Be Safe with Gumtree: Your Guide to Buying & Selling Safely

We’d like to believe that most Gumtree South Africa experiences are pleasant ones, however we also have a firm belief that its always better to be safe than sorry. There are always a few bad eggs that ruin it for everyone, so it’s best to be educated and prepared to ensure the safest overall experience. After all, buying that tablet you’ve had your eye on or gaining a few hundred bucks selling your pre-loved goods is meant to evoke happiness, right?

We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide to buying and selling safely on Gumtree.

Safety When Buying:

  1. Know the Market

Do some research on the item you would like to purchase before browsing Gumtree. It is important to know what similar items are going for and how much they are worth so that you can easily spot a ‘too good to be true’ listing. Fraudsters are likely to post a listing with a price that looks like the deal of a lifetime.

  • Do Your Research

Make sure you know exactly what should come with the item you are purchasing (cables etc.) and ensure you know how to spot counterfeit goods if you’re on the hunt for higher-end pieces.

  • Do Not Send Money Before Seeing the Item

You do not want to be stuck having to purchase a scratched or defected item, or an item with missing parts that were not disclosed. Always opt to see the item in person before transferring funds or handing over cash to ensure you are getting exactly what was advertised.

  • Do Not Hand Out Personal Details Lightly

This may seem like common sense, but it is important to be cautious when giving out personal details like your banking information, ID number or personal home address. Ensure the person or business you are giving information to is real and reputable, and note that Gumtree representatives will never ask you for your banking details, identification or passwords.

  • Use the Gumtree App

For an extra boost of safety, we would recommend using the Gumtree chat feature (found in the app) to conduct all conversations in order to track the details of the seller. If the seller is a scammer, this will come in handy for reporting the crime to Gumtree representatives as well as the police.

  • Choose Safe Payment Methods

For an extra boost of safety, we would recommend using the Gumtree chat feature (found in the app) to conduct all conversations in order to track the details of the seller. If the seller is a scammer, this will come in handy for reporting the crime to Gumtree representatives as well as the police.

Safety When Selling:

  1. List the Item Accurately

If the item you are selling has any defects (scratches, dents etc.), it is important to be honest and list these defects. Additionally, take photographs that are an accurate representation of your item. Why is this important for safety? The last thing you want is to meet a potential buyer and have them accuse you of lying as this can result in an altercation that is best to avoid.

  • Do Not Go Alone

When meeting a potential buyer, take extra precaution by meeting in a well-lit, public space and bring someone you trust along with you.

  • Do Not Send an Item Before Being Paid

Some scammers will try to trick you into sending them your item via courier and will send you a fake POP to prove that they paid you. To prevent sending an item and later finding out that you did not receive the funds, we would recommend waiting a few days to see that the money does indeed reach your account before you go ahead and make courier arrangements.

  • Trust Your Gut

Last but not least, and this goes for those buying too, TRUST YOUR GUT. If you have a nagging feeling that something is not right, the rule of thumb is that it most likely is not.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android).

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