OfferUp announces community MeetUp Spots program to encourage secure transactions
The mobile marketplace has set up over 450 Community MeetUp Spot signs in partnership with local law enforcement agencies across the country to create a trusted space for in-person transactions
SEATTLE, — OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace in the U.S. for local buying and selling, today announced the official launch of OfferUp Community MeetUp Spots to designate public, well-lit and surveilled locations for people to exchange goods with confidence. Setting a new security standard for the peer-to-peer commerce industry, the program is a partnership between OfferUp and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. The company is also working with select Ralphs supermarket locations in California.
"Marketplaces are social businesses and we believe it's our civic responsibility to take an active interest and role in the well-being of our community, online and offline," said Nick Huzar, CEO and co-founder of OfferUp. "The OfferUp community extends way beyond the users we have on the platform into the local communities we serve, and we hope our Community MeetUp Spots will facilitate face-to-face interactions people can feel confident about."
Since this summer, OfferUp has successfully planted more than 450 Community MeetUp Spot signs in partnership with local law enforcement agencies across the country, and continues its work with over 800 police departments to progress the effort. To find a Community MeetUp Spot nearby, OfferUp buyers and sellers can use the app's MeetUp scheduling tool to locate a verified spot. In-app messaging also allows users to coordinate a meetup time and date, ask questions about the product and agree on a price.
The Community MeetUp Spots are a natural next step for OfferUp, which offers a number of other features created with the well-being of buyers and sellers in mind:
TruYou - launched in 2012 to reduce anonymity in the marketplace, TruYou checks a user's state-issued ID (like a driver's license), cell phone number and a selfie they take from inside the app.
Reputation - a user's profile can include identifying information such as location, email, phone number, and ratings & reviews from others with whom they have transacted. Users can also connect their profiles to Facebook to find mutual connections.
Secure Chat - allows users to communicate with the other party without having to share their personal information.
Safety Tips - the app's chatbot technology offers buyer and sellers timely tips and suggestions in the chat window to help guide users towards safer practices.
"Our designated Community MeetUp Spot beside the Marion Police Station is public, well-lit, and monitored 24/7 by the police department," said Lieutenant Andrew Moss in Marion, VA. "In partnership with OfferUp, the program has not only improved community confidence, but deterred criminal intent and activity."
As more communities are drawn to the ease and affordability of local buying and selling, OfferUp aims to set a new safety standard for the industry.
"Since launching our Community MeetUp Spots, we've seen a ripple effect across the country as more communities rise up and create new safety measures to make their neighborhoods a better place," said Natalie Angelillo, vice president of community at OfferUp. "When initiatives like this become table stakes for every community and business in our category, we'll have accomplished our goal."
For more information on OfferUp's Community MeetUp Spots, please visit our blog or offerup.com/trust. To request a Community MeetUp Spot in your area, ask your local law enforcement agency to partner with OfferUp by filling out this form.
OfferUp is dedicated to building the simplest and most trustworthy way for people to buy and sell in their communities. As the largest and fastest growing mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S., the company offers iOS and Android apps that make selling an item as easy as snapping a picture from your mobile device. The privately held company is based in Bellevue, WA. and backed by top investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, GGV Capital, T Rowe Price and Coatue Management. For more information, visit www.offerup.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/offerup and www.facebook.com/offerup.