People often say “another man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and for online marketplace OfferUp, that couldn’t be truer. Started after two soon-to-be fathers realized they could do with more cash and less stuff, Nick Huzar and Arean van Veelen brought the classified ads to your phone.
Operating all across the country, OfferUp allows buyers and sellers to create profiles for free and search the goods being sold in their area. They allow anything from camper vans to coffee mugs as long as your honest about the condition.
OfferUp is set up a lot like a Pinterest board and makes it easy for buyers to peruse through the seller’s merchandise. Simply enter in your current location and hundreds of items appear in a checkerboard pattern that Pinterest enthusiasts will definitely recognize. Something that wasn’t lost on the co-founders. They realized that because the setup is similar and familiar to a lot of people, they’ve attributed that particular design to their large percentage of sales.
With Forbes calling it a “race to reinvent the Craigslist experience for smartphones, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company has emerged as a leader”. OfferUp is a good place to turn when you’ve got more trash than treasure and are looking for a reputable site to unload it.
Being a Seller
OfferUp takes a lot of measures to make sure sellers are protected from fraud and scammers. On their page of Code of Conduct, sellers are instructed to be fair with pricing, only create profiles for yourself and never give out personal information. OfferUp protects you from buyers getting a hold of your contact information by providing an in-app messaging service.
For payments, OfferUp recommends only using cash. A surprising recommendation in the age of electronic transactions but they work hard to help you avoid getting scammed. “Avoid app-based payments like Venmo, Google Wallet, and PayPal. Also avoid wire transfers such as Western Union or MoneyGram, or non-cash payments such as gift cards or personal/certified checks. These payment methods are usually sources of fraud.”
Sellers are also recommended to meet buyers in well-lit public places with lots of traffic and to inspect each item thoroughly before purchase. To help in this safety matter, OfferUp has recently launched a “Community MeetUp Spot” that has been designated by OfferUp as a safe space for the exchange of goods. Examples of such locations are places like participating police stations and supermarkets.
You are allowed to post as many items as you wish to sell and are encouraged to make each post “great photos, titles, descriptions, and fair prices”. But wait! If you have any unused toner cartridges lying around, check out where to make even more money off them here.
Protecting the Buyer
Like the seller, OfferUp makes sure the buyer is looked after just as much as the seller. In place are no bullying, threats or violence. They also have policies against
- Course or Suggestive Language
Buyers (and sellers) are encouraged to report users breaking any of these codes and action will be taken against the accused profile. Most of the time it seems like they ban them from being able to sell or buy again on their website. Again, a “cash only” approach is encouraged to protect against fraud or scams.
Similar to Instagram’s celebrity verification badge, OfferUp provides badges with user profiles which in turn lets a potential buyer know that OfferUp has put their stamp of approval on that person’s contact information and is, in a sense, “legit”.
How to Get Started
Using either the website login page or by downloading the app (available for both Android or iOS) you simply click Sign Up and use either your Facebook login, Google login or you can sign up using an email address. OfferUp will ask for your zip code to create your current location and connect you to buyers in your area.
A confirmation email will be sent allowing you to create a profile account. It should be noted that you can use the website for browsing and messaging but you need the app on your phone to post items for sale.
In an interview co-founder, Nick Huzar explained OfferUp in a nutshell.
“ It centers on where a user is and what the people around are selling. Right now [pulls out phone], I can see roughly where this chair [for sale] is relative to me. I can learn more about who the [seller] is and if I want to make him an offer, I can just message him or I can just accept full price. The seller can then decide whether to sell to me or to other people who’ve messaged him.”
Everyone has possessions and it’s almost guaranteed you could look around your room and spot four items right off the bat you could do without. So why not create a little less clutter and a little more money? Join the cool kids club and get selling on OfferUp today.