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Can I get good value for money from buying and selling on Gumtree?

Can I get good value for money from buying and selling on Gumtree?
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If you’re looking to buy or sell items on an online market place, it pays to know whether you can get good value for money. Let’s take a look at Gumtree, one of the most popular classified ad listings sites in the UK, and establish whether it’s worth buying or selling items there.

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What is Gumtree?

Basically, Gumtree is a classified ads listing site that brings together buyers and sellers. Sellers post classified ads for particular products and if a buyer is interested, they contact the seller directly, agree a price and arrange how to complete the exchange, including whether to ship a product or meet face to face.

Whether you are looking to score a bargain for a particular item or make some extra cash on the side from selling unused personal belongings (and even new products), online marketplaces like Gumtree often provide a simple and cost-effective way to go about it.

Registration is straightforward with no major requirements other than your name, email address and contact details.

What can you buy or sell on Gumtree?

Users of Gumtree can buy and sell items across a wide range of categories that include:

  • Clothing and jewellery
  • Home and garden
  • Vehicles
  • Baby and children’s products
  • Sports and fitness
  • Property

Is it free?

Posting an ad on Gumtree is absolutely free.

But if you are a seller wanting to increase the exposure of your ad to potential buyers, there are several paid packages. The cost of each depends on the particular product category you are posting your ad in.

Paid ads on Gumtree are optional. However, you might have to pay a fee if you want to have several ads listed at the same time in some product categories like cars and vehicles, property, and jobs and services.

Gumtree does not charge you when a buyer pays for an item. But a transaction fee might be deducted by the payment platform the buyer chooses to use.

Is buying or selling on Gumtree worth it?

Since its inception, Gumtree has proven to be an efficient platform for buying and selling.  

It does face some competition from other classified ad listing sites like Preloved, Freecycle, Etsy, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and others. However, it still remains the UK’s biggest classified ad site, boasting close to 14 million unique visitors every month.

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Gumtree has a number of stand-out features that make it well worth considering:

  • Ads stay live for up to 60 days, maximising the ability to reach new customers.
  • You can include a detailed description and up to nine pictures per ad.
  • You can update your ad at any time for no cost.
  • Access to a dedicated account manager to help you in posting ads.
  • Affordable paid packages to increase visibility or exposure for your ad.
  • Ability to directly communicate with buyers or sellers.
  • A wide variety of payment options, including PayPal, credit card, debit card, bank transfer, cash and cheque.

How do you sell successfully on Gumtree?

Like any other online marketplace, there are a few risks associated with Gumtree. If you are a seller, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make a profit. However, there are a few steps you can take to increase your odds of success.

Take time to craft and design your ad. To attract a high number of customers, include thorough descriptions of your products and use clear and high-quality pictures.

Do your research. Scour other online marketplaces to see what similar products are selling for. This will help you work out a price that’s fair and realistic.

Respond to customer queries and be sociable. Ensure you are available to answer any customer queries and try to connect emotionally with customers to increases the chances of a sale.

What about tips for buyers?

If you are a buyer, these tips could help you get a bargain and prevent you from being ripped off.

Do your homework. Have a good look through the ad and compare it with similar ones before you make an offer.

Ask as many questions as you need to. Before you travel to view or collect an item, ask for as much information as you need to feel confident that it’s right for you.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Some Gumtree sellers look for quick sales. So, they might be willing to accept a lower price if you can throw in an incentive like collecting the item the same day.

Inspect the product carefully on meetup and don’t be afraid to say no. If the product doesn’t match what was promised, let the seller know. You can then renegotiate or walk away.

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Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.