How to not get conned on Gumtree, and how to make purchases smarter than smart

May 6, 2014

When I started buying on Gumtree, I didn’t think very hard about the safety issues. I assumed all the moms I was buying from were “kosher”, and that I wouldn’t get shnied or conned, or not get my products. I have had good experiences, but I realised that maybe it wasn’t so smart asking people to come to my house, and that the more I knew about the sellers, the better.

I’ve also heard stories about people getting conned into rental agreements, and losing lots of money, so here I’m sharing some tips from Gumtree on savvy buying. I know a lot of people are apprehensive about buying online from a person for safety reasons, but there are ways that you can score a good deal, without risking your safety (or bank balance).


– Use common sense. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

– Review other items that the seller sells – you can do this by clicking onto their profile. If a seller sells lots of perfume for example, and then lists a brand new smartphone, ensure you know who you’re dealing with.

– Make sure you can contact the seller easily – I once tried to buy something from a seller who only listed a postal address. I understand that not everyone will have an email address, but the more contact info I have, the better.

–  Meet face to face to see the item and exchange money. Make sure you are completely happy with the item before handing over any money.  Although we do not recommend paying for an item you haven’t seen, if you are planning to do this, please use a secure payment method.

– For your personal safety, meet in a ‘lighted’ public place and always take someone with you, or at least tell a friend where you’re going.

– Never carry a lot of money with you. If you’re buying something pricey, view the item first. If you want to go ahead with the purchase, either go to the bank with the seller or arrange to meet somewhere safe to pay.

– When buying tickets for events, please be aware that some tickets may have terms printed on them that limit the ability of the original buyer to sell them to someone else. Therefore, always independently check the re-sale terms of the event before buying.

– When buying bicycles, take down the seller’s name and telephone number. Check for any proof of purchase or check the bike frame number.  If the bike is being advertised at a significantly lower than market price, the bike might be stolen.

– View properties in person, and don’t rely on pictures. For personal ease and safety, always ensure you take someone with you.

– If someone is meeting at your home, make sure someone is home with you, and check to see their identification before they enter.


This is a sponsored post for Gumtree

In tips by /
Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

1 Comment

  • Christie Bester

    Love the advice. I’m also apprehensive buying from Gumtree! I have more than one friend that had to pay a deposit to “book” the item and then the seller never answers the phone again. Scary.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:06 am Reply
  • Leave a Reply