Find out what the item is worth
Before you decide to buy something on Gumtree, think about doing some research to find out how much the item costs elsewhere and in a new condition. That way, you’ll have an idea of what to expect and won’t end up paying over the odds. Check out our guide on how to negotiate to get the best price for tips. If you’ve found a second-hand item drastically cheaper than usual, be wary that the item might not be as it appears or in good condition. It’s always worth remembering: if it seems too good to be true, it quite possibly is.
Do your research
How much do you know about the item you’re buying? For instance, if it’s a mountain bike, try to find out what condition it should be in and if it comes with any spare parts. For branded items, it’s a good idea to research the difference between replicas and genuine products.
Keep your information safe
One of the key things you can do to stay safe online is avoid giving out your personal information. It’s important not to share your bank details with someone unless you’re certain they’re the real deal. Our customer service team will never ask for your bank details, identification or passwords, so do keep an eye out for anyone pretending to be from Gumtree. If you’re ever in any doubt over the authenticity of a message from Gumtree, please don’t hesitate to report it or contact us to verify.
Meet the seller in person
When you’ve agreed a price with the seller, where you can, try to meet them in person to make the transaction. Meeting them face to face allows you not only to gauge whether they can be trusted, but also gives you a chance to check that the item you’re purchasing matches its description. To stay safe, it’s always worth arranging to meet them during the day and in a busy public place. It’s also a good idea to take someone with you rather than meeting someone alone. Remember to practice social distancing and check current government guidelines before you meet up. We’ve put together a guide on what to look for in a reliable seller on Gumtree which gives some helpful tips.
Choose your payment method carefully
Once you’ve decided you can trust the seller and the item matches your expectations, you should opt for a secure payment method. Bear in mind, if the seller claims they’re having account issues and asks to change the payment method, this is a red flag. Many fraudsters use money transfer scams that are difficult to reverse once they’ve taken your payment. Where possible, opt for a cash transaction or use a trusted online method, like Paypal, and check that it’s gone through before you take the item home.
Now you’re clued up and know how to buy safely on Gumtree, you have all you need to get browsing to see what second-hand treasures you can find.