Choose your seller wisely
Do not settle for sellers who give minimal background information about the item and ask you to pay in advance. Remember, there are a lot of sellers to choose from and you have the upper hand in freely choosing the seller you’re most comfortable transacting with.
Ask for actual product photos
Always ask for actual photos because that’s the only way you can gauge the condition of the item. Don’t accept pictures that are obviously lifted from the internet. If you are not satisfied with the quantity and quality of the photos, be honest with the seller and specify what in particular you would want to check.
Inquire about the RFS (reason for selling)
Knowing the reason why it is being sold can help give you a hint on the item’s true condition. Aside from the background info, make sure to ask this from the seller.
Know the item’s condition
You’ve seen the photos and you know the seller’s RFS, next is to read the item description thoroughly and ask the seller specific questions if you are not satisfied with the amount of information originally provided. This helps set your expectations and in turn, save time both for you and the seller.
You can avoid being scammed 99% of the time if you deal with someone who is near your location. This way, you get to meet the seller in person and consider if the quality of the item is acceptable before you part ways with your money.
Select COD (cash on delivery)
If the seller permits it, always choose to pay via COD because not only are you protecting yourself from fraud, you will also have the chance to inspect the condition of the item first before closing your transaction.
Do a quality check
Test if the item is still in good condition. Whether it be examining cabinet hinges, check for bends or scrapes on bars, exhaust, plastic, and levers, check starting and operation of engine and carbs. Check for leaks or doing a vehicle test drive! It is completely okay to back out of a deal if you feel that the item you are buying did not meet your expectations.
Trust your instincts
Is the price too good to be true? If it is, do a little research on what the usual price is first. Avoid ads that are priced way below the normal as these could either be stolen, defective, or even bogus.