OLX, the online classifieds giant has launched a major campaign to help people avoid being conned when selling their wares online.
The “Kaa Ridho” campaign gives the thousands of people who use OLX as a link between them and the buyers or sellers a chance to avoid being duped.
OLX cannot tell who is legitimate or not but they are happy that many seem to be of the straight and narrow disposition. That is why, they decided to launch “Kaa Ridho”.
Look, you can buy literally anything that’s legal on OLX today, it is the first place you go to when you are looking for a house to rent, car to buy, shoes, carpets etc. Like every other marketplace, it is not devoid of conmen and unlike your soko mjinga, OLX is helping you stay safe.
Shopping online has its benefits and cons so here are some tips on how to avoid being conned.
1. Make sure to only pay for any item when you are completely happy with it
If you are a buyer, you already know the state of the item you are going to buy because you probably saw it on teh OLX website. So why would you buy something different?
If it has a defect that you were not aware of or weren’t told about during the deal, do not buy it unless the seller knocks down a few more shillings. Art of bargain my friends.
2. Only release an item only when you have received full payment for it
Many people will tell you they can pay in installments. Run. This is usually a con. Once I receive the product I wanted, why would I pay you the rest of the amount? If someone really wants an item you are selling, he/she should have the money you asked for. Right?
But if you feel it is fake, give it back and delete his number.
3. Conduct transaction in a place where you feel safe
Your mother probably warned against going into a strangers house. That message did not expire when you turned 18. Why would someone ask you to meet in some abandoned house, or at night? Leave that to drug dealers in the movies.
You are the one selling so that means you have a lot to lose so call the shots. Tell the person where to meet and if possible, don’t go alone, ask a friend to take you.
4. Don’t give away your bank details over the phone.
I have a feeling this is lesson 101 in the “How to con people” course. This is used to get your information and may be used against you later and they can access your account and flush out your money.
5. If you are handed a cheque, release the item after it has cleared and the money is in your account. There are many ways to detect fake cheques but not all of us will be that alert so either call the bank or tell the buyer to wait until the money is in the bank and please have their details, mostly ID and location.
6. Do not walk around with the merchandise
Even drug dealers do not walk around with their merchandise so why should you? You can be waylaid and the item stolen. Avoid bars, avoid new locations. So meet up wherever you have agreed but leave the product somewhere safe and go get it after the transaction.
7. Ask for original receipt
Things like phones can be a sensitive issue these days. If you are caught with a stolen phone, you could be facing a lot of years in jail.
It is easy for someone to steal a phone then decide to make some money off it. If you can get a receipt, it can save you a lot of time in jail.
Stay safe people!