Do take good quality and accurate photographs
Photos can make all the difference to your ad and because it’s free to post your selling ad on Gumtree, you could find your advert in competition with quite a few others. Good quality photos will make your item stand out from the crowd. Accuracy of your photos is also important, the last thing you want is a buyer turning up to collect the item and then changing their mind because it looks very different to the photo.
Do consider listing your item at a slightly higher price
Gumtree buyers can have a tendency to haggle for a lower price, so if you start a little higher then it gives you a starting point to negotiate.
Do offer different options for collection or delivery
Can the buyer collect the item from your place of work for example, if you work somewhere that’s easier to get to than your home, or would you consider posting the item via a courier? Offer as many options as you can, and if you need an idea on prices for sending via courier, you can quickly and easily get a quote from My Parcel Delivery.
Do include the full product name, model number and specification in your item description
It might seem like a quick and easy option to give a brief description of your item, but if you can be as descriptive as possible, then it can really help people find your product and make it easier for you to clinch the sale. For example, rather than listing your item as "Sony Record Player" a better description would be "Sony MP6776 Silver Record Player Turntable with Stylus".For larger items like furniture, get the tape measure out and list the dimensions – it’ll save you time answering questions from potential buyers asking "how big is it?"
Have a good look through the ads before making an offer
Gumtree’s search box makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for – you just type in the item, location you want to find it in and the distance you’d be willing to travel.The search results are listed by the newest ads first, so we recommend having a good look through the ads and not just the ones at the top of the list. After all, it’s easy to spot what you’re looking for at the top of the list and hit "message" straight away, but then you could scroll down and see something similar for a tenner cheaper! Take your time eager beavers.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
Unlike eBay where you have a choice to “buy it now” or bid on items in an auction, Gumtree is less formal and there’s nothing to stop you from having a go at haggling down the price. Quite often, Gumtree sellers are looking to sell their items quickly, because they’re moving house or having a general clearout; so they could be open to accepting a lower price if you can collect in a hurry!
If you’re not happy, don’t be afraid to say so
When it comes to collecting an item after you’ve agreed a sale, if unfortunately you aren’t happy with the item in person then don’t be afraid to say so.Perhaps the item doesn’t match up to the photos or isn’t as described. Even if you’re getting a bargain price, if the item isn’t right, it’s better to say so rather than take it home anyway and feeling stupid afterwards.Simply say you didn’t notice the issue when you looked at the photos (maybe even blame yourself for not noticing), apologise for wasting their time and say that the defects could be highlighted a little better in their ad.
Be aware of the collection location and your safety
Perhaps you know the collection area well, but if it’s somewhere you’ve not been before or a road you’re unfamiliar with, then you can always take a look beforehand on Google Streetview.If you have concerns about the area, take someone with you to collect the item and don’t stay around chatting for too long with the seller. Alternatively, if it’s a small item and you’re not sure about collecting it yourself, you could always look into having the item picked up by a courier and delivered to you that way. You can book a collection service from just £3.83 (£3.19 ex VAT) for a 2KG parcel with Hermes, but be aware that your buyer will need to pack up the item ready for the courier to collect and may need access to a printer to print the postage label. It’s a bit of extra effort required, but good to know you have the option if you need to do this.