Buying safely from buy and sell sites

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / pressmaster

From buy and sell pages to sites like Kijiji, it can be both buyer and seller beware when it comes to online transactions.

OPP Constable Jamie Stanley has warned buyers to steer clear of purchasing stolen items and said there are a few signs to keep in mind.

“If the price is really undercut, like it seems too good to be true, that might be a bit of a red flag and someone should be thinking ‘maybe this property is stolen, or there’s some scam in the works.'”

Stanley added if you’re looking into purchasing items with a serial number or vehicle identification number, to check their Canadian Police Information Centre website.

If possible, it’s always best to meet in person to do the transaction, deemed the safest way for the buyer to examine the product before buying, and the safest way for the seller to make sure they don’t get scammed out of their money.

Stanley said if you do have a Safe Internet Purchase Exchange Zone at your local police station, take advantage and make your in-person transactions there.

“The theory behind it is, it’s less likely you’re going to be scammed or robbed right in front of a police station,” said Stanley

If either party refuses or tries to pressure you to exchange funds online without a meeting, it’s safest to walk away from the transaction.

In the end, Stanley said to trust your intuition and do your research.

“Take your time, do your due diligence. Most often, these transactions work out really well for both the buyer and the seller but you don’t want to feel pressured or rushed into a situation.”

You can check items with a serial number or vehicle identification number online here: http://www.cpic-cipc.ca/index-eng.htm