Intro: Should You Be Using OfferUp to Buy and Sell Used Stuff?

In the age of the Internet, buying and selling online has become easier than ever. Anyone can choose to buy and sell used stuff by simply downloading an app and clicking a few buttons.

One of the most popular ways to sell stuff locally online is OfferUp, often named one of the best buy and sell apps available. To date, OfferUp has been downloaded 0ver 85 million times—but does that mean that you should be using OfferUp to buy and sell used stuff?

As the popularity of OfferUp increases, many potential buyers and sellers are asking questions like:

  • How does OfferUp work?
  • How does OfferUp make money?
  • Will I have to pay any OfferUp fees?
  • Is OfferUp safe to use? Is OfferUp legit?
  • What do OfferUp reviews from users say?
  • Should I be worried about an OfferUp scam?
  • How can I protect myself from OfferUp scams?

We will provide the answers to all of these questions—and more—in this OfferUp review, examining the legitimacy, safety, and basic business model of this popular app for buying and selling online.

offerup scam

Should You Be Using OfferUp to Buy and Sell Used Stuff?

Our OfferUp review will take a close look at OfferUp reviews from buyers and sellers to see what their biggest challenges have been while using OfferUp to buy and sell stuff locally online.

We will also look at past OfferUp scams and provide a list of tips to avoid falling victim to an OfferUp scam while buying and selling online.

See Also: What is letgo? Is letgo Safe & Legit?

OfferUp Review | How Does OfferUp Work?

OfferUp is a wildly popular startup that was created with the same premise as Craigslist—to provide a forum for people to buy and sell items locally free via a mobile app. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) used books, electronics, clothing, antiques, cars, and even boats.

Founded in 2011 by Nick Huzar and Arean Van Veelen, OfferUp was valued at $1 billion in 2018. Users spend just as much time on OfferUp as they do on social media giants like Snapchat and Instagram, making OfferUp one of the best buy and sell apps around.

On March 25th, 2020 OfferUp announced that they’re raising $120 million in a new round of funding led by competing marketplace letgo‘s majority investor, OLX Group.

To answer the question “How does OfferUp work” in detail, here’s a quick example:

Let’s say that you have a lot of stuff scattered around your house that you aren’t using, and you’d like to get rid of it. Instead of going through the hassle of having a garage sale, you decide that you want to sell stuff locally online—and even better, you want to sell items locally.

After signing up for an OfferUp account, you take a few pictures of your used bookshelf or shoes, add your location, and upload them to the OfferUp app. All you have to do now is wait for buyers to find your items and make you an offer.

Buyers can browse through OfferUp using filters for price or location, save items, and can make offers or ask sellers questions through the OfferUp platform.

The basic idea behind OfferUp is that it functions very much like an online garage sale: all items listed are used. Transactions occur either in person or if you decide to ship the item, via Apple Pay or credit cards. Prepaid debit cards and gift cards are not permitted at this time.

offer up scams

OfferUp Review – Accepted Payment Methods

If you’re shopping locally, buyers and sellers negotiate on a price and choose a public location to meet, where buyers provide payment in cash.

OfferUp Review | How Does OfferUp Make Money? Are There Any OfferUp Fees?

If you’re wondering, “How does OfferUp make money,” you’re not alone—this is a big question for the startup, particularly now that it has such a high valuation.

Currently, sellers pay an OfferUp service fee when shipped items sell—the fee is either a minimum of $1.99, or 12.9% of the sale price. 

The cost of shipping will be calculated when you list your item. OfferUp’s shipping price will be based on the item’s estimated weight. That cost will be shown on your item when you post it.

OfferUp buyers pay for the label when their payment is collected. OfferUp will send you the shipping label after you accept a buyer’s offer.

Sellers pay a nationwide service fee for shipped items. The Offerup’s fee is a percentage of your item’s final price, not including shipping costs. You’ll see the rate when you’re listing each of your item. You’ll also see the exact amount when you accept an offer. 

The Offerup fee is deducted from the final sale amount before the money is deposited to your account.

Don’t Miss: What is the OfferUp App? | OfferUp Review

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OfferUp Review | Is OfferUp Safe to Use? Is OfferUp Legit?

Those who are wondering, “Is OfferUp legit? Is OfferUp safe to use?” are certainly asking the right questions. Whenever you start using a new piece of software to purchase things online, you should always examine the safety and legitimacy of that software.

Safety is crucial while buying and selling online—especially when considering that a blog exists purely to track the number of killings sparked by Craigslist.

