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The Nationwide Caterers Association

Buying Safely

We’ve put together some general tips below for buying safely online. 

Safety first:


See below for NCASS’ top tips for safety when purchasing goods online. We can’t underestimate the importance of adhering to these protocols when utilizing classified ads, notwithstanding the site you’re purchasing from. It’s easy to fall in to a ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality – we’ve all done it, but in doing so you are unwittingly risking your safety (not to mention your finances.) We would therefore urge you to exercise the following precautions where applicable:


  • Meet in person where possible & take another person with you. Perusing an item in person is undoubtedly the best way to verify the validity of a product and too affords you the opportunity to ask ‘on the spot’ questions, as and when they occur – this can be difficult online.


  • Don’t undermine the efficacy of a good old Google search! Simply popping a seller’s/ buyer’s details in to a search engine can help to determine the authenticity of an advert; you can do this by simply popping any contact details which are available to you, i.e. phone number or email address to see if it pulls up any feedback from other people. It’s also worth taking note of whether names / numbers / email addresses etc. corroborate with the details you’ve been allocated.


  • Be suspicious of any seller who asks you to pay using an alternative method of payment to the one previously suggested, claiming they have account issues etc. Typically, they suggest PayPal to begin with and then change to bank transfer, or something similar/


  • Understanding the small print: Make sure you know what you’re signing before that all-important signature goes on the dotted line. Where applicable, make sure you’re in receipt of logbooks, certificates and / or receipts prior to signing.


  • As with everything, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


  • Don’t carry large sums of money when meeting with people


If you feel unsure about a purchase, don’t feel pressured. And, remember – you can call us anytime for advice and guidance.