While The Greensheet makes every reasonable effort to ensure a family-friendly, positive and safe buying and selling environment in print and online, transactions should always be conducted with care and approached with caution. We compiled a list of tips to help you buy and sell smart.

Avoid Pet Scams


  • Respond to email/text only pet offers
  • Respond to out-of-state offers
  • Purchase pets from someone promising a free pet for the cost of shipping
  • Send or wire money to people you have never met
  • Purchase a puppy with the promise of getting the registration certificate later


  • Do a web search for the contact information and pictures of pet to see if the information is being used by someone else or has bad reviews
  • Request/check references
  • Verify parents’ registration with the appropriate kennel club on pedigreed pets


  • If a local telephone number is used and forwards to an out-of-state telephone number
  • Avoid discounted prices for purebreds that appear “too good to be true”
  • If you are told there will be no refund under any circumstances

If you have been a victim of a pet scam from an ad in our paper, in addition to notifying The Greensheet, please contact the below appropriate organization to also file an official complaint:

Internet Crime Complaint Center: | Better Business Bureau:

Tips for smart buying and selling online

Keep your username and password secure. Your password is tied to personal information. If you must write it, be sure to store it in a secure place where no one else can find it. Do not share it with anyone. Also, mix up your passwords. Do not make your email password, online banking information password or any other password the same as the password for your account.

Know your buyer or seller. Ask questions, especially when purchasing expensive items such as homes or vehicles. Speak with buyers on the phone in advance and ask plenty of questions: find out what they are looking for, the reasons behind their purchase, and other needs they may have. Very few buyers purchase used high-dollar items on a whim. If they have any trouble answering these questions, you may want to pass up the offer. No matter what you are looking to purchase, you need to know who you are buying from. If you have the slightest impression that they may try to harm or take advantage of you, do not complete the transaction.

This rule also applies to sellers.

Bring someone with you when you meet with potential buyers or sellers. Use the buddy system. Conducting transactions with a partner by your side is always safer.

Meet in a public place if possible. Meet in public so there are more people around. We understand this is not always possible, but public transactions guarantee safety better than private ones.

NEVER include your home address in an ad (unless you’re advertising a garage sale). The Greensheet’s ads reach millions of people in print and online. No need to broadcast your personal address to the world. You can always share it later by phone or email.

If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a buyer or seller, end the transaction. There is no sense in jeopardizing your safety. If you feel uncomfortable at any point in the transaction, walk away from the deal.

Make buyers pay on the spot. Some people try to take items and pay for them later. Make sure your transaction process allows you to collect without issue. Get cash or a cashier’s check before handing over the item.

Examine the details. Make sure you’re getting a good deal. When it comes to business opportunities, examine all fees carefully prior to reaching an agreement. Carefully investigate all fees the seller claims are required by law. Make sure all offers are legitimate. Specifically, beware of ads that seem too good to be true. When dealing with employment ads, read the ad carefully before applying. Some people claim they will send money up front and ask you to forward cash to a third party, a practice that makes it easy to leave you out to dry with an illegitimate check. When you respond to an employment ad, ask as many questions as necessary about job duties, salaries, and other considerations of the job. When inquiring about a rental property, see to it that you speak directly with the property owner or someone who can officially represent them. Never give cash in advance.

Keep banking information private. The only information a buyer should need is your name, phone number and, when applicable, your address. There is no need for a buyer to know your bank account number. Be firm about what information you will or will not reveal.