When it comes to determining whether OfferUp is safe to use, we’ll look at their privacy policies, their safety features, and what type of in-app security measures are taken to ensure that both parties are safe when buying and selling online.

Is OfferUp Safe to Use?

Our OfferUp review found that the app has a wide range of security features that helps ensure the safety of users looking to buy and sell used stuff through their platform.

One of these features is TruYou, an identity verification system used to instill trust between buyers and sellers.

To earn a TruYou badge, users must submit photos of their state-issued ID, verify their cell phone number, and take a selfie using the app. None of this information will be shared with anyone else unless you choose to share it.

According to their privacy policy, the only information that other users can see is:

  • Your name and profile photo
  • User feedback ratings
  • Your approximate location
  • The month and year you joined
  • All active posts created by you

As an added security feature, OfferUp provides secure in-app messaging for those looking to buy and sell stuff locally online. To enhance security, OfferUp suggests only using their messaging system.

Email addresses are automatically removed from messages and personal information is never shared (unless you choose to do so yourself).

If any issues arise, OfferUp provides a customer care email and safeguards against intellectual property rights violations with their Law Enforcement Resources.

For those who are wondering, “Is OfferUp safe to use,” our OfferUp review says yes—the platform itself is safe and secure.

However, it’s up to users to take their own basic safety precautions, which includes avoiding sharing personal details, communicating directly on the app, looking at buyer and seller reviews, and only buying and selling online with users who have been verified.

Is OfferUp Legit?

For those still wondering, “Is OfferUp legit,” let’s take a quick moment to look at how the startup has performed.

To date, OfferUp has helped users sell stuff locally online to the tune of nearly more than $20 billion. The startup is based in Washington state, and employs nearly 200 staff members.

Our OfferUp review found that the app continues to gain recognition from notable publications such as Fortunes, Forbes, and Business Insider among others.

With over 85 million downloads across the country, users looking to buy and sell used stuff and sell items locally free can rest assured that OfferUp is legit.

Related: Reviews

OfferUp Review | What Do OfferUp Reviews & OfferUp Complaints from Users Say?

Looking at OfferUp reviews from users is tricky, because Offer Up reviews aren’t necessarily reviewing the app or the service—instead, they are reviewing specific experiences with specific sellers or buyers.

Unfortunately, many OfferUp reviews and OfferUp complaints also come from buyers and sellers that have been involved in an OfferUp scam.

With that said, examining OfferUp reviews can provide crucial insight into what the process of buying and selling online is like—and help you determine how to avoid OfferUp scams in the process.

OfferUp Reviews from Better Business Bureau

With a total of 536 OfferUp complaints closed in the last 3 years, and mostly negative (1-star) reviews,  the Better Business Bureau has awarded the app with an ‘F’ rating, their lowest possible score.

There are some OfferUp reviewers that cite issues with using the app, like this OfferUp review from user A.H.:

I tried to post my REAL Louis Vuitton purse for sale 5 times. I followed all the selling guidelines and EVERY TIME I press submit to sell my purse it tells me my purse isn’t authentic. Even though I’ve posted 4 pictures proving its real I still get emails saying my post was removed. I’ve sent MULTIPLE emails and no response. This website is ridiculous I’ve never had to deal with this much nonsense in my life.

There are other OfferUp reviews that describe an OfferUp issue with payment, like the Offer Up review pictured below.

offerup reviews

OfferUp Review – Billing/Collection Issues

A few examples from Offer Up reviews include accepting fraudulent personal or cashier’s checks, communicating via text or email, arguing with buyers and sellers, and sending payments via MoneyGram.

While OfferUp seems to be addressing all of the complaints, customers are generally not happy with how OfferUp is acting on them, resulting in a 1-star BBB rating.

OfferUp Reviews from SiteJabber

OfferUp reviews on SiteJabber contain an interesting mix of positive and negative comments. Still, the overall rating for the platform is low—only 1.5 stars out of 5 with plenty of OfferUp complaints.

In their OfferUp review, user Sordum N. says:

The worst company like this. Dont waste your time. Craigslist, Letgo, etc have been way better. About half of the offers can be legally classified as fraudulent.

Frustration over items being improperly advertised and broken items for sale were common themes among these OfferUp reviews.

Conversely, an OfferUp review from Elizabeth W. makes an important point about using OfferUp to buy and sell used stuff—ultimately, you are responsible for making sure that you aren’t ripped off.

offer up reviews

OfferUp Customer Reviews – SiteJabber

As such, users shouldn’t expect the company to provide any sort of insurance or refund for items, and need to do their own research. For more information, see her complete OfferUp review, pictured below.

