The COVID-19 pandemic has had major ramifications on everyday life. Stores and restaurants are closed, services are being postponed, and people are being laid off from work. As we are all hopefully self-isolating at home we are looking for ways to kill boredom, make some cash, and be productive. Some activities that may be on everyone’s quarantine to-do list are going through closets and selling items around that house that we no longer need. Or you may be thinking it’s a great time to buy pre-owned items online since many stores are no longer open and buying online may take weeks or months to be shipped out. Whatever your situation may be, here are some tips to follow before proceeding with a pre-owned item transaction.
- Ask your Buyer/Seller if they are feeling ill: This tip may sound obvious, but it is for your own good! Before committing to the transaction, ask the buyer/seller if they have had any cold symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose, etc.) if they have, DO NOT proceed with the transaction at this time. Ask the buyer/seller to put the item on hold for you for up to 2 weeks and to disinfect the item with wipes before the transaction takes place. If the buyer/seller says they are not sick and have had no symptoms, proceed cautiously with the transaction.
- Clean & secure the item(s): Whether you are a buyer or seller the most important step is to clean the item(s) in the transaction. How the item is cleaned is up to the buyer/sellers discretion. It may be put through the laundry machine, wiped down with disinfectant wipes, or scrubbed with soap and water. To be safe, communicate with the buyer/seller on how they will clean the item to ensure safety precautions are being taken.
- If you are the Seller, once you have thoroughly cleaned the item place it in a secure package. It can be as simple as a zip lock bag, garbage bag, or a plastic bag you have lying around the house. This will ensure that once you’ve cleaned the item that household germs will stay off the item and be safe for the buyer to pick up!
- If you are the buyer, before bringing the item into your home either clean the item in whatever way you can. Disinfectant wipes, wash and dry, etc. then once you’ve cleaned the item make sure to wash your hands!
- Contactless Pick-Up: Once the transaction has been agreed upon, request that the pick-up or drop-off of the item(s) is done without contact. Whether you are the buyer/seller, ensure that whoever is picking up or dropping off the item notifies the other person when they are on their way. This way the other person can either put the item outside or be ready at the door when the item gets there. This will ensure there is no human contact is taking place and social distancing protocols are being followed.
- Use Online Payment: If you don’t have e-transfer or don’t know what it is, now is the time to find out! E-transfer is a way to process payments for items from one individual to another! Every bank or credit union has their own e-transfer process, so before agreeing to a transaction, ensure both parties have e-transfer set up and can use it! Using e-transfer is the safest way to proceed with your items transaction, and if either party does not have a safe or secure way to give or receive payment do not go through with the transaction.
These tips will not protect you 100% against common germs or COVID-19 but they are measures you can follow to decrease your risk of getting or spreading germs! Online buy & sell websites also have their own protocols to follow, see below:
- Kijiji: https://help.kijiji.ca/helpdesk/basics/covid-19-safety-precautions
- Facebook Marketplace: https://www.facebook.com/help/1156544111079919
- Varagesale: https://help.varagesale.com/article/371-what-items-are-not-allowed
Stay safe out there,