5 tips to help you buy safely online in South Africa


Being internet savvy in today’s age should be a given, however anyone can still become a victim of an online scam, especially when it comes to classified linked trading.

However, Stephen Ballot, chief technology manager of online classifieds website, OLX, says there are steps you can take to make online classified exchanges as secure as possible.

Ballot, formerly a general manager of product for takealot.com, provides five actions users can take to trade safely in the online classifieds space.

1) Keep it local. It’s far easier and safer to trade with people in your area, with a face-to-face trade.

2) When arranging to meet buyers or sellers, you’re safest in a public space , like a mall or office to do the trade.

3) Take a friend along with you do to do the transaction. It’s always safer to do this in numbers.

4) Cash deals are easiest, safest and smartest,  however, if an EFT is done, check with your bank directly if the money has come through to your account before handing over your goods.

5) Get a sense of the buyer or seller you’re interacting with before making arrangements to meet. I would recommend using the chat functionality that an App allows, to chat and get to know the person, before meeting. It also helps to get a better sense of whether or not the buyer or seller is serious about the sale or purchase.

“Always remember that if an advert seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Ballot concluded.


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