The difference between e-commerce and offline commerce is the reliance of technology to link up the seller and the buyer. Just that, the trade is the same as offline only that you don’t walk in to a shop and do window shopping to decide what you want to purchase before making the move. But we would all agree the priceless value technology brings by expanding the boundaries for commerce. These are the positives, linking up people who otherwise wouldn’t have met, plus a free platform to get more audience, engage them and even offer customer service to ensure you strike a sale or retain your customers.
Now just like virtually every other thing in this world, there are cons to ecommerce that comes with the same online link. Trust and fraud issues. But we can’t shy away from the positives just coz there are negatives, we have to find solutions to deal with them. That’s why OLX, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in the country and the world over came up with tips you should be keen on to ensure you are safe when engaging sellers and or buyers online and offline. Remember these just happen to be customers, not new friends, so they even apply offline too.
Tips for Buyers:
- Buy locally so you can inspect the item, meet the seller, and pay at the time of pickup or delivery. Remember to use a safe and public location to meet.
- The best way to transact is to exchange the item and payment at the same time. Don’t send money before you see the item and you are satisfied that it meets your requirements.
- Ask for clear information on condition of the good and the price before you meet the seller.
- Use only those payment methods that you trust and are familiar with.
- Get a verifiable telephone number of the seller.
- In case of electronic goods, cars, and bikes you should test the functioning of the product before purchase.
- When you buying a car or land, whether on OLX or any other market place, you need to confirm ownership at the relevant authorities.
- Do your research on comparative prices for the product.
- Do not share your financial information for example bank details, pin, e.t.c
- Always use the “Email Seller” to get in touch with the seller. This will help us notify you immediately if we are made aware of any fraudulent activities by the seller.
Tips for Sellers:
- It’s preferable to take the full payment at the time of the delivery. Remember to use a safe location to meet.
- It’s not advisable to accept cheques.
- Verify the buyer credentials if there is a request for a bulk order.
- Get a verifiable telephone number from the buyer.
- Ensure that your product meets the features you list in your ad post to avoid misunderstandings with buyer.
- Do not share your financial information except the one required for payment.
OLX has gone on to list most of all you would need to know when trading online in their platform, including FAQs on how to use the site, things that should make you raise a red flag and also privacy details when using OLX.