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In 2020, 48% of Americans made a resale purchase online according to a report from OfferUp.

The fact is that more people buying second hand also means a greater opportunity to sell second hand.

Getting rid of old clutter you have in your house is a great way to make some easy money, as long as you find the platform that works best for you. 

Many resale apps focus on clothing, shoes, and handbags, but platforms like OfferUp–the subject of today’s article–let you buy and sell almost anything, including clothing, car parts, electronics, and home furnishings.

Stay tuned as we break down the inner workings of this resale platform, how to use it, seller protection, and if OfferUp is safe for buyers and sellers or not.

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What Is OfferUp?

OfferUp is an online and local selling site that began in 2011. The platform was launched by two new fathers who realized they were constantly needing to buy new stuff and get rid of old or outgrown items.

Their goal was to create a community based marketplace for local buying and selling, which could be accessed easily on your smartphone. 


So, in short, OfferUp lets buyers and sellers exchange goods locally and online. It’s almost a mix of Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace and online resale websites like Poshmark.

The app is available for download on both IOS and Android devices and is now worth $1 billion overall, earning about $60 million annually.

Is OfferUp Safe?

Yes, OfferUp is safe for buyers and sellers, and the platform has numerous features in place to help improve safety and reduce scams. Millions of people use OfferUp every year, and it’s a reputable marketplace that’s easy to use.

I also like that OfferUp takes steps to verify users on the platform to help improve safety.

For example, one feature OfferUp has is its TruYou feature. This feature adds a badge to user’s profiles after they submit photos of state-issued ID, verifying their phone number, and adding a photo of themselves to their profile. All of this information is secure and won’t be shared anywhere on the app.

Image courtesy of OfferUp.

This, combined with the in-app messaging feature, means that you can verify the identity of potential buyers without anyone having to share any personal information. 

As long as you’re taking the right precautions when arranging meetups and staying clear of any buyers who meet any of the scam criteria we discussed, then you should be able to avoid getting caught up in fraud. 

In short: OfferUp is safe and legit, but you have to use common sense as a seller and buyer.

Extra Reading – The Best Apps Like OfferUp.

Are There Any OfferUp Scams?

While OfferUp is safe and has features like TruYou to help verify users, scams can still occur. And the most common OfferUp scams often involve tricking sellers into sending products for free in exchange for online payments that the buyer never sends.

There are other types of scams on OfferUp, like when sellers post fake items for sale.

Luckily, these aren’t too difficult to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Here is what to watch out for if you’re thinking of using the platform:

OfferUp Seller Scams 

A lot of the common OfferUp scams target sellers since people want to score free things. But, if you apply some common sense and know the warning signs, you can safely sell on OfferUp and avoid scams.

Some of the most common OfferUp scams to watch out for include:

  • Too Good To Be True Offers. If you’re trying to sell on the app, look out for buyers that seem too good to be true. If they’re offering more than the list price, that’s your first red flag.
  • OfferUp Shipping Scams. Commonly, scammers request a different ship address, a different carrier, or they will request to pay through a third-party other than the OfferUp system. This is a surefire scam since they want to void OfferUp seller protection or get you to send your shipment and then revoke payment.
  • In-Person Scams. If you’re meeting your buyer in person, only accept cash as payment since E-Transfers and cheques are not as reliable or trusted (they can be revoked and checks can bounce).

OfferUp Buyer Scams

OfferUp has millions of users, but if you’re trying to buy something on the platform, you still need to be careful.

OfferUp is a legit site, and buying from sellers with positive reviews is your first trick to avoid scams. Additionally, keep an eye out for the following OfferUp scams:

  • Third-Party Payments. When making a purchase through the app, be wary of sellers that ask for payment outside the app– whether that be through a cash app, wire transfer, electronic gift-card or otherwise.
  • Shipping Invoices. Watch out for sellers who want to invoice you for shipping or any additional fees. Every fee involved in a transaction will be listed and visible for both parties in the app.
Image courtesy of Reddit. The golden rule…stay on the app to avoid scams!

And, once again, always pay cash when you meet in person.

How To Avoid Scams On OfferUp

In addition to looking out for some of the warning signs above, there are a few other things you can do to avoid scams on the platform. 

