Buying tips

See our recommendations below to help your buying experience go smoothly.

Shop smart

  • Take a good look at the photo, description, and condition of anything you’re interested in. The photo should show the actual item for sale, not a catalog photo.
  • If anything’s unclear or you want more details, tap Ask to message the seller. Tips for messaging
  • Read reviews of similar items online so you know what to expect.
  • For high-value items, get an expert’s feedback. For example, if you're buying a cell phone, plan to meet at a carrier store to have the phone verified as unlocked and in working order. For expensive antiques or jewelry, get a certified appraisal. Buying guides

Connect with sellers

  • Read the seller’s profile to get to know more about them, see the ratings and badges they’ve earned, and take a look at their other listings. More about reputation
  • Use OfferUp’s messaging system to ask about items you like, or to make arrangements to buy and meet up.
  • If you want a closer look at something before you offer, message the seller to ask them to add an additional photo to the listing. Let them know if there are particular details you’d like to see.
  • We strongly recommend not exchanging personal information. 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.

Negotiate prices

  • If an item’s price is negotiable, the seller’s listed price can be considered a rough guideline.
  • Be fair. If you have an idea of the item's value, don't make a lowball offer. The seller will be less likely to respond.
  • If the seller has set a very low price for an item clearly worth more, offer a reasonable price.
  • Be respectful and open to counter-offers.

Meet and pay

  • We recommend meeting at a public location like a cafe or shopping mall. For high-value items, consider meeting at a police station or official Community MeetUp Spot.
  • If you are purchasing a large item, bring a friend to help lift.
  • When you’re on your way, inform the seller how long it should take you to get there. If you're running late, please let the seller know so nobody is kept waiting.
  • Inspect the item in person when you meet. You have the option to politely decline to buy if it isn’t what you want.
  • OfferUp does not recommend paying with gift cards, personal/certified checks, cashless systems outside of OfferUp, or wire transfers such as Western Union or MoneyGram, as these payment methods can be riskier.
  • Once money has been exchanged for an item, the sale is final. Resolve any questions or issues with the seller before you pay.

Report problems

  • If you find an item on OfferUp that isn't allowed under our Posting rules, or a seller seems suspicious, tap Report_Flag.png Report (Android) or Report (iOS) to report it so we can investigate. 
  • Remember: if you ever find yourself in an emergency or feel that your personal safety is threatened, always contact local police and emergency services first.
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