Buying Advice - Stay Safe!
Tips for staying safe on Sella
For the most part, shopping online is totally safe. We want Kiwi’s to enjoy using Sella and we believe the vast majority of our users want to do right by their fellow members. While 99.9% of trades complete without concern occasionally we see or hear of new scams. At Sella, we are doing our best to fight scammers, but we also need our members to be aware of their activities on the site and report suspect listings to us.
Here are some tips we would like to share:
1. Initial Contact
Ask questions. You should feel free to ask any question you wish about items listed on sella if the information is not supplied already in the product description. You can ask about the condition and/or history of the item, and even why it is being sold. Carefully read the item description and answers to
questions. Lots of unanswered
questions should be a danger sign.
Limit personal information. Limit the amount of information you share about yourself (for example, don't give out your home phone or address straight away). However, after the seller has answered some questions and seems credible, you may need to disclose more information about yourself.
Check credibility of the seller. It is always a good idea to check to see if a seller is fully verified, and the history of previous trades they have made on the site.
If the seller seems evasive or suspicious, or makes you uncomfortable at any point during the initial contact process, do not continue to pursue the transaction and let Sella know.
2. Meeting the Seller
Meet in person. For some classified listing items, such as cars, you may need to meet the seller. Before purchasing any items, if possible, meet in a public place – ideally during the daytime when other people will be around.
Bring a friend. If you are meeting a seller in person you always have the option to bring a friend. You should also always let someone know where you are going. You may also want to share whatever contact info you have for the seller (their email address, phone number).
If the seller seems evasive or suspicious, or makes you uncomfortable at any point during the meeting, simply excuse yourself and let Sella know.
3. Seeing and Evaluating the Item
Do your research. It always helps to do advance research on the market value of an item so you will know if you are getting a good deal.Remember that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is!
See it before you buy it. If you are buying a classified item, such as a car, always try and see the item in person before you buy it. Check the vehicle history and ask for receipts for any service records. You can also request a pre-purchase inspection at a local garage, a service which can identify potential safety and/or mechanical issues. Take the car on a test drive and as an extra precaution, ensure that the car is registered in the seller's name. If the item in question is a pet, check its veterinary records and pedigree papers.
If the item is not as described or pictured, don't be afraid to walk away from the deal.
4. The Transaction
Check the shipping costs and conditions. Make sure you understand the shipping costs before bidding, and also how the item is to be sent (eg. courier, standard post etc). Ensure you fully clarify any additional costs that may be incurred in this process.
Keep all payment details and emails exchanged with the seller.
Full details of transactions help the sella team to fix problems if they arise.
Only pay into New Zealand bank accounts or by credit card where available. Because all Sella traders are based in New Zealand you should never need to pay for goods with Western Union, MoneyGram or instant cash transfers as they cannot be traced. Payment by PayPal is also uncommon in New Zealand and is not recommended.
5. Problem transactions.
The bulk of transactions on sella will complete with no problem at all. However, occasionally things can go wrong, normally as a result of poor communication or differing expectations. Some hints we have for solving problems include :
Communicate with sellers : Some sella members will be able to provide information about expected delivery dates, however some will also wait until after payments have been cleared to ship items, which can take 2 days or more depending on weekends and public holidays. If you are concerned about delivery dates you should clarify this prior to purchasing any items. Delivery itself can take another 2-4 business days meaning that it could be up to 1 week between purchasing an item and receiving it.
6. Fake, replicas & pirated goods:
Counterfeit items, such as jewellery, handbags, and clothing, or unauthorised items such as copies of software, games, music or movies, are illegal and not permitted on Sella. If you see a listing that looks suspicious, please report it via the listing page.
What to look for:
- Large quantities of items for high value products listed at low prices
- Check the photos on the listing - does it look as it should? Compare the details with products on the brand's own website.
- Check the seller's reputation and feedback rating.
7. Complete sales on-site.
Contacting buyers or sellers outside of the auction process can be unsafe. Make sure you always correspond with the email address Sella provides after the auction closes. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be the seller by email or text, make sure you ask the seller on the listing itself to confirm (Q&A section or classified section) as scammers tend to target members with visible contact information.
Things to remember -
1. Trust your gut feeling (if things seem too good to be true, there is a high chance it probably is).
2. Remember to report listings to sella if you think something isn’t right.
3. Meet the seller and see the item in person before you buy.
4. Never send or wire money through Moneygram or Western Union - even PayPal is unusual in New Zealand and especially if funds are going overseas.
5. We’re based in New Zealand; anyone outside of New Zealand shouldn’t be trading with us.
What do I do if I suspect something is fraudulent?
If you are suspicious about a listing on sella, report it to us! You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or report it via the listing.
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