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OfferUp is a mobile app that features a peer-to-peer marketplace. The app operates very similar to websites like Craigslist, connecting sellers of all sorts of items ranging from clothes and electronics to furniture and vehicles with potential buyers. OfferUp also enables users to rate other users. This rating can help users ensure that the person they are dealing with is a legit buyer or seller.
- List and sell your items for free – it cost $0 to list your items for sale on the platform and you can sell anything as long as it is not illegal.
- Promote your listing from just $1.99 – choose from 1 to 3 day promotions, which can help your listings get an average of 14 times more views per day.
- Low service fees – for every item that you sell and ship nationwide, you will have to pay either $1.99 or 12.9% of the item’s price as a service fee.
- You have up to 3 days to ship your item – the app takes care of all the shipping details and will even provide you with a prepaid shipping label.
- Long waiting time for payment – it can take anywhere between 10 to 14 days after you ship the item to the buyer before you receive payment for it.
- Premium plans are costly – OfferUp offers a Promote Plus plan at $19.99 per month, which is costly but can increase the chances of your items selling.
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What is OfferUp?
OfferUp is a mobile app that allows you to easily sell all sorts of items including clothes, electronics, furniture, or even vehicles locally without any charge.
The platform was founded in 2011 and today it earns around $60 million a year and has an overall worth of over $1 billion.
How Does OfferUp Work?
Selling an item on OfferUp is very similar to other apps. You only have to take a few good photos of your item and upload them with a short description of your item along with a suitable title. But I’ll talk more about that later.
When you’ve done publishing, potential buyers will start contacting you about the item. OfferUp advises you to communicate with these potential buyers through the app’s messaging function to avoid being scammed (we’ll look into it in more detail later on as well).
After the selling process is over, buyers are allowed to leave a rating to you and you’re allowed to do the same for the buyer. So make sure you provide accurate information and excellent service when you’re selling.
Is OfferUp Legit & Safe to Use?
While OfferUp is a legit platform, it doesn’t prevent you from scam buyers, because you’re selling your items locally, mostly in-person and that’s something the platform can’t control.
However, the situation is different when it comes to OfferUp app reviews. The app has an overall score of 4.8 out of 5-star rating on App Store and 3.9 on Google Play Store. Here all the negative ratings add up to the same thing – lack of customer support.
OfferUp Fees for Sellers
OfferUp charges neither the sellers nor buyers for simply buying and selling through their platform.
Instead, they will charge you if you opt in to push your listing to the top of the page through their Promote and Promote Plus features. What’s convenient, OfferUp Promote Plus subscription costs $19.99 and is valid for 1 month.
OfferUp recommends you accept cash payments from buyers because most scammers use personal checks, cashier checks, or other means to scam you.
Alternatively, you can choose to ship items to buyers who don’t live in the same area as you and receive payment through OfferUp. And for this, OfferUp charges a fee of either a minimum of $1.99 or 12% of the sales price (whichever greater).
Let’s sum up all OfferUp fees in the table below:
|Processing fee (only when you ship your item)||$1.99 or 12% of the sales price (whichever greater)|
|Promotion fee (optional)||Up to $19.99 (valid for 1 month)|
How Does OfferUp Make Money?
As mentioned above, OfferUp makes money through the promotions for ads and the shipping commission that they get from the items shipped.
They also display ads of certain other retailers on their site.
How to Start Selling on OfferUp?
Selling your items through OfferUp is as simple as it gets. Let’s take a look at the exact step-by-step guide to selling your stuff on OfferUp from start to finish.
Step 1: Download the OfferUp App
Step 2: Create Your Account
Once you’ve finished downloading the app, you are required to create an account.
I recommend you to sign in with your Facebook account because you won’t have to fill out any data manually. Plus, Facebook-verified accounts look more credible to potential buyers.
Step 3: Upload Photos & Publish a Listing
The next step after creating your OfferUp account is to set up your listing by uploading photos and writing a detailed description.
I recommend 4 photos – one from each side of your item. Also, make sure you upload photos of the actual item you’re selling and not stock photos from Google.
Step 4: Promote Your Listing to Sell Your Item Faster
If you want to get rid of your items and get paid fast, you can bump-up your ads through the Promote and Promote plus features. These features will push your listing to the top of the search results on the platform and will probably result in getting your items sold faster.
Note that promoting your listing is optional and you can go without a promotion.
Step 5: Complete the Sale & Get Paid
After you’ve negotiated with a potential buyer, meet them in a public space to exchange your item for cash. Having done this, the sale is completed.
Here’s the list of some public places I recommend you to meet your buyer:
- Hotel lobby
- Or even a police station lobby
Step 6: Rate the Buyer
OfferUp allows you to rate the buyer so the other sellers can understand whether the buyer is legitimate and safe to deal with.
Note that this step is optional and the sale is complete even without rating the buyer.
How Does OfferUp Pay Me?
Most sellers on OfferUp accept cash directly from the buyers.
However, OfferUp allows you to accept payment through their platform. To choose this option, you need to deliver your item to the buyer. And once your item is delivered to the buyer, OfferUp will deposit money into your account within five business days.
Note that OfferUp will deduct their shipping service fees before depositing them into your account.
OfferUp Pros & Cons
- It’s free to list and sell your items
- You can see buyer ratings on the platform so you can easily identify if they are safe to deal with
- The app is easy to use
- There’s an in-app messaging system to ease the communication between buyers and seller
- There’s a risk of getting scammed because OfferUp doesn’t filter out the buyers
- Lack of customer support
OfferUp vs. Mercari
Mercari is also a retail site that works similarly to OfferUp. You can choose to sell any items including clothes, toys, and sporting goods on Mercari. Mercari will charge you a commission fee of 10% for each sale on the site while OfferUp is free to use. Additionally, Mercari won’t pay you until the buyer receives your item and rates you on the platform.
OfferUp vs. eBay
eBay doesn’t need an introduction since it’s one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, allowing you to sell used (or new) items. While OfferUp allows sales only within the US, you can choose to sell your items internationally with eBay. Plus, unlike OfferUp, eBay charges you listing and selling fees.
Is Selling with OfferUp Worth It?
If you’re someone who’s looking to sell some unused or old stuff, OfferUp is a great place because it doesn’t charge you any fees selling through their platform. But if you’re looking into OfferUp to make more frequent sales, you may want to consider their promotion costs and bump-up costs for the ads.
OfferUp has definitely got some bad reviews the last few months but there’s a huge network of buyers and sellers out there. I think it’s safe to say it’s worth it to try out but always keep your eye out for scammers and stick to OfferUp recommendations to keep yourself protected.
Who knows, maybe this might turn out to be your next big side hustle.
Can you get scammed on OfferUp?
Since OfferUp doesn’t filter out its users, there’s a risk you can get scammed. However, you can protect yourself by only accepting cash payments and not by checks, credit cards, or anything else.
How do I accept payment on OfferUp?
You should add your bank account to OfferUp to receive payments for items that you ship. And for the items that you sell in person, I recommend you always accept cash.
Who pays for shipping on OfferUp?
Usually, buyers pay for shipping, but you as a seller have to include the shipping fee in your final sale amount. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay your own money for shipping.