Barter Bay · Buying · Selling

Is this a scam? 4 tips to protect yourself from scammers

Online buy and sell platforms like Barter Bay allow you to reach out to thousands of people to buy or sell. Besides the convenience, we enable you to save on merchant fees by cutting out a middleman to handle the purchase.

Here at Barter Bay, we work hard to keep our platform safe. However, as with any other online spaces, there will always be a small number of malicious users. We try to identify scammers early and ban them, but hey, we’re not going to pretend that none of them can slip through the cracks.

You can take steps to protect yourself from scammers. Here are some tips on how to recognize and avoid scammers’ tactics.

conversation (1) General

  • Do not give out your personal information lightly, including your phone number and email – use the Barter Bay chat to communicate with the other party!
  • Be wary if someone insists that you make a quick decision. They may be trying to trick you into making mistakes.
handshake (1) If you are meeting up with someone

  • Meet up at a location where you know there is people traffic. Never meet in small alleys or empty areas. Use “Suggest a location” in Barter Bay to see a list of trusted trading locations.
  • If possible, bring a friend or family member along.
  • Buyer – Check the item before leaving, to ensure that it is the same product as what the seller had posted.
  • Seller – Count the amount of cash that you receive before leaving.
parcel If you are mailing

  • For any confirmation emails from payment or delivery services, check the sender’s email address. Be extra careful of confirmation mails that come from a free domain (e.g., These may be sent from someone pretending to be a business that you trust.
  • Hover your mouse over links in email to check their actual URL. If the URL is suspicious, do not click on it.
  • Buyer – Request for the tracking number of the package and use trusted payment services such as PayPal. They provide a channel to open a dispute, and you may be able to get your money back in the event of a scam.
  • Seller – Ask for a deposit for your item. When the buyer says that they have sent the payment, check your payment service’s official website to ensure that you have received it. Do this before sending your item out!
robber What to do if you identify a scammer

  • Stop all contact with the scammer. Block them on Barter Bay so they can no longer message you.
  • Report the user to us so that we can investigate and ban them.


By Jessi Huang, Designer, Barter Bay.

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How to sell clothes and earn extra cash

It might be high time to sell clothes you’ve had hidden in your wardrobe that are in excellent condition but you just never seem to wear.
Here are a few ways to make a little buck from your hand-me-downs (#SideHustle) and save your clothing items from heading straight to the landfill (or spending another few years in the back of your closet).

1. Consignment stores

There are lots of great consignment stores around Metro Vancouver that you can bring your clothing to – from casual clothing to kids to luxury to vintage to even sporting apparel.

First, find out what style of clothes they are selling and whether your items are a “fit” for the store. No matter what, they will want clothing that is still in good condition, no rips or stains. A vintage store may be looking for unique pieces of well-known brands, whereas a more casual contemporary store will look for brands you see everyday. Find out what their requirements are as some will only take clothing that is a few years old or specific brands, while others may be more open in what they accept.

Consignment stores will usually recommend a price for you to sell clothes at, as they are familiar with what sells and what doesn’t. If you think it’s worth more you may be able to suggest a price depending on their standards.

So how do you get paid? There are two main approaches. The most common is receiving a percentage of the profits – anywhere from 25-60% – with the consignment store keeping the rest. The other approach is when the consignment store pays you upfront. The second approach can be great because than you get the money right away, even if it doesn’t sell, but you may take a hit on how much you earn (usually less than 50%). Also, keep in mind that sometimes you have to pay a consigner fee of $5-10.


2. Online buy & sell

There are a wide variety of online platforms and mobile apps you can use to sell clothes that currently have a lot of different users (think potential buyers). The benefit to these platforms is you get to keep the full profit of the sale, unlike consignment stores. Some are location based so you can sell to people within Metro Vancouver, whereas others have a wider reach and you can sell to people all over Canada, or even globally, depending on how you set up your shipping options.

The downside of selling clothes on these platforms is that there is more work for you to do in terms of posting the product, managing the posting, replying to emails and meeting up with potential buyers.

The best way to go about online selling is to take a look at what is being offered on the platform already and see which platform you think your clothes might sell best on and at what price. Also, try to take good quality photos that highlight your product well or style it in an outfit!

3. Clothing swap

Consider organizing a clothing swap, with a buy-in fee, for your friends. A clothing swap usually works where everyone brings a certain number of clothing pieces and then gets to ‘swap out’ their clothing with new (to them) items.

In this version, you focus on creating a well-organized swap, so you can request a small buy-in fee that allows each person to join in and swap a certain amount of clothing. For example, if everyone donates 10 items and pays $20 to join in the swap, they each get to select 10 items to take home. You can set the buy-in and clothing donation amounts to what you feel comfortable with collecting.

The work here for you comes in making sure it is a well-organized clothing swap. First, you collect all the clothing prior to the swap. Second, you set up everything by sizes and styles. Keeping it organized makes it easier to see all the garments, pick through them and find the right size – making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

If you want to have a little more fun, donate a portion of the fee to charity, or serve some drinks and snacks. And voilà, your friends get new clothing, for a tiny price tag, and you make a few dollars while also getting some new items!


