Safety Guidelines

Privacy with Accountability! strives to provide a platform where buyers and sellers can communicate freely and anonymously while maintaining accountability for both parties.

But let's face it... any system can be hacked, misused, or otherwise exploited. We make no claim to being able to provide a bullet-proof system. HOWEVER, we have worked extremely hard to provide a platform with layered accountability:

  1. We charge a fee to post an Ad
    • The Ad fee serves as our first layer of accountability.
      • Helps to limit posts to serious sellers
      • Provides an accountability trail
        • doesn't store credit card numbers but we do store the transaction numbers provided by our card service providers. While online payments can certainly be fraudulent, the fee still serves as one layer of accountability that free-to-post platforms simply can't offer.
  2. Our Anonymous Communication System allows private, anonymous communication with accountability.
    As a neutral third party privately:
    • Maintains a record of real email addresses
    • Maintains the entire conversation thread between buyers and sellers
    • Maintains a record of real phone numbers
  3. Security and Accountability Photos

    A feature we believe is unique to the Sooshi platform... Provides the means to document both the condition of an item at the time of sale transaction as well as the buyer and seller involved.

  4. It is imperative to follow the Guidelines Below regarding anonymous communication and in-person meetings.

Anonymous Communication System

The following safety guidelines should be followed when communicating with another party using the Anonymous Communication System:

  • DO NOT provide your real email address or your real phone number!
    There is simply no good reason to do so. Once a conversation thread has been established, it remains open until one party decides to close it. Thus, two parties CAN still communicate with each other even AFTER an item has been marked SOLD. If the other party closes the conversation thread then they don't want to communicate with you anyway so there's no point in forcing the issue.
  • Anonymous communication threads can be closed by either party at any time.
    Users should leverage this capability if they do not like the way a conversation is proceeding.
  • Use the "Conversation" interface on the website instead of your personal email to decrease the chances that identifying information is accidentally provided to the other party.
    • Ensure your email system does NOT automatically insert identifying information in the email body. Some email systems may automatically insert your name, phone number, email address, etc. as a "footer" in the email body.
    • The entire content of the email body WILL be sent to the other party!
  • Unless there is a need to meet at your residence (such as the sale of a residence, large appliance, etc), DO NOT give the other party your address.
  • Never provide your credit card number, expiration date, or the card's security code.
  • Never provide your social security number, drivers license number, bank account number, or other sensitive private information.
  • Never provide your last name. It should be sufficient to utilize either an alias or your first name exclusively. If you have a unique first name, use an alias instead.
  • Make use of the Anonymous Phone Call System. It is often easier to make arrangements and get questions answered by talking to the other party on the phone.
    • DO NOT leave your real phone number on the other party's voice mail.
      Instead simply mention the ad you are calling about. The other party WILL be able to return your call WITHOUT your real phone number!

In-Person Meetings Between Buyers and Sellers

A primary purpose of the website is to help connect sellers of an item or service with prospective buyers. The end result of this process is quite often in-person meetings where buyers and sellers meet to inspect the item being offered and/or to conduct a sale transaction. Both buyers and sellers should exercise a preponderance of caution when meeting in-person including but not limited to the following:

  • Never go alone. Always take at least one adult friend, co-worker, or family member with you.
  • Always let at least one other adult friend, co-worker, or family member know where you are going and approximately when you expect to be back.
  • Always take a fully charged cellphone.
  • Ensure your accompanying friends, co-workers, and family members also have fully charged cellphones.
  • Always take a camera (especially if your cellphone does not have a camera or has a low quality camera).
  • If possible, meet in an open, public location at a time of day when plenty of other people will be present. When inspecting real estate or large items such as refrigerators or other large appliances or furniture it may not be feasible to meet at a public location. It is especially important in these cases to adhere to the previous guidelines.
  • Never leave the agreed upon meeting place with the other party.
    • Never get in the other party's vehicle
  • Never lose your temper or be disrespectful.
  • If the other party loses their temper or becomes disrespectful, politely and respectively disengage from the meeting.
  • Never give your credit card or credit card number to the other party unless they are a well established retailer or other business entity.
  • Never give the other party any information you are not comfortable giving them or information that is not necessary to conducting this specific business.
  • If sale terms are agreed upon, politely ask the buyer or seller if you can take their photo (a "security and accountability photo") with the item being sold. You can politely remind them that it is part of the terms of use for "security and accountability" purposes. If the buyer or seller chooses not to allow a security photo to be taken, politely and respectively disengage from the transaction without taking a photo. There will be other opportunities to acquire a similar item or to sell your item.
  • Upload Security & Accountability Photos to as quickly as possible.
    • Ideally while you're still on-site.

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