One of the biggest problems with mobile and online classifieds is the flaky buyer who doesn’t show up after agreeing to make a purchase, as we hear year after year in the Sellers Choice ratings. OfferUp thinks it has a way to reduce the no-shows with a new feature.
The Hold Offers feature lets buyers reserve an item they want by making an offer with a digital payment – the authorization is made to the buyer’s payment card. The seller can accept or decline the offer, but the payment isn’t made until the buyer has time to meet with the seller and inspect the item. The seller agrees to hold the item for 6 days.
Be aware that to consummate the deal, the seller must point their phone at a code displayed on the buyer’s phone – that’s when the buyer’s card will be charged. The funds are deposited into the seller’s account within 5 business days. Sellers can speed up the payment process for a fee by setting up Fast Deposit (1% of the final sale price, minimum of 50 cents) in addition to the standard payment fees.
It’s not a guarantee of a sale, and the two parties can still adjust the price before consummating the transaction. But by using the feature, “Buyers let sellers see in advance that the payment will be available, and sellers agree not to sell to someone else,” the company explains. “Both people are much more likely to get the results they want. They can still adjust the price or even call off the deal, but they know going in that everything is in place to finish the deal.”
OfferUp explains in the help file, “Meet the seller within 6 days. If you don’t meet within this time, the offer will expire and will automatically be canceled. This will release the hold on your card, and your money will be returned to you.”
For those unfamiliar with the mobile classifieds app, posting most items on OfferUp is free, and buying items with cash is free for both sellers and buyers. For sales where the seller ships the item to the buyer, there are service fees and shipping costs.
OfferUp announced the new feature on Thursday.