not all marketplace apps have a place where sellers can post a profile about themselves.
OfferUp does which adds further legitimacy to its sellers.
Sellers can use the user profile to talk about themselves and the products they sell on OfferUp.
Buyers who might be wary can read the profiles to learn more about the seller.
This gives them the confidence to do business with the seller.
This can also provide further safety for buyers because it helps them steer clear of sellers who didn’t fill out their profiles at all.
While not every seller will write a huge autobiography on their profiles, most will put some type of information on them.
This is because they want to engage their buyers and attract them further to their products.
Sellers who don’t fill out their profiles either don’t care about their buyers, aren’t interested in fostering relationships, are lying about themselves, or are trying to limit personal information about themselves.
By implementing user profiles, buyers are able to do some investigative work on their own.
They can get a feeling as to whether the seller is legit or not by reading their profile.
It’s usually easy to tell between an authentic profile and something that someone copied and pasted from elsewhere.
Together with OfferUp’s identity checks, their user profiles can help buyers determine if the seller is legitimate or not.
3. User Ratings
OfferUp also has ratings that buyers give to sellers and sellers give to buyers.
This is a great way for people to get an idea of whether the person is authentic or not.
For example, if a seller has a bunch of great reviews but one bad review, then the buyer should be able to glean that the seller is probably legitimate.
On the other hand, if a buyer has poor reviews, then the seller might believe that the buyer has a poor history of following through with transactions.
This might convince the buyer to decline their offer and keep from doing business with that seller.
It’s also worth reading the reviews.
Some sellers might hire people to write reviews for them to bolster their ratings.
If all the reviews sound as though they’re written by the same person under different names or tend to say the same thing, then there’s a chance that the reviews aren’t authentic.
This lets buyers avoid the seller.
It’s also worth mentioning that a seller just getting started on the site is likely more prone to fluctuations in their ratings.
If they only sold four products and got great reviews for three of those and one bad, then it could impact their rating by as much as 25%.
That’s why it’s worth looking to see how many items the seller has sold as much as it is to read the reviews.
Keeping all these things in mind can help you determine whether the seller or buyer is an authentic person.
OfferUp is legitimate because it uses a user rating system that helps buyers and sellers rate one another based on their past experience.
4. In-App Messaging
One problem that a lot of marketplaces have is that they don’t have a messaging system.
Instead, they expect people to contact one another through either email or phone.
This is a problem.
Both emails and phones are rather private ways of communication.
Once a stranger has that information, they can use it to continue speaking with the person even after the transaction is over.
OfferUp removes this problem by implementing its own in-app messaging system.
Buyers and sellers can safely communicate with one another over the app.
In this way, no one gives out private information.
Both parties are able to leave the transaction afterward without a means of continuing conversation through personal means.
It also helps authenticate disputes.
If there’s a problem that either the seller or buyer has, then their entire conversation is right there on the messaging app.
This allows the staff of OfferUp to review the messages and determine who was in the right and who was in the wrong.
If left to private communication, then there’s a chance that someone could delete them or alter them.
The messaging app offers buyers and sellers a safe place to communicate.
Furthermore, if a seller experiences harassment from a buyer, then they can report them to OfferUp.
From there, OfferUp can ban the buyer from the use of their site.
In most cases, the seller never has to worry about them again.
If they were communicating privately, then there’s a chance that the seller could block them, but the buyer could also just make another account and continue to harass them.
A company’s ability to block someone is more powerful than a private individual’s ability to block someone.
OfferUp is legitimate because it keeps both parties safe by having them communicate through its own in-house messaging app.
5. Community MeetUp Spots
OfferUp is a service for local people to meet up and sell items.
The app is well aware that meeting up can be dangerous.
That’s why it has a Community MeetUp scheduler service.
After both the seller and buyer have agreed on a transaction, they can use OfferUp’s meeting scheduler.
The meeting scheduler gives them a calendar and a few locations around them that are in well-lit and surveilled areas.
OfferUp does this on behalf of its buyers and sellers to ensure that everyone meets in a safe area to do business.
You can tell if someone is legitimate based on whether they want to go to the places that OfferUp suggests or not.
For example, if the seller wants to meet at a busy grocery store parking lot, and the buyer doesn’t, then some caution should first arise.
If the buyer suggests something out of the way or at their own residence, then this is a sign that they might be dangerous.
The seller can cancel the transaction at that point.
Sometimes there might be legitimate reasons.
For example, the seller might not want to meet at a certain location because it’s too far out of their way.
However, if they choose one of the other meeting places that OfferUp suggests, then there’s a good chance that they’re still legitimate.
Thanks to its meeting scheduler, buyers and sellers can stay safe.
They’re able to easily meet in areas that have a lot of light and security surveillance.
This deters criminals since they don’t want to risk showing their faces.
OfferUp is legit because of its Community MeetUp Spots.
6. Buyer Tips
OfferUp favors its buyers and sellers the same.
Some marketplaces tend to favor their buyers over sellers or vice versa.
OfferUp wants to support both.
One of the ways that it does so is by offering tips to both buyers and sellers.
It’s with their buyer tips, however, that OfferUp increases its legitimacy.
