How to Protect Yourself and Avoid Fraud When Selling Your Used Gadgets

How to Protect Yourself and Avoid Fraud When Selling Your Used Gadgets
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Earlier this week, I experienced one of the most stomach-churning, psychologically exhausting technology debacles of my young adult life. I went to go sell my 12.9-inch iPad Pro to a man who responded to my ad on Craigslist — in broad daylight, at a local Starbucks, mind you — and yet I was completely, utterly defrauded. The con-artist made off with my iPad and accessories; and I soon found out that the payment he sent me via the popular person-to-person mobile payments app, Venmo, was complete bupkis.

Long story short, thanks to the quick thinking and even quicker action of another Craigslist user, who was also defrauded by the same gentleman earlier that morning, by some odd, supernatural miracle getting in contact with me via the Venmo app, I was able to get my iPad back the very next morning — delivered personally by the same kid, his mother and father in tow, who originally jacked it from right underneath my nose.

“Wow, Troy, you must be a complete dumb dumb for trusting this kid in the first place,” some of you might be thinking — but I can assure you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, this kind of stuff happens every day of the week.

Sure, I was one of the lucky ones who saw justice being served in real-time. But in most instances of the like, well, sometimes there’s very little that can be done, especially if the thief resides farther away, and ignores any attempts you might make to get in contact with them.

This whole experience was nerve rattling, to say the least. But, on the other hand, it really got me thinking about the importance of protecting yourself, standing your ground, and always being alert to ensure yourself the safest transaction possible when selling your new or used gadgets on Craigslist. These are very trying times we’re living in, folks, and desperate people are known to do desperate things, often resulting to even more desperate measures just to get their hands on your merchandise, “free of charge.”

So how can you protect yourself in situations akin to what I experienced?

Well, there are a few ways I could have alternatively gone about selling my iPad, although most of them would have come at some cost. Sure, Craigslist may be free to list and free to sell, which was perhaps the foremost reason I decided to go that route in the first place. However, certain websites, such as eBay, or Amazon, might be a more opportunistic option for those looking to cash in on their old gadgets. You’re sure to pay a portion of the proceeds in listing and sales and PayPal fees, but when you consider the implications of not only getting your items in front of a larger audience of potential customers — and, not to mention, the utmost security and seller protection when you’ve found a buyer — the sheer difference should more than substantiate those nominal selling expenses.

Yes, to be fair, I’ve also been scammed on eBay — many, many times before. However, in each of those instances, I was always afforded the right to a fair and impartial investigation, and my money back, 100% of the time.

If you’re looking to sell an older iPhone, smartphone, or iPad, just for the sake of perhaps pocketing a few bucks on the side, however, another great option would be to consider a site like Gazelle, or even our own, exclusive iDrop News Recycle Program. We’ll offer you top dollar for your used gadgets — including smartphones, tablets, wearables, and more — so you don’t even have to hassle with meeting some stranger in a parking lot, not knowing if their intentions are of a sound state of mind.

Where have you had success buying and selling iPhones, iPads, and Macs?
Let us know in the comments. 

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