Chronicle Journal: Finance

How to shop and make money online during a pandemic

2020-08-31T08:01:00

(BPT) - Canceled plans. Working from home. Financial stress. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive disruptions in many lives. Each day, people are getting more and more creative in discovering ways to stay productive and hold on to a sense of normalcy.

Online marketplaces have seen a major increase in activity over the last six months as some scramble to outfit their home office or home gym with the necessities — while others are cleaning the house and selling things they don't use. Some are even supplementing their income by selling popular at-home items. Whether you’re offering a bargain or hunting for one, here are the tips you need to be successful by selling things online.

Sell what people are looking for

As items sell out on online stores, there's an opportunity to make money by selling rare items locally. Home office items like desks and office supplies, including printers, tablets and webcams, are selling at higher prices than normal. Kids supplies like backpacks and laptops are also commanding higher interest. You can search for your item online to see what popular prices are before you sell it to maximize your profit.

Establish credibility

Whether you’re buying or selling, there are few ways to make yourself stand out as credible. On the OfferUp & letgo marketplace, potential buyers and sellers can click on your profile to view your ratings, profile badges and response rates. The more complete your profile, the more trustworthy your account appears. If you’re new, it may take some time to build up your reputation.

Beware of super-low prices

Watch out for potential red flags if you're buying. If a price seems too good to be true — such as a $20 diamond ring or a $100 brand-new phone — it likely is. Before you make an offer or commit to buying, check prices of similar items and make sure you’re able to see several photos of the item.

Check shipping before you buy

Stay safe during the pandemic by choosing to ship your bought or sold items. OfferUp & letgo offers every buyer and seller access to nationwide shipping. When buyers see an item they like, they can choose to receive the item by mail, make their offer and pay through the app. Sellers receive a pre-paid shipping label and both parties can track the shipping process

Meet in a public location

If a meet-up is necessary, opt for a well-lit public location with video surveillance — and remember to keep a safe, social distance. OfferUp has created more than 2,000 public community meet-up spots so everyone involved in the transaction can feel safe and know exactly where to meet. Simply search on www.safetradespots.com for a mutual location that works for you.

Online marketplaces can be a valuable resource for procuring your buying and selling needs — and helping others find theirs. Download the OfferUp app for more tips on being a successful buyer or seller.

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