Be careful when meeting buyers at home
Most private advertisers sell their goods from home. For personal ease and safety, always ensure that there is a friend with you before you allow someone into your home.
When selling valuable items – such as a car – you could ask for a personal cheque to be cleared before you part with your goods, and offer a receipt as proof of purchase. In the case of bankers’ drafts, it is wise to go to the bank together and watch it being drawn up.
For items that are worth only a few thousand naira, it’s easier and more convenient to pay in cash. To be safe, when you go to visit the person selling the item you are interested in, don’t take more money than you are planning on spending.
Itemsgalore recommends that buyers NEVER send money before receiving goods.
In both cases, the cheque will clear into your bank, only to be stopped/refused weeks later. At this point, the Banks will take the full cheque amount back out of your account. Not only will you have lost the goods, you will be out of pocket for the amount of their original cheque and the amount you passed on as the difference.
If you suspect you could be targeted by either of these scams then please contact your local police and/or EFCC Office.
I’ve sent the advertiser my money but he has not sent the goods.
Unfortunately, we are unable to interfere in the private transactions between a buyer and a seller. However, if you can provide us with a letter of complaint, we will keep this on permanent file under the advertiser’s records.
You may wish to contact your local EFCC office, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take. The number for your local office can be found in the current Nigerian business directory.
The advertiser wants me to send cash up front – what should I do?
Don’t do it! Itemsgalore recommends that buyers NEVER send cash or cheques through the post, or place money directly into a seller’s bank account, in advance of receiving goods.
Once you have bought an item from a private seller, you have no legal comeback if it turns out to be faulty. Therefore, check the goods thoroughly before handing over the money. If the seller still has the receipts, or a warranty, so much the better.
Be careful when meeting sellers at their home
Most private advertisers sell their goods from home. For personal ease and safety, always ensure you take someone with you.
If you’re responding to a home service ad, such as electrical or plumbing services, ask the advertiser to produce identity and proof of qualification before inviting them into your home!
If travel is involved in the transaction, always remember to write down the contact details of the people you are visiting, or the people who are visiting you. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to make the appointment, notify them in advance.