The safest marketplace for used tech

The safest marketplace for used tech

In 2012, Dan Gage experienced one of the most memorable days of his life – the day he was robbed at gunpoint by someone he met on Craigslist. We recently talked to Dan about that day and how his search to find a safe marketplace led him to Swappa.


The transaction started like the dozens of other successful ones Dan had made in the past. After finding an iPad that he wanted to buy on Craigslist, Dan texted the number on the listing. A man who called himself Jacob responded, confirming that Dan could buy the device. The two agreed to meet in the town of Spring Valley, Ohio at a parking lot near the Post Office.

“We met in a place I was familiar with, in a public space, and I thought Jacob seemed like a nice guy. There was nothing strange about his behavior.”

Jacob had the iPad in his hands, but said he forgot the iPad’s charger in his truck. As they turned the corner of the building to head toward the truck, Jacob pulled out a gun and held it to Dan’s head. Jacob demanded Dan give him everything he had with him. Dan did what he was told and gave up his possessions, which amounted to $400. Like many other Craigslist robberies, this incident happened in the broad daylight, in a public space.


Dan luckily left unharmed, but was deeply shaken. After the robbery, he called 911 and reported the crime. Eventually, Dan was able to identify Jacob (whose real name was actually Daniel) as the person who robbed him. Jacob was arrested for a series of crimes.


“I wanted to find a site that I felt safe using and that had low fees.”

After the robbery, Dan knew he would never use Craigslist again and wanted to find an alternative place to buy and sell his used tech. As he searched online for alternatives, he looked for places that had lower fees and most importantly, were safe.


Dan’s story is similar to the incident that sparked Swappa’s existence. Eight years ago, the founder of Swappa, Ben Edwards, had just purchased a phone from someone on Craigslist. After Ben picked up the phone from the Craigslist seller and took it home, he found out it was blacklisted; the phone couldn’t be activated. Like Dan, Ben had been robbed by a stranger. After that incident, Ben started Swappa – to help people buy and sell tech in a safe format.


When we asked Dan why he feels safe using Swappa he said, “Swappa takes away the risk. You don’t have to go and see the person you’re buying from. When I tried buying an iPad from someone in person, I thought I was in the safest places possible. People think that bad things like getting robbed can’t happen to them. You just don’t know what can happen in person – and it only takes one person to harm you.”

“When you buy on Swappa, you never have to meet a stranger in person and risk being harmed. Swappa is the safest place to buy and sell used tech. “

Dan isn’t the only person looking for a safe place to buy and sell tech. “Is Swappa safe?” is one of the main questions new users ask. Users can rest assured that we have several ways to keep Swappa safe.


Instead of having to filter through people yourselves to see if they are seem safe to buy from and are selling functional devices, our team of tech experts make sure every device is as described as listed. Additionally, we use PayPal to provide secure payments for an easy buying and selling experience. For buyers, PayPal keeps your financial information safe and ensures you get what you pay for, or a refund.


Today, Dan is still a Swappa user and buys and sells all types of tech from phones and tablets to video game consoles. When it comes to phones, he sells exclusively on Swappa and has sold 95 phones in the last few years. Dan says he’s always been an electronics geek. He even started a YouTube channel where he reviews phones, head phones, laptops and other devices. He now has over 1,000 subscribers. Check out Dan’s YouTube channel, Modrn Dad.


Thanks to Dan for sharing his story with us. For more information about why Swappa is safe, check out our protections page.