Secure purchase and sale between individuals over the Internet

bargains and offers online

This winter I confessed to you that I like to buy electronic components online; So much so, that I have reached a point where I barely step on the computer stores in my town (unless I have no other choice) and, when I need something, I usually turn to the web. In this way, I not only save time and unnecessary travel, but I also get better prices (which more than compensate for the shipping costs).

So far I have not discovered anything new (or yes?: P) … It would be another matter to discuss whether local commerce can compete with the web and how it could adapt to the times that run but that (unless the comments “show” otherwise), we will save it for another time).

The topic that concerns me on this occasion is the purchase (or sale) of second-hand items on the Internet.

There are many places to do it; Let’s suppose, for a moment, that we are interested in some free ads in the Dominican Republic (for putting up a site that doesn’t catch me nearby).

Why second hand?

Because I love trying things just to see if I can get them to work on my Linux computer (like a “USB stick” that allowed me to have an FM radio on my computer) and for this I always find a good offer that encourages me to try it. without risking too much (especially if the box does not explicitly state that it is compatible with the penguin’s operating system;))

What should we take into account as a buyer?

Some basic tips to keep in mind when buying something from an individual

Sale in hand

Normally I resort to the sale by hand (which I recommend whenever possible) by allowing you to check the item before keeping it.

Original images

In order to check the condition and quality of the item, nothing better than having photos that allow you to see how it is. If the article does not include them, do not hesitate to ask the seller for some.

There are some who out of laziness choose to send the first one they find on the Internet; make sure they are original using the image search we saw back in the day. If what they have sent you matches a photo that already exists on the Internet, ask for “good” images.

Test if possible

If you have the opportunity, stay somewhere where you can check that the article that interests you works correctly.

If it is a video or sound card it is more complicated but, if you have the opportunity, do not hesitate.

Contact information

Try to collect more than just an email or a phone number. You may not need it at the time of purchase but, if it gives you problems, it can always be helpful to know where the seller lives 😉

Likewise, you do not lose anything by doing an Internet search of said data … so you can see if the ad has been published on other sites, if the phone belongs to a company or if the address does not belong to a private address.

Common sense…

… Is the least common of the senses.

Not for much repeating it is over. Remember the saying: “no one sells hard at four pesetas” (and the popular proverb treasures wisdom).

If something doesn’t add up to you (and your “spider sense” is activated), no matter how hard you try to convince yourself, it doesn’t add up! And, the best thing you can do is quit (another good opportunity will come out).

Be attentive to

  • “off-market” prices
  • texts that are poorly translated or have too many “grammatical inconsistencies”
  • advance payments
  • credit card or checking account details by email
  • ..


Despite the previous advice, I must confess that I have not had problems with the sellers with whom I have had the pleasure of doing “business” (I suppose that by ignoring the odd seller in Barcelona who brought last generation telephones from some South African country at the price of a packet of rice) via internet advertisement websites.

Remember: use your common sense because … you have that, right? 😉

And you?

  • Do you usually buy (or sell) online?
  • Do you have any additional advice that can help us?
  • Can you tell us about any curious experience you have had?

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