OLX is the most popular online market place in Pakistan. Even casual users can easily buy and sell stuff online without any complications with OLX, given how simple the platform is. The platform targets ordinary citizens, and we believe it can be much better.
That being said, there seem to be certain issues that keep us from recommending a platform such as OLX and other similar ones.
We recently reported on how spam ads were making the platform useless for the ordinary buyer and seller. If that wasn’t enough, there have been reports of several robber gangs operating by using ads on OLX. There has also been widespread assumption that people tend to lie about products or scam the buyer/seller through any other means.
All of these are dangerous scenarios that hurt the potential that OLX holds for online buyers and sellers.
All is not lost though, and to ensure that you utilize OLX to its fullest, we have made a list of tips which could help you keep yourself safe while using the platform to buy or sell items.
10 Tips for For Buyers On OLX
Buyers need to make sure that they are getting authentic products and that they don’t get robbed by some individual with malicious intentions. Many buyers here know most of these tips by now but as they say, common sense still needs to be more common before we can all heave a sigh of relief here.
Here’s what you should keep in mind as a buyer on OLX:
- Don’t fall for unbelievably attractive offers. If it is too good to be true it usually is. Scammers make unbelievable offers to fool their counterparts. Compare more offers in case you have your doubts.
- Ask for the condition of the item beforehand. Also finalize the price and the method of transaction/delivery. Preferably, meet the seller in person.
- Pick a safe location. If buying a small item, meet in a public place with many people around you. Having a friend close by is a plus.
- Inspect the item before purchasing or handing over money.
- Ask the seller if they would be willing to give you a 24-hour period to make sure the item is fully functional.
- Ask the seller to provide you with a copy of their CNIC (front only) with clear text regarding the checking warranty and preferably a signature. This can act as a receipt. At the very least you could have the same written on a blank piece of paper and validate it using the seller’s CNIC.
- Take a picture of the item you purchased and the seller when you pay.
- Collect the item and pay at the same time to avoid any trouble. Never trust someone you don’t know and transfer money in advance.
- Do NOT give out your financial details.
- If buying a car or a bike, confirm the documents via a third party to avoid being sold a stolen vehicle.
10 Tips for Sellers On OLX
Sellers face a host of issues too at OLX. They feel insecure because there’s no guarantee that their items won’t be stolen. There’s also the risk of getting robbed, or being scammed with fake notes.
As a seller on OLX, bear in mind these things:
- Do not hide anything from the buyer. The responsibility of disclosing complete details rests with you.
- If someone is paying you more than what you asked, leave it. More often than not, it’s the beginning of a scam.
- Meet in a public place and have a friend close by.
- Take full payment at the time of delivery.
- Watch out for fake notes when paid. Don’t take money orders or cheques. Either get paid online (or via mobile wallets) immediately or get payment for your item in cash.
- Ask for the buyer’s credentials if you receive a large bulk order. Also recommended is to sign a contract. This usually applies to business customers.
- Make receipt in advance, even if it’s handwritten. Write your CNIC number, item name, check warranty duration, your signature. Ask the buyer to write their name and CNIC alongside.
- Take a picture of the buyer, the receipt and the item, together, when you get paid.
- Do not share your financial details other than the one necessary for payment.
- If you are a regular seller, ask a courier service to deliver your items through Cash on Delivery (COD) while letting the buyer check the item after payment.
What If You Are Scammed By A Fraudulent Buyer or Seller?
If you have become the victim of a fraud, its time to notify the police immediately and use the proof (picture and receipt) against the culprit.
Also report any fraudulent sellers or buyers by filling OLX’s form here.
Advice for OLX and Other Marketplaces
Marketplaces need to conform with the local requirements. With increasing safety issues in bigger cities of the country, online marketplaces like OLX should at least introduce a proper and transparent rating system so that buyers and sellers can only select offers from reliable sellers.
While this may hurt newcomers, it is the way to go about so that people trust online shopping. Popular marketplaces around the world employ similar rating systems. This could also help high-rated sellers launch CoD (cash on delivery) services without the buyer having to worry about a product’s authenticity.
Up until now, OLX has not mediated any transactions, but perhaps a system could be launched to cater to the requirements of the market.