Popular Article: 5miles App Reviews for Android & iOS

OfferUp Review | Should I Be Worried About an OfferUp Scam?

As OfferUp says themselves, “The most valuable currency in our marketplace is trust.”

OfferUp does seem to provide a more welcoming platform than other buy and sell apps, and the company does put a stern focus on developing trust between buyers and sellers—but why are there so many negative OfferUp reviews and OfferUp complaints?

Unfortunately, even the best buy and sell apps provide avenues for scam artists and criminals, and OfferUp is no different. Although OfferUp is making efforts to enable users to safely buy and sell stuff locally online, users still need to be on the lookout for OfferUp scams.

Most scams—whether they are on OfferUp, let go, or Craigslist—occur when expensive items are being bought and sold, like fine jewelry, cars, large appliances, etc.

In an interview with local news station KIRO 7, a Western Washington woman details her experience with an OfferUp scam. She listed a diamond ring for $12,000, saying that she felt much safer with OfferUp than Craigslist.

A few days later, she received an offer for $11,500, and met the buyer in a public coffee shop. When she tried to deposit the cashier’s check, she discovered that it was fake.

She was the fourth person to fall victim to this particular OfferUp scam of buying expensive jewelry with fake cashier’s checks.

Should you be worried about an OfferUp scam? You should be looking for warning signs for scams with any buy and sell app that you use—which certainly includes OfferUp.

Any online interaction creates opportunity for scam artists to work, and before you start buying and selling online, you’ll need to know what to look out for.

In the following section, we’ll talk about identifying and avoiding OfferUp scams from both a buyer and a seller’s perspective to help you avoid falling victim to an OfferUp scam.

OfferUp Review | How Can I Avoid OfferUp Scams as a Buyer & as a Seller?

In many cases, avoiding an OfferUp scam comes down to trusting your instincts and using a little bit of common sense. Buying and selling online with local apps like OfferUp should never be taken lightly.

Below, please find a list of suggestions for best practices to follow when avoiding OfferUp scams when buying and selling online.

Only Accept Cash as Payment

Many reports of OfferUp scams come from buyers and sellers who use other forms of payment, like cashier’s checks, personal checks, credit cards, or wiring services. To eliminate the possibility of an OfferUp scam, never accept any payment other than cash.

If a buyer or seller suggests an alternative form of payment, that could be a sign that they are attempting to run an OfferUp scam.

Always Meet in a Public Place

Don’t ever agree to meet a buyer or seller at their private residence or an isolated area. Always make sure that you meet in public. Some even suggest meeting in a police station lobby to ensure both your safety and protection against OfferUp scams.

If you’re purchasing a larger item that makes meeting at a residence necessary—common with furniture items—then you should bring a friend or family member along with you.

Only Communicate Within the App

According to OfferUp,

Communicating 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 do not share personal information with other users.

Do Not Disclose Personal Information

OfferUp scam artists may try to get personal information from you, like your bank account, credit card number, exact address, and any other type of sensitive data. While the in-app communication is secure, you should never disclose personal information.

Carefully Review the Listing

Sellers are required to post actual photos of their items, not stock photos from a manufacturer website. This is what helps buyers determine the actual condition of the item. If a seller is using stock photos, it could be a sign of an OfferUp scam.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you buy and sell used stuff online—it’s a great way to ensure that you avoid an OfferUp scam.

Look Closely at User Profiles

The OfferUp platform allows buyers and sellers to post their own OfferUp reviews on their experience. If a buyer or seller has low ratings and negative reviews, don’t buy and sell stuff online with them.

Read More: Is letgo the Best App to Sell Stuff Locally?

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Conclusion: Is OfferUp Safe to Use? Should I Be Worried About OfferUp Scams?

While OfferUp is certainly safe to use, our OfferUp review found that there are plenty of precautions that users must take to avoid OfferUp scams.

This is true no matter what app you choose—even the best buy and sell apps leave users vulnerable to scam artists.

Make sure that you are taking the proper precautions when buying and selling online, and learn from the OfferUp reviews that talk about OfferUp scams.

Users who are careful to avoid OfferUp scams and protect their personal information continue to give great reviews, praising the app as an easy way to hold a virtual garage sale.

With a little extra precaution, buying and selling online through OfferUp can be a great way to clear out those extra items hanging around your house and get a little bit of cash in exchange!

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