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Prevention Tips: What to do before handing over cash





Part of our work here at NCASS involves helping out members who need advice on what to do after they have purchased something that was not as they had expected. Sometimes, we can help them to return products and get back the money they spent. Other times, traders have been scammed and bought something without doing their research, and unfortunately, there is little that can be done once money has changed hands.


This is why we’ve put together a checklist of the actions you should take before handing over money to a seller of any kind. It is always better to be safe than sorry, as for many traders who have not been happy with their purchases, prevention would have been better than cure.

Tip 1: Research the seller.

So, you’ve found a catering unit/fryer/oven that meets your requirements. The first step is to read all information on the listing. It might seem obvious, but you need to ensure the product you purchase is exactly as originally advertised by the seller. If they have their own website, does it look professional? Do a Google search for both the business name and the owner’s name if you can find it. Chances are, any suspicious stories will be uncovered in the first few pages of search results.

Tip 2: Read their testimonials.

Reputable sellers often display customer testimonials on their webpage and/or social media profiles. Testimonials can easily be faked so a good seller will likely have mostly good reviews and a small number of negative ones if their customers are real. Any seller’s page with no reviews or all positive reviews may be a cause for concern.

Tip 3: See the product.

This is especially important with catering trailers and units, as you will be handing over a lot of money, and without viewing the unit first, you’ll have no idea whether you are being scammed or sold something that isn’t quite up to scratch. Make sure you take your time to fully inspect the product. Ask if you can drive/test it. If a seller refuses without a valid reason, it might mean they are not being completely honest.

Tip 4: Ask questions.

Ask how long they have owned the unit/equipment. Ask about any work or repairs done. Ask for evidence that any claims made about the product in the listing are true. A reputable seller will not mind you taking up some of their time to ask questions, as they too will want you to be happy with the product.

Tip 5: Get written agreement.

Ask for written confirmation of what you have purchased and how much you have paid. A history of repairs/changes made to units/trailers in particular should be available to you if the seller has been honest. If you are reserving an item in order to collect it later, ask for written evidence of this transaction. This way, if any dispute is taken up, you will have evidence of what you paid for.

Tip 6: Know when to say no.

The most important thing is to not be rushed into a purchase. If you feel an offer is too good to be true, or that something doesn’t quite add up, you can always walk away. You may have missed out on a deal, but it is more likely that you’ll have saved yourself from losing a lot of money.



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