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Safety Tips to Keep In Mind When Buying/Selling On OLX

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If you look around in any market, you will find honest and dishonest sellers and buyers. The honest sellers are there to make money by being truthful about what they are selling. Such sellers are willing to offer quality or genuine products /services in exchange for cash. Dishonest sellers (or con men/women) on the other hand are there to take advantage of the lack of information on the part of the buyers to sell them fake products or at times con them of their hard-earned cash.

With the growth of ecommerce in Kenya, we need to understand that these behaviours will  not disappear by themselves unless we do something. One of the biggest players in Kenya’s ecommerce sector, OLX Kenya, has for some time now been informing both buyers and sellers on how to stay safe online.  The company partnered with the Consumer Federation of Kenya to launch the “Kaa Ridhoo” campaign a few months ago to address the same.

To ensure you stay safe online (as a buyer or a seller), I have prepared a list of the things you will need to keep in mind.

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For Sellers

Research on Prices

We all know that sites such as OLX attract people because of their low prices on most of its products. This does not mean that every seller is offering the lowest prices possible as some of them may raise their prices to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. To make sure you are not conned, I suggest you research and find the average price of the particular product  you want to buy before calling the seller.



Condition of The Products

Even though there are some new products offered on OLX, most products listed there have been used before. Before you meet the seller to get your product, you need to ask about the condition of the product. This will guide you into knowing if you are getting a raw deal or not.

Contact Information

It is always a wise idea to make sure that the seller’s contact information and name can be verified. The number should be verifiable (meaning that it should be a Kenyan number) and the name should not be a pseudonym. OLX Kenya also advices that you should use the “Email Seller” option before you proceed to buying what is being offered. This is important as through it OLX is able to notify you if that particular seller has been reported for fraudulent activities before.

Meet the Seller before Sending Money

Since you do not know the intentions of the seller, it is a good idea to first meet, see the product (s) before sending any money. It is also recommended that you meet in a safe and public place (not your home or office). Once you see the products, test to ensure they are working (for the case of electronics) and when satisfied, pay for them using your preferred payment options. Do not share your financial information (bank details, M-Pesa information) with the seller.

Confirm Ownership

When buying things such as land or vehicles, you will need to confirm ownership before you pay. This will protect you from buying stolen items that may cause problems with authorities in future.

The above tips are just for buyers, if you are a seller, there are a few things you may also need to keep in mind to protect yourself from dishonest buyers.

Full Payment or No Sale

Before you even accept payment, it is a good idea to meet in a public place for your safety. When payment is being made, only accept full payment for the product. This is because you do not know the buyer and he/she may disappear with your products if you do not get the full amount the first time.


Cash only, no cheques

Payments on products sold on OLX Kenya should only be in cash and do not accept cheques. This is because the cheques may not clear and at that time you may not know where the buyer is. Mobile payment systems such as M-Pesa can also be used but keep in mind that these transactions can be reversed.

Do Not Misinform Your Buyers

When listing the product, make sure all the information included is correct to the last word. It is never a good idea to try to lie to the buyers just to make a quick sale as this may give you a bad reputation on the site and some buyers may report you for fraudulent activities.

Verify Contact Information

Before you meet the buyer for the sale, make sure you get his/her personal phone number (mobile phone). This number should be verifiable and is necessary when the deal goes south. If the buyers in buying in bulk, verify his/her credentials before hand to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Keep your financial information safe

Never share your financial information with any person even those who buy your products. Only give out the information needed to make the payment (these will include mostly your name and company).

If you happen to find any suspicious buyer or seller, report them directly to OLX through their support email at If you are a victim, remember to report to the Police after you send an email to OLX’s support team.

For more information, go to .

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email:
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