How to Sell Safely on Gumtree

Looking for tips and tricks to help you sell safely and fast on Gumtree? Our second-hand expert Hannah Rouch shares her insights on how to grab the attention of buyers - and secure the best price for your items.

Illustrative image to show how to sell safely on Gumtree.

1. Is it safe to sell on Gumtree?

Absolutely! Our dedicated safety team works hard to ensure it’s simple for you to connect with trustworthy buyers. “Safeguarding our community is a key priority, and we never hesitate to take action against bad actors,” explains Joseph Rindsland, Gumtree’s Head of Trust and Safety. Plus, our lifestyle hub is full of tips on how to sell safely on Gumtree.

Got a question? Our customer service experts are on hand 24/7, or you can flag suspicious buyers using the ‘Report’ button in the messaging centre and the content will be reviewed by our moderation team within 4 hours.

For more details on how we protect our buyers and sellers, read our latest transparency report. We are also supporting the UK Government on their nationwide campaign to help people understand how to spot and report fraud. Tips and advice can be found on the Stop! Think Fraud website.

2. Collect and inspect your items

Take eye-catching photos

Sell as you would want to buy

Once you’ve gathered your unwanted items, always give them a good once-over. “It doesn’t hurt to make sure the items are clean – a quick wipe, dust, or launder and iron (following the fabric care label) can really help them look their best,” advises Gumtree’s second-hand expert Hannah Rouch. “Items that look well cared for will command a much higher selling price.” If you are selling a car, check out our dedicated advice guides on how to secure the best price for your motor.

✅ Top tip: Collect extras like power cords, instruction manuals, warranties or accessories that could be sold with the item to secure the best price and stand out from the competition.

⚠️ Never misrepresent an item’s condition. If there are defects clearly outline these in the description and images.

Take eye-catching photos

Keep things simple and photograph your item against a plain background or free corner of carpet. “Ensure photos are clear, in focus and ideally just have the item for sale in the frame,” suggests Hannah. “Try to take pictures from lots of different angles and include some close-up shots so buyers know exactly what they’re getting.” Don’t forget, you can upload up to 20 images per listing. And while an upside-down photo will attract some attention, let’s make sure it’s the right kind!

✅ Top tip: taking photos during the day with natural light will help keep images bright and sharp.

⚠️ Don’t use stock photos or fake images as your listing will appear less trustworthy and attract less clicks.

3. Writing your listing

Sell on Gumtree

Grab attention with your title

Try to be as descriptive as possible and include words the buyer might use when searching for a similar item. “Watch out for those typos!” warns Hannah. “While they may entertain you, you don’t want to put off your buyer.” She continues, “You might even like to use synonyms; for example, if you are selling a pair of bedside tables you could also put ‘bedside drawers’ or ‘nightstands’ in the title. And if your item has a brand, make or model number, include that too.”

✅ Top tip: use as many descriptive words as you can. So, rather than listing a ‘denim skirt’, post an ad for a ‘blue knee-length denim pencil skirt, size 14, great condition’ and buyers will know instantly what to expect.

Focus on the description

Your title will catch your buyer’s eye, but a good description will sell your item for you. “Try to go into as much detail as you can, including information such as the condition of the items, how it has been used and whether there are any obvious defects,” suggests Hannah. For categories like homeware and furniture, including measurements is essential so that buyers can work out whether the piece will fit into their home.

Try to include as many of these details as you can:

  • Make, brand, style and/or model number
  • Colour
  • Age
  • Usage
  • Size or measurements

✅ Top tip: suggesting how the buyer might use the item or how they might style homeware and fashion can help really bring your description to life ie. small desk, perfect for WFH as it fits a laptop and notebook and can fold up at the end of the day!

⚠️ We will always mask your email address in your listing to protect your identity.

Choose a fair price

If you’re unsure how to value your item, it’s well worth looking at existing Gumtree ads to see how people have priced similar products. “You should consider age and condition before settling on the selling price – and remember you can always reduce your price later if the item hasn’t sold,” says Hannah. 

✅ Top tip: check out our guide on how to price your items to sell on Gumtree for more advice.

⚠️ Don’t price low to attract interest and then ask for an increased amount of money when the buyer collects.

4. Making a sale

Be responsive

“Get the most attention by posting in a category where buyers are likely to look for your item,’ advises Hannah. Before posting, use the search function to find where similar items have been listed. There’s a wide range of categories, searching through a few will help you to figure out where your listing will fit best.

✅ Top tip: take a look at Gumtree’s community guidelines before you post your ad to ensure it will meet our strict listings policies.

⚠️ Be wary of fake payment scams. Never follow links shared by other users and only access payment services and apps directly.

Sell your item safely

Arrange a convenient date and time to meet so the buyers can the item in a safe location. “Try to give the buyer space and allow them to inspect the item in their own time,’ says Hannah. “It will help to build confidence and trust between buyer and seller.”

✅ Top tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate, but remember that everyone loves a deal – if the buyer is haggling, knocking off just a few pounds could secure the sale.

⚠️ Consider having someone with you when meeting the buyer and try to meet during the day and in a busy public space.

Now you’ve learnt how to sell on Gumtree and can breeze through the selling process, create your listing and sit back as potential buyers flock.