PRE-OWNED: A few thoughts on minimising your risk when selling privately

Neil McCauley

If you are selling from home and a potential buyer wants to visit to see/hear the item, then you might want to consider my safety tips:

1. When a person phones, gently quiz them on what they know about the brand.

If they know little, then ask them how the came to select it. If you are unconvinced, tell them you have another buyer ahead of that caller and you'll have to await the outcome of that possible transaction before giving your address.

2. If they do know a bit about the brand, find out what they know about the model.

If, within the context of the rest of the system, the offered reasons for the purchase of that model seem implausible, then use the 'other potential buyer' excuse - as above.

3. If they pass both of those tests, then in a calm but assertive voice you ask: "If this item is as described, and you like it it, will you be paying cash there and then?"

Do NOT answer for them.

Use the power of silence.

If their answer is ambiguous and/or implausible, then use the afformentioned excuse. State clearly that you only accept cash and that deposits are not what you are looking for.

4. Never accept cheques from potential buyers outside of the UK. BACS transfer - or nothing!

Do not be deflected from this.

5. Never provide your address until on balance you think the enquiry is legitimate


6. Don't worry about the 'loss' of that potential buyer. You don't have to take unecessary risks.

There are plenty more potential buyers out there.

7. Caution is more important that impatience.


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