Buying online

Buying and selling online

  1. When making purchases or selling on Internet trading portals, always read the buying and selling instructions carefully. Here are some tips from Gumtree on scams to look out for, how to buy safely and sell safely.

  2. Make sure you understand the policies of the website you are dealing through – particularly regarding what it will and won’t do if something goes wrong or a fraudulent transaction occurs. You should be able to find this information easily in its terms and conditions.

  3. If you can, do your homework on the buyer or seller. When transacting through an online trading post like Gumtree, make sure that you have the other person’s proof of identification, proof of residence, and correct and confirmed contact details.

  4. When carrying out the transaction, ensure that the transaction is witnessed by at least one person, and that a receipt is issued.

  5. If the seller is a business, check its real-world presence. If they provide a phone number, call them up and verify their details. But remember that overseas sellers may be harder to chase in the event of a problem.

Online shopping  

  1. Check online stores’ privacy and returns policies to be sure your information will not be shared and that you are not stuck with merchandise you didn’t order.

  2. Be clear about shipping and delivery costs (for example, whether or not they are included and if not, if they are clearly stated).

  3. Be clear about methods of payment and whether any of these attract any extra costs.

  4. Always provide the absolute minimum necessary personal information to sellers and buyers – and nothing more.

  5. Bear in mind that paying by credit card offers greater protection against fraud than other payment methods – since banks often have measures in place to deal with credit card fraud.

  6. Always double check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.