OfferUp gives plenty of buyer tips that allow buyers to determine what’s a real offer and a scam.
It gives buyers tips on how to identify items.
Once they identify items, buyers can determine the value from there.
For example, they might realize that there’s some damage on the item that could help them negotiate a lower price.
They may also realize that there are a few telltale signs that the item is a fake.
They also suggest determining whether the photo is real or from a catalog.
If the photo is from a catalog, then this should raise a red flag.
For one, OfferUp encourages its sellers to take real photos of the item and not use stock photos of the image.
If they use a catalog photo, then there’s a chance that the seller is hiding something about the product that they’re actually selling.
They also suggest learning about the seller and checking their reviews to determine if they’re reliable or not.
They even state that buyers should consider having an expert with them when they go to buy the product.
As an example, they suggest meeting at a phone store if you’re buying a phone from someone and having an expert check that the phone functions properly and isn’t locked.
OfferUp doesn’t need to give these tips.
They could just have buyers rely on their common sense.
The fact that they do means that they care about their buyers.
OfferUp is legit because it offers tips to help keep its buyers safe.
7. The “Be Neighborly” Code Of Conduct
OfferUp has a few codes of conduct that it expect its buyers and sellers to follow.
If they don’t follow the code, then they leave themselves open to blocking and banning from using the site.
One code that they need to follow is the “Be Neighborly” code.
There are a few parts of this code.
The first is to set fair prices and make fair offers.
OfferUp wants both the sellers and buyers to feel as though they made a good deal on the transaction.
They encourage sellers to set fair prices instead of inflated prices.
They can do this by determining the item’s value, rarity, and condition.
The buyer then needs to set a fair offer instead of low-balling it.
When the two come together with a fair price, everyone has good feelings about the exchange.
The second part of the code is to be honest.
For sellers, it means being honest about the condition of the item.
For buyers, it means being honest about the type of budget that you have to spend on that item.
By encouraging honesty, both sellers and buyers have an easier time negotiating.
Finally, they stress that the seller and buyer should show up on time when meeting one another.
Showing up on time shows respect and legitimacy.
OfferUp demonstrates its legitimacy by laying down the type of conduct that it expects from its sellers and buyers and how they interact with each other.
By adopting the mindset that they’re dealing with their neighbor, OfferUp encourages them to engage in an effective and friendly transaction.
8. The “Be Ethical” Code Of Conduct
The other main code of conduct that OfferUp is its “Be Ethical” code.
The app has a zero-tolerance policy toward anything that violates this code.
That means that they will block and ban any offenders.
One of the violations is bullying or threatening.
If either buyers or sellers bully or threaten another, they will receive a ban from the app immediately.
Another violation is discrimination.
If OfferUp finds evidence that a seller is discriminating against a buyer by refusing to accept their legitimate offer, then it will take action.
They also don’t allow misrepresentation.
They expect both buyers and sellers to be themselves when using the app.
If anyone tries to represent themselves as someone else, another company, or even an OfferUp employee, then they will face consequences.
Using suggestive or coarse language is also not allowed.
If someone shows the OfferUp staff signs of sexual harassment, then they will take action against that individual.
Finally, they have a tough stance against scams.
If someone suspects another person of selling something that isn’t authentic, then OfferUp will investigate the claim.
If they uncover a scam, then they’ll take the appropriate steps of removing that individual from the marketplace.
Because of their “Be Ethical” code of conduct, OfferUp takes a tough stance on several problems.
They’re legitimate because of their zero-tolerance policy.
9. Law Enforcement Partners
OfferUp has a unique partnership with local law enforcement in many areas.
They use this partnership in a few different ways.
The first is that law enforcement helps OfferUp give tips and enforce its various codes of conduct.
For example, its “Be Proactive” code of conduct lists out instructions for buyers and sellers to ensure they’re safe.
It includes refusing to give personal information to either the buyer or seller if asked.
OfferUp used information and advice from law enforcement to ensure its users know what to avoid and what to do to keep themselves safe.
They also use their partnership to help them investigate certain problems.
For example, if someone is in a phishing situation, then they’ll have law enforcement guide them through the investigation process.
Finally, they also work with law enforcement to ensure that the meeting areas that they suggest are safe.
Because OfferUp partners with law enforcement, they’re legit.
10. Prohibited Items
A lot of unsafe marketplaces allow sellers to sell practically anything.
It doesn’t matter if laws prohibit selling specific items or not, they don’t have a lot of oversight.
This isn’t the case at OfferUp.
OfferUp has a list of prohibited items that its sellers can’t sell.
These items include:
- Wildlife products
- Counterfeit or replica items
- Dangerous items
- Recalled items
- Gift cards
- Illegal items
- Intangible items
- Medical items
- Offensive items
- Cultural items
If any of these items are on their app, then they take quick action to remove them and the seller.
OfferUp is legit because it prohibits and enforces its prohibition of certain items.
OfferUp is a popular place for local sellers and buyers to meet.
It’s well aware of the dangers of meeting strangers to perform business transactions.
As such, it uses the methods listed above to make itself safer and more legitimate.