We have all been following the tragic story of Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Aziz, a young man who was murdered by a group of five young men. Abdel Aziz showed up to an isolated garden, located somewhere in Nozha, with 25,000 LE in cash, to pay for a laptop that he had bought off of OLX. The person who was supposed to sell Abdel Aziz the laptop showed up with four other guys, murdered Abdel Aziz, and took the money.
In our attempt to remain the definitive guide to living in the capital, we thought it necessary to equip our readers with some tips to keep them safe and secure when they buy or sell things off of applications like OLX.
1.Know the seller
Take the time to research the person selling the product that you are interested in purchasing. If you are buying things off of Facebook, you can begin by checking this person’s profile/page, and then proceed to checking the comments on his/her profile/page. If you are purchasing items from websites like OLX, opensooq.com, or eg.hatla2ee.com, check the seller’s ratings and/or the previous advertisements placed by this seller.
2.Set a safe meeting location
Agree to meeting the seller only in crowded areas and/or areas that you are highly familiar with, rather than agreeing to meet in isolated locations. Also, try to go with a friend, and have him/her wait in close proximity. Finally, try to mention the fact that a friend is waiting for you; if the seller knows you are not alone, he/she will likely think twice before attacking you.
3. Try out the product before paying for it
If you can, try out the product before paying for it. Also, have the seller sign an agreement, containing his/her national identification number, his/her full name, the date of purchase, and the trial period’s end date. This paper acts as a guarantee that you are entitled to get your money back if the product is of poor quality. This latter point should be especially on your mind when buying an electronic device. To guarantee easy returns, always pay in cash and never pay with a credit card, bank transfer, and/or cheque.
4. Crazy offers
If you look at the price tag on a product posted for sale on any of the aforementioned websites, and think it is a crazy good price, well that’s because it probably is crazy. Do not get easily tempted by illogically low prices.
5. No middle-men
As much as possible, avoid buying products where there are middle-men present.
6. Get an expert to evaluate the product
If you are buying devices like home appliances and/or cars, bring a well-trusted expert to evaluate the product’s quality. Additionally, if the product you are buying requires a van and/or large transportation vehicle, arrange for these logistics yourself; do not trust the seller to make these arrangements for you.
7. Divide up your money
If you are meeting the seller at an unknown and/or distant location, then do not carry all the money owed in one place; you can give half the money owed to your friend who is waiting nearby, keep half the money owed in the car, or even place half of the money owed in one pocket, and the other half in another pocket.
8. Trust your instincts
If you sense something weird, chances are there is something weird going on; no laptop, mobile phone, car etc. is worth your life. Hence, if you sense something creepy, just leave.
9. For the ladies
Women are, unfortunately, at disproportionately high risks for being victims of violent crimes, in relative comparison to their male counterparts. Hence, girls and women should be especially careful. Women should always attempt to have a well-trusted male figure escort them to the purchasing location, alongside following all of the above tips.