Avoiding Scams When Selling Phones

Selling your phone online can be a great way to make some extra cash, but it’s super important to stay safe and avoid scams. Phone Chat has got your back with some top-notch tips to help you keep your selling experience smooth and secure. With a myriad of platforms available for selling, it’s crucial to be cautious and well-informed.

Table of Contents

Know The Value of Your Phone

Before you even think about listing your phone for sale, make sure you know exactly what it’s worth.

Use Trusted Platforms

When it comes to selling your phone, choosing the right platform is key. Stick to well-known and trusted websites. Phone Chat’s selling platform provides a secure space for you to list your phone, and they’ve got loads of resources to help you sell safely.

Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers

If someone’s offering you way more than your phone’s worth, alarm bells should be ringing. Check out the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch for up-to-date info on scams and how to avoid them.

Meet in Safe Places

If you decide to sell your phone in person, choose a public place during daylight hours. And always let someone know where you’re going. The Australian Federal Police recommend this to keep all personal transactions safe.

Use Secure Payment Methods

When it’s time to get paid, opt for secure payment methods like PayPal or a direct bank transfer. Be wary of buyers who want to use uncommon payment methods. The Reserve Bank of Australia has heaps of info on safe payment options.

Keep Personal Info Private

Never give out personal information like your home address or bank details unless it’s absolutely necessary. Stay savvy and protect your personal details. Stay Smart Online, an Australian Government initiative, has great advice on keeping your info safe.

Get Everything in Writing

Make sure you have a written agreement or a record of your conversations with the buyer. This can be super helpful if something goes wrong. Phone Chat’s Tips and Tricks section has some templates and examples to guide you.

Be Ready To Say No

If something feels off, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal. Trust your gut – it’s usually right.

Verify The Buyer’s Identity

When you’re dealing with a potential buyer, it’s crucial to verify their identity to ensure they are who they say they are. You can ask for a photo ID and compare it with their profile picture, if any. While this might seem a bit much, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For more information on identity verification, you can visit the Australian Government’s identity verification guidelines.

Use a Phone Escrow Service

A phone escrow service can add an extra layer of security to your transaction. The buyer sends the money to the escrow service, and once you’ve sent the phone and the buyer is happy, the money is released to you. This ensures that both parties are protected. You can find reputable escrow services through a quick search or check with ASIC’s list of registered companies.

Take Clear Photos and Write a Detailed Description

When you’re listing your phone for sale, make sure to take clear and detailed photos from different angles. This shows the buyer exactly what they are getting and can help prevent disputes down the line. Writing a detailed description of the phone, including any damage or issues, is also crucial. You can look at Phone Chat’s Listing Guide for tips on creating a great listing.

Keep Communication on The Platform

To ensure you have a record of all communications and agreements, keep all your interactions with the buyer on the selling platform. This provides a clear trail of communication that can be referred back to if any issues arise.

Be Aware of Common Scams

Educating yourself on common scams in the phone selling market can help you avoid falling victim to them. The ACCC’s Scamwatch is a fantastic resource for learning about different types of scams and how to protect yourself.

Avoid Shipping To Unverified Addresses

If you’re shipping the phone, ensure the buyer’s address is verified, especially if it’s an international address. Be wary of PO Box addresses or addresses in countries known for high levels of fraud. The Australian Border Force provides information on shipping and customs that might be helpful.

Use a Reliable Shipping Service

When it comes to shipping the phone, use a reliable and reputable service. Make sure to get tracking and insurance to protect yourself in case the phone gets lost or damaged in transit. You can check out Australia Post’s guidelines for sending items securely.

Have a Clear Return Policy

Before you complete the sale, make sure you have a clear and fair return policy in place. This should cover what happens if the phone is not as described, if it gets damaged during shipping, or if the buyer simply changes their mind. A good return policy can help build trust with the buyer and can prevent disputes.

Get a Proof of Ownership

Having proof of ownership for your phone can be beneficial, especially if you’re selling a high-end or newer model. This could be in the form of a receipt or a confirmation email from when you purchased the phone. This proves that the phone is yours to sell and can help build trust with potential buyers. For more information on what can be used as proof of ownership, you can visit the Consumer Affairs Australia website.

Perform a Factory Reset

Before you hand over the phone to the new owner, make sure to perform a factory reset. This will erase all your personal data from the device and restore it to its original settings. Not only does this protect your privacy, but it also ensures the new owner gets the phone in its best possible state.

Check the Buyer’s Feedback

If you’re using a platform that allows buyer feedback, take the time to check the feedback on the buyer’s profile. This can give you an idea of their reliability and trustworthiness. If they have a history of positive transactions, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if there are multiple negative reviews, you might want to think twice before proceeding with the sale.

Trust Your Instincts

Last but not least, trust your instincts. If something feels off about a deal or a buyer, it’s okay to back out. Your safety and security should always be your top priority. By following these steps and staying informed, you can navigate the phone selling process with confidence and ease, keeping scammers at bay and ensuring a safe and successful transaction. Remember, Phone Chat is here to support you every step of the way, providing resources, advice, and a secure platform for all your phone selling needs.


Selling your phone doesn’t have to be a risky business. With these steps, you can sell with confidence and keep scammers at bay. If you’re ever unsure about a buyer or a deal, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Phone Chat. Our team is always ready to help and make sure your selling experience is safe and successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the ACCC’s Scamwatch straight away and report the scam. They can help you figure out what to do next.

Look for verified profiles if you’re using a platform like Phone Chat’s Selling Platform. You can also search for their name online to see if there are any scam alerts associated with them.

Using secure payment methods like PayPal or a direct bank transfer is usually the safest bet. The Reserve Bank of Australia has more information on secure payment options.

Only give out personal information when it’s absolutely necessary, and make sure you’re using a secure platform.

Yes, but make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate buyer first. Check their profile for verifications and trustworthiness.