4. Markets

There are lots of markets popping up around Metro Vancouver. If you and your friends feel like you’ve got a lot of clothes to sell and items that other people would love, why not set up your own booth at a market?

The benefit to selling at a market is setting your own prices and keeping all the profits from your clothing sales. You will have a lot of walk by traffic and a room filled with potential buyers. This has become a lot easier for the average person to do as mobile credit card payment apps have made selling clothing so much easier.

Of course, the downside to this is that there is usually a small fixed price for a booth space and there is a lot of set up that comes with prepping clothing for a market.

5. Traditional garage sales

Who said that the traditional garage sale was dead? I personally love a good sunny Saturday spent garage sale hunting. Garage sales are great because you get the full profits, you can sell more than just your clothes and will have a variety of customers show up. The downside there is a lot more work for you in terms of set up and, usually, garage sale prices are lower than online or consignment prices. You can advertise for your garage sale on posters, in the local newspaper and online (like Craigslist).

Good luck with selling your clothing and extending their life cycle!

Original article:



49 ways to sell your old stuff for the most money


There’s no doubt about it, Americans have too much stuff.

Several years ago the Wall Street Journal reported that Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on goods and services they don’t actually need. And according to the Orlando Sentinel, nearly one out of 10 American households rents a storage facility, costing anywhere from $125 a month to $165 a month. Of those who rent, 65% have a garage, 47% have an attic and 33% have a basement. Clearly, we have too much stuff!

If you have old items just collecting dust, why not turn them into some extra cash? Here are tips to sell old stuff for top dollar — including anything from furniture, to clothes, to accessories, to used electronics.

First, get organized

If you have a lot of stuff you want to sell, it can be overwhelming to think about how to sort it and figure out the best place to sell it.

A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used or worn something in at least two years, that might be a clue you really don’t need it. Go through each item in your house and put it through the two-year test. Then, put all the items in a central location and sort them by category. Next, search the item online to get a good idea of how much it’s worth. After that, read on to discover the best place to sell it!

Online Marketplaces


You can’t talk about selling used items online and not mention eBay. The popular online marketplace was the forerunner of selling used merchandise on the Internet in the 1990s. To get started, create an account, list your items, upload pictures, and wallah! You have instant access to an online marketplace of over 160 million people.

But, due to eBay’s listing fees, which can be $.30 per item plus 10% of the sale price of the item, other players have gotten into the market of selling used merchandise online.

Bonanza is one such alternative.

Bonanza is structured similarly to eBay, but the cost for listing an item is a little bit less. According to its website, sellers pay 3.5% of an item sold under $500, and $17.50 plus 1.5% for an item over $500.

You can also send items you’re selling on Bonanza to Google shopping. The struggle for the newer site has been volume, however. Since eBay is more established, you might find the traffic outweighs the cost in deciding between the two.


Also, you might want to consider eBid. eBid is very similar to eBay in site design and auction-style selling. Plus, the fees are very competitive. According to the site, you’ll never pay more than 3% of an item’s final price.


Etsy is similar to eBay and Bonanza in that it is an online selling marketplace, but Etsy specializes in handcrafted items versus used items unless your items are considered “vintage” — 20 years or older.

To list an item, it’s $.20, and if your item sells, Etsy takes 3.5% of the sale price and 3% plus $.25 for payment processing. But, given the site retains 54 million members and 22.6 million shoppers, it has become a great place for artists and designers to sell and market their unique creations online. Check out the site’s vintage section here.


Did you know you can sell your old stuff on Facebook? Not only can you sell pretty much anything via the Facebook Marketplace, there are thousands of Facebook yardsale groups you can join in order to sell your used stuff online. (And, if you ever need to buy something in the future, this is another good place to look to get it for a good deal!)

Apps to sell just about anything

If you just want to sell something quickly, there are a few location-based smartphone apps that allow you to sell almost anything to people in your neighborhood! But, you’ll want to remember to abide by each app’s safety guidelines, especially if someone is coming to your home to take a look at what you’re selling.

Consignment stores

Following selling something on a site like eBay or through an app, consignment stores might be your next best bet. But, be advised that it could take the store a while to sell your items, if they sell, and can take as much as a 50% cut on your merchandise. But, they might be able to sell you items for more than you’d be able to sell them online, and it might be more convenient to let a consignment store sell them than going to the trouble of listing the items yourself. You’d just have to decide what works the best for you.


Craigslist can be a great place to sell something locally. But, you’ll need to be careful — Craigslist has become a hiding place for crooks and thieves — and even murderers. Many people have great success selling on Craigslist, but it is definitely an “at your own risk” activity. If you want to sell something, never accept or send a wire transfer, and always meet the buyer in a very public place, such as a busy gas station.

De-cluttering and selling used items can be overwhelming, but take it one step at a time. You’ll be overjoyed once you’ve gotten rid of old items you don’t really need. If you have items that didn’t quite sell, you could still donate them to a place like Goodwill and get a tax deduction on them. All in all, selling used stuff is a great way to live lighter and earn extra cash too!

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