Craigslist isn’t the only way to buy and sell used tech anymore. While Craigslist was one of the first buy-and-sell sites to take off, marketplaces like Letgo, OfferUp and Swappa are increasing in popularity and for a few good reason. In this post, we break down the differences between these three selling sites to help you decide which platform is best for you.
What is OfferUp?
OfferUp is one way to buy and sell used items locally. Launched in 2011, the OfferUp app is ad-supported and offers a variety of products from used iPhones to bigger items like used cars. As of 2018, OfferUp sellers can also connect with buyers from across the country to ship their item, in addition to having the option to sell locally via face-to-face meetup.
What is Letgo?
Founded in 2015, Letgo is another service that connects buyers and sellers to sell products locally. Users on Letgo can browse the app to find a range of products like used PS4 consoles, cheap iPhones, used treadmills, and even houses. Although the name suggests you can find free items people in your area are “letting go,” most everything in the marketplace has a price.
What is Swappa?
Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace to buy and sell used items with a focus on consumer electronics. Started in 2010 as a place to sell Android phones, Swappa has expanded to include all types of smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras, video games and more.
Unlike most other marketplaces, every device that is listed on Swappa is reviewed by a support team to make sure it meets Swappa’s standards. Originally, devices were purchased online, with shipping provided by the seller. Recently Swappa launched a local marketplace — Swappa Local — where buyers and sellers can meet up to do business in their area.
Read more: Introducing Swappa Local
When it comes to buying and selling used tech, it can be overwhelming to choose the best service. With OfferUp, Letgo, Swappa, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, there are a lot of differences to consider between the marketplaces. Keep reading to learn about the key differences between Letgo vs. OfferUp vs. Swappa.
Moderation and devices
OfferUp doesn’t discriminate between working or broken devices. Most anything can be listed, regardless of its condition. OfferUp does have a list of items that cannot be sold on their marketplace based on their “Prohibited Items” guidelines. This list includes things like illegal drugs, live animals, fireworks and other products deemed as dangerous or unsafe. But other than that, everything else is game.
Similar to OfferUp, just about anything can be sold on Letgo. Letgo also has a list of prohibited items like hazardous materials and items in violation of legal restrictions. When it comes to tech, just about any item can be sold on Letgo, in any condition with it’s working or broken. There’s no moderation, so it can be tough to know whether a phone for instance has been blacklisted or stolen.
All devices sold on Swappa are required to be fully functional and phones must be ready for activation on their designated wireless carrier at the time of sale. Swappa’s support team reviews every listing using verification photos to make sure the device matches the description, and also checks the IMEI codes on phones to ensure a listed device hasn’t been reported lost, stolen, or blacklisted. Swappa is the only selling site that checks the electronic serial number before a phone can be sold online or locally.
The OfferUp help page offers support for buying and selling, setting up your account and information on rules of using the selling app. For specific questions, OfferUp encourages people to connect with their support team on Twitter, or to fill out their online help form.
Letgo also has a help center with resources for things like how to post a listing, how to message the buyer or seller and support for when something goes wrong with a sale. If their help center doesn’t answer your question, they also have an online form users can fill out with specific questions.
Swappa’s support team reviews listings to make sure they match their listing and is always available to answer questions from users. The Swappa support team works 365 days a year and can be reached via email at any time of the day, even on holidays with most responses taking minutes — not days.
Payments and fees
- OfferUp doesn’t have fees for selling locally. For users who want to ship an item, sellers pay a service fee based on the item’s final price, in addition to shipping costs.
- OfferUp recommends buyers pay with cash, or PayPal if both parties agree. For local transactions, OfferUp users are not eligible for refunds.
- The Letgo app is free to use – they don’t charge any seller fees.
- Letgo doesn’t handle payments through their app. There are no payment processing options and all transactions must be handled by the buyer and seller. Letgo doesn’t offer refunds if something goes wrong with the sale.
- Swappa’s fee is built right into the price of the listing and paid for by the buyer at the time of purchase. The small fee helps ensure users get what they paid for, and if the device doesn’t match with the buyer’s expectations, they are eligible for a refund.
- Swappa uses PayPal for transactions. When using PayPal, buyers are allowed a number of options for their payment source including most debit cards, credit cards, PayPal Credit, etc. Regardless of your payment source selection, you’ll still be covered by PayPal’s protections.
- For in-person meetups via Swappa Local, cash is also an acceptable method of payment.
OfferUp offers a few ways to keep their users safe:
- User profiles and ratings – so buyers can see who they are purchasing from. Ratings allow buyers and sellers to see transaction history and past sales
- TruYou – a way for users to confirm their identity with an ID, Facebook profile, phone number and email
- Community MeetUp Spots – guidance on where and how to meet up with someone in person
Letgo’s safety page provides information on how they keep the marketplace safe including:
- Community – Letgo encourages users to “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated, stay true to your word, and help us keep this community positive.”
- A ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on stolen goods. Items that are stolen aren’t allowed to be sold on Letgo, although there is no upfront vetting system for ensuring items are not stolen.
- Local law enforcement – Letgo says they “work closely with local law enforcement across the country to help keep Letgo secure.”
Swappa keeps users safe through the following ways:
- Device review process – All listings are reviewed and approved by the Swappa support team and only functional, ready to activate devices are allowed
- PayPal transactions – since transactions are done through PayPal, both buyers and sellers are protected in case something goes wrong
- User profiles and reviews – every time something is sold, users can review the person they bought or sold from.
- Protection plans – Swappa offers the opportunity to buy a Protection Plan at the time you purchase a used phone or used MacBook. This helps pay for repairs including parts and labor, broken screens, water damage and power surges.
- Swap spots – For in-person meetups, Swappa Local only allows sellers to choose from a curated list of safe meeting locations, including CPR (Cell Phone Repair) stores across the US.
In May 2019, OfferUp was rated one-star on Trustpilot based on 105 reviews.
In May 2019, Letgo was rated one-star on Trustpilot based on 111 reviews.
In May 2019, Swappa was rated five-stars on Trustpilot based on 763 reviews.
As you can see, Swappa is a no-brainer when it comes to buying and selling used tech. With a focus on safety, moderation and support, Swappa is a fantastic option for new or existing users looking to buy or sell their used tech with community members in their area. You can get started buying or selling on Swappa Local by hitting the button below.