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Classifieds: Safe Practices

Things to keep in mind when buying and selling on the Classifieds

The eBrandon classifieds are growing daily. Since their inception, tens of thousands of items have changed hands thanks to the many great local buyers and sellers that make this a stop in their weeks. With that said, please keep the following in mind when using this site to protect yourself with buying or selling:

You are selling/advertising an item

While every effort is made to make the classifieds difficult to use for scammers and severely limit their presense, it is inevitable in an environment with this many users that the odd one may submit inquries on ads. There are many common elements that fit the pattern of the typical scam inquiry and it is important to know signs to watch for.

As someone selling an item, we strongly advise meeting the individual you are selling to in person prior to exchanging funds. In particular, as a seller if someone currently located outside of Southwestern Manitoba offers to send you a money order, cashier's cheque, wire transfer, online transfer for your item or has circumstance to ask for the same from you it should be an instant red flag. There are individuals presumably located outside of the area who will take advantage of the fact that it can take more than a week for a money order to clear. It is possible for you to cash it and not find out until it's too late that it was invalid. There are also individuals that will send you links to websites that appear legitimate as part of supposedly sending you payment, only to find out later that it was not legitimate. It should also be seen as an instant red flag if someone is voluntarily offering to pay higher than your asking price by sending you funds regardless of their excuse whey they are unable to meet in person. It should also be seen as a red flag if your personal or bank information is being requested. If you are selling any item, there should be no reason for you to send money to a buyer regardless of the story they are telling. Shipping your item without meeting in person is also strongly not recommended as this is intended to be a local, in-person service.

Inquries on ads received as emails or text messages may get right into making requests such as noted above (such as example 1 below). They may also first appear similar to any other ad inquiry with a very brief email or text message inquiring on the availability of your item (example 2 below). It's in subsequent replies to that initial message that you learn their reason why they cannot meet in person to view the item, their intent to send money order, cashier's cheque, wire transfer, online transfer or why you should send them money or personal information first. As soon as it becomes clear they are not meeting in person first it is very strongly recommended that you not proceed.

    Example 1, actual inquiry on vehicle ad
"Hello,do you still have this Car posted on ebrandon.com available,if yes,please be honest by you making me understanding its condition and the final actual price and get back to me ASAP,cause am so interested in buying the very item in order for me to other for me to have it moved with other items that i want to buy in here and have them moved at once .kindly reply me with your honest reply."

Example 2, actual inquiry on furniture ad
First brief message sent: "still for sale?"

Subsequent reply from same individual after being told its available: "Great! please consider it sold as i am willing to pay your full asking price because i need to buy it for my cousin asap, i have read through the advert and i'm totally satisfied with it,sadly i would not be able to come personally to collect due to my hearing loss and me being in wheelchair.
I would appreciate if you email me with more photos (if available) since i'm unable to see it in person.
I have a courier agent that would help me to pick it up at your preferred location after you have received your money and i'll pay you via PayPal today.
Where is the pick up location so that i can inform the courier agent about it now also send me your PayPal email account so that I can make the payment right full name?"

You are buying an item

eBrandon has systems in place to make it difficult for scammers to post ads, but you can expect that the odd one will sneak through from time to time. As outlined below there are a number of red flags to watch out for that these postings and their sellers will have. If you ever notice a suspect ad, your help is appreciated by clicking on the "report this ad" link that is on every ad.

As someone inquiring about or buying an item, we strongly advise only buying from individuals currently located in Southwestern Manitoba on this site. Never send money or personal information to a seller that has not first met you in person. As the classifieds are considered local and we try our best to ensure ad localness we can unfortunately not make any guarantees.

It should be seen as an instant red flag if someone currently located outside the area has slipped through the cracks and is attempting to sell (please report them). It should also be seen as a red flag if someone is stating that they are from this area yet have an excuse (work, travel, etc) why they cannot meet in person and in stead require you to send them money prior to meeting and viewing in person. Another red flag would be if the price seems too good to be true. Another red flag if they are requiring personal or bank information and/or you are receiving a link you have to click on to submit payment. If they're giving an emotionally appealing reason for why some of the above is the case, another red flag.

While all emails are different, below are examples of actuals email sent out in reply to inquiries on ads. In the first example note the fact that they are out of province, are asking you to send money without seeing them or the vehicle in person and are giving an emotionally appealing reason why this is the case. In the second example note the implying that they are from Brandon, the claim that they are unavailable themselves for some personal reason, the promise that someone else will meet you, yet the large red flag that they require money before that meeting and the large red flag that they require you to email them personal information.

    Example 1, in response to a vehicle ad
Hello, First I want to thank you for question about the (item).The (item) is in perfect condition perfect shape. no engine problems, damages or hidden defects.It has all the papers and document and I am also the owner.The price is CAD $2,400 including shipping to your address (only in Canada). The (item) is located in Canada but currently I am located in Detroit,United States, because I just finished the divorce with my husband and i have moved here to my parents for a while.
I will wait your answer (if you are interested to buy) very soon and i will also explain you all terms for this transaction.

Thank you,
(name)


Example 2, in response to rental ad
Hello I took note of your email. It is a quiet and spacious two bedroom condo available for rent now. Conveniently located on a residential and quiet area close to bus routes. Ideal for a couple or an individual.

As you can see in the pictures, the apartment is very clean. It was my daughter that lived therein during her studies. The reason for the rent at this price is in order for the suite not to be left empty without maintainance since my daughter is back home in THOMPSON since she is through with her studies.

The apartment as you can see, is already furnished but if you wish that it be emptied, it will be as you wish but the price remains the same. The amount for the rent is $1000 CAD including utilities (water, electricity, heating, internet) I also want to tell you that you'll have to make a 1month rent payment for the apartment (FIRST MONTH), and 1month deposit (LAST MONTH) making $2000 that is after visiting apartment and if it suits you as well.

NB: I want you to know that am not in Brandon right now, am out of town on a business trip to Paris, FRANCE, and you can call me by phone on : (phone number), but my wife and daughter are in Thompson and will accompany you for the visit.

Regarding the visit, my wife can move on appointment for you to visit the apartment and eventually sign the lease or short term agreement. If you are serious like you said regarding the rent, below are the necessary details to provide:

FIRST NAME:
LAST NAME:
AGE:
PHONE NUMBER:
NATIONALITY:
PROFESSION:
CURRENT ADDRESS:
MARITAL STATUS:
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE APARTMENT:
MINIMUM DURATION OF RENT:

Features:
Spacious, newly renovated two bedroom apartment on quiet street near (naming shopping centre). 760 square feet with six new appliances, all new flooring, forced air heating and air conditioning. Fenced patio and new detached garage included. Few blocks from (named school).
INCLUDES:
. 2 bedroom
. 2 full bathroom
. Washer & Dryer in suite
. Fridge, Stove and Dishwasher
. Air Conditioning
. Basic Cable
. Water
. Lease or Short-Term accepted (But to be concluded afore hand)
. Non-smoking condo
. $1000/month utilities Included
* First and Last rent required.
* Well behaved pets will be accepted although there were no pets in the apartment previously.

Thanks in advance

- Regarding product or service quality, as is the case when buying any used items we highly recommend thoroughly verifying the quality of your purchase prior to exchanging money. eBrandon assumes no responsibility for any products or services exchanged.

- eBrandon will never contact you unsolicited out of the blue to speak to the authenticity of an ad. Should you receive such a message, have questions or have a suspect ad you would like to report please contact us.

If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact us.