  • The biggest one is to only accept cash sales, as it is far too easy to get scammed using other payment methods. If you’re shipping items, let OfferUp handle the transaction, and immediately report any buyers who ask to do the transaction elsewhere.
  • Look for trusted buyers with high star ratings and many reviews, as well as profiles that have the Facebook or TruYou verification. OfferUp has implemented these systems so you can be sure that people actually are who they say they are.
  • Avoid people who want to communicate outside the app and never click on a link sent to you, as this can be the first step to identity theft or fraud.
  • Also, as a rule of thumb, never give out any personal information and always meet at a public location.

The badge and rating systems are really the best indicators, along with common sense, on if you’re potentially falling for a scam or not.

Never buy something that looks too good to be true, stay within OfferUp’s ecosystem, and only buy from verified, highly rated sellers.

OfferUp Seller Protection & Fees

Part of the decision making process on figuring out the best platforms to sell stuff is to look into the seller fees and seller protection policies.

This is because, as a seller, anything that increases your profit margin and protects you from scams is fantastic news for your resale business.

Thankfully, OfferUp doesn’t charge seller fees for local meetups where you accept cash.

The only time you incur fees is when you promote listings or ship out your orders. When orders are shipped, there’s a transaction fee of $1.99 or 12.9%, depending on which amount is greater

OfferUp claims to protect their sellers through their policies and partnerships, as well as through the technology built into the app.

The company also has a Trust & Safety team devoted to mitigating fraudulent behavior and investigating claims submitted by both buyers and sellers. 

It’s important to note, however, that OfferUp has a number of current and past users who have reported scams as well as problems with the app itself, and they haven’t always been satisfied with the response from the apps team.

Image courtesy of Reddit. This user made the mistake of paying for a $200 PS4 with Cashapp and got scammed.

If you look for reviews of OfferUp, you will see some scam related content. However, the majority of negative reviews are tied to issues with transactions, listings, and account access.

While most of these are glitches that could be solved with a few updates from the company, many users have expressed frustration with the customer support team when it comes to these types of issues, so this is something to be aware of before you get started on the app.

How Does OfferUp Work?

Now that you know how to avoid OfferUp scams and what safety features the app has, let’s take a look at how you can use the app to easily buy or sell stuff for cash.

1. Download The OfferUp App

You can manage OfferUp sales through the website, but the app is useful for managing your listings and communicating with buyers while on the go.

Plus, in 2020, OfferUp and Letgo combined their online marketplaces into the main OfferUp app, expanding the online community to millions of potential buyers and sellers.


The app is also completely free to use, so it’s really the best starting place to start making money selling on OfferUp.

2. Create An Account

You have to create an account in order to buy and sell on OfferUp.

You can create an account with your Facebook account, since it’ll save you from inputting all of your information. This also labels you as a Facebook Verified account, which looks more credible to buyers.

3. Create Your Listings

Creating an OfferUp listing is easy– you just need to take a few good photos of your item and add a description.

However, selling on OfferUp is similar to selling on marketplaces like Mercari and eBay; you want to provide as many details to potential buyers as possible to help them make a purchasing decision.

Image courtesy of OfferUp.

Be as detailed as possible when writing your description, as this will look better to buyers and save you from answering tons of questions.

You should also take several, high-quality photos that show every angle of the product you’re selling so people can tell its condition.

Extra Reading – How To Start An Etsy Print On Demand Business.

4. Promote Your Listing (Optional)

If you’re looking to sell your items and make money fast, you may want to consider the promotional feature on OfferUp.

This OfferUp hack lets you pay for a small boost on your listing which will bump it to the top of the page for buyers to see. 

You have two options for this: Promote using the Bump feature – this is a one time payment which can vary in price depending on the time period you choose.

Different Bump periods include:

  • 3 days – $7.99
  • 7 days – $12.99
  • 14 days – $19.99

Promote using Promote Plus – this is a paid monthly subscription where you’ll consistently have one item promoted, and you can switch out items at any time.


If you consistently sell on OfferUp, it’s probably worth signing up for Promote Plus so you can shuffle the products you promote to get sales faster.

In contrast, if you’re an occasional seller, you can simply bump your listing for a few days or avoid paying altogether and just wait for the sale.

Extra Reading – The Top Items To Flip.

5. Meet Local Buyers & Get Paid

You can negotiate with potential buyers through the in-app messaging feature before accepting a sale.

Buyers can also do this, so expect some haggling and questions about the product you’re selling and be open to negotiation and answering questions.

Once you agree on a price, you and the buyer agree on a public place to meet and make a cash sale (we will talk about why you want to avoid checks and e-transfers later).

Choose a location that’s in a public place like coffee shops, hotel lobbies, malls, or even police stations. This is one way to avoid scams on OfferUp and to stay safe since you’re meeting in an area with other people.

OfferUp also has an in-app map feature where you can send your buyer the exact location to meet via message.

Image courtesy of OfferUp.

They also mark Community MeetUp spots in green on the map, which are well-lit locations with video cameras, decided on by local businesses and police departments.

6. Ship Your Product To The Buyer

Selling locally is one way to avoid OfferUp scams since you can complete a cash exchange in a public, safe place. Plus, selling in person also helps you make more money since you get to keep 100% of the profits.

However, you also have the option to ship your item out to the buyer if they’re not in your area.


When you make an online-delivery sale, the buyer gets charged through OfferUp and you get a prepaid shipping label.

The buyer has two days post-delivery to return the item after inspecting it and you will receive the money through direct deposit to your account in 5 business days.

Extra Reading – The Best Things To Sell On OfferUp.

7. Rate The Buyer

On OfferUp, buyers and sellers get a rating after a sale completes. So, as the seller, you get to rate the person you just sold to to score your overall experience.

This is another useful OfferUp feature that helps keep everyone safe and avoid scams since you can avoid selling to buyers who have really low ratings.

But as a seller, remember to answer questions in a timely manner and to be friendly to try and get a higher rating yourself.

Can You Make Money Selling On OfferUp?

There absolutely is the opportunity for money making with OfferUp, especially if your focus is on local listings and cash sales.

It’s free to list and you keep 100% of your profits– the only thing you lose is the time it takes you to post the item and get to the meetup location.

If you’re looking to get into selling more seriously with OfferUp, you may want to consider utilizing their Boost and Promote Plus features, to improve your chances of making a sale.

Ultimately, OfferUp is a widely used marketplace with so many people looking to make a purchase– why not give it a shot and see if it works for you.

Just remember: you don’t have to limit yourself to a single resale platform.

Apps like Depop and websites like Mercari are perfect examples of other channels you can use to reach local and international buyers.

At the end of the day, it’s worth experimenting with several channels to increase your exposure and to find what works.

When you identify a resale platform that really generates sales, you can focus your efforts there to get more reviews and sales.

Extra Reading – OfferUp vs The Facebook Marketplace.

Verdict: Should You Buy & Sell On OfferUp?

If you’re being careful to avoid scams, you have nothing to lose listing on this platform.

OfferUp itself is legit, completely free, and you can avoid the hassle of shipping. All of these benefits plus you get to keep 100% of the sale.

It doesn’t hurt to give the platform a try– you may find you’re making sales right away or you may need to boost your listings a bit to get some traction. 

If you’re really looking to maximize your selling potential, I recommend selling across a few platforms.

You can list your items on OfferUp as well as apps like Facebook Marketplace. This way you have a wider audience you can reach and you can get an idea of which platform is more popular in your area. 

Overall, if you use a bit of extra precaution, OfferUp could be a great way for you to make a bit of extra cash out of the old clutter you have lying around your house.

Who knows, you may even turn it into a new side-hustle!

Thanks for reading! Best of luck in your OfferUp endeavors.

Extra Reading:

OfferUp Review - Is This App Safe?

Name: OfferUp

Description: OfferUp is a local buying and selling app that lets people exchange a variety of products, including electronics, apparel, furniture, and even vehicles!

Operating System: Android, IOS

Application Category: Resale Apps

Author: Selena Fulham

  • Earning Potentail
  • Security Features
  • Customer Support
  • Seller Protection