Tuesday, February 24, 2015

12 Ways to Use Gumtree Without Pissing People Off


I have a love hate relationship with Gumtree. Gumtree is Australia's free buy and sell site. Sometimes it's just so easy to use, and other times I just want to pull finger nails off one by one and then pour hydrogen peroxide all over them.

All the problems I have with it come down to people, not the site itself. There should be a manual for dummies on how to use gumtree with out pissing other people off because common sense and courtesy get left in an elephant's piss puddle the moment these people send you a message saying "Are you still selling X?"

The amount of faces I've wanted to smash while using Gumtree probably accounts for 75% of my Gumtree interactions, and I'm not a violent person.


Here are 12 Ways to Use Gumtree Without Pissing People Off


1. Be EASY to Contact - IF you are a seller make sure you list the quickest and easiest option for people to get ahold of you. Everyone I know has a mobile phone so list your damn number, and check your phone regularly. If you only check your emails every 24-48 hours then do not put this down as your first point of contact. When we were looking for a fridge we waited a day before the guy got back to us to tell us he had already sold it. ARGH! When people want to buy something
they want it NOW(unless you're that asshole who just time wastes, we'll touch on this later)!
2. Ahhh, no, we will touch on it now - Don't be a time waster - If you go to all the trouble to organise a time to see someone's goods then go with the intent to buy! This is when you ought to treat Gumtree a bit more like Ebay and not a retail store. Don't show up to just peruse the item. The only reason you should organise a time to see an item is because you are willing to buy that item then and there. The only reason for not buying it is because it's not as described or pictured.

3. Show up, and show up on time - If someone is giving you a time to buy something that means they have stopped everything else in their life just for you. When a woman didn't turn up to my house to buy a shelving unit, after I'd raced home to meet her, I waited 15 minutes then I texted her to find out where she was. She texted back that her friend had given her a similar item and she no longer needed mine. Again, I'm not a store. I'm a person. My availability to sell one item is not 9am-5pm. It would have taken 10 seconds for her to text or call me to let me know she was cancelling. I let her know she was very rude and a time waster. She wrote back saying she didn't owe me anything ... She then texted me 3 more times to let me know how she felt about being called a time waster, including how lucky she was to not have gone ahead with the sale. I took a lot of time to answer this lady's questions about the item and organise a time for her to pick it up. If only she heard the other names I was calling her ...
Meme Credit by Meme Guy
3. Check the dimensions before you buy - 
aRobyna (from Mummy and the Minx) told me her neighbours' listed their couch on Gumtree. A couple drove all the way from Sydney to Newcastle, in a Mini, to pick it up. No trailer. They had to drive the 2 hours back with nothing.
b) If you're the buyer don't ask the seller what the dimensions are when you haven't taken the time to read the ad. I've listed the dimensions in the gumtree ad header and the ad and still been asked the size.
c) If you're the seller and the dimensions of your item aren't obvious just by looking at a picture, then post them. I've avoided certain ads just because I don't have time to ask them the size. Yes, fridge size is important.
"Um, I'm not sure that dresser will fit in my car."
4. A buyer should be completely prepared to move an item themselves, and bring the appropriate vehicle for transport. I told a buyer over the phone that I was 30 weeks pregnant (at the time) and wouldn't be able to help lift the bathroom vanity she was buying from me. She rocked up to my house in her fancy clothes and BMW, gave me the money and then asked how she was going to get it in her car? I pointed to my stomach and reminded her I couldn't lift it. She then looked at my builder, who was renovating my bathroom, and stopped him in his tracks to ask him and my tiler to put it in her car for her. He was not happy. She hadn't thought where it would go, and when it didn't fit the boot (trunk) of her car they put it in the back seat. All the while her begging the guys to be careful of her paint job. You know who was paying them for their time? Me. How rude! It's not the responsibility of the seller to help you move an item, and if you do think you'll need help ask the seller if they wouldn't mind assisting you BEFORE you turn up to their house and put them on the spot.

Clearly, I'm not this woman (Image Credit)

5. If you sold your item then for the love of unicorns - take down your Gumtree ad! - This type of person is usually the same one who only lists their email for contact and won't reply until a week later.

6. Don't ask the seller to deliver an item to you, unless you are impaired or disabled. (If you are impaired or disabled just let the seller know because otherwise they will wonder why you are such an asshole for asking). I was recently asked to deliver a very large $15 vase down the road. When I laughed by text (which looks like this "haha"), and responded that I couldn't deliver it but they were more than welcome to walk the 2 blocks to my house to pick it up they never responded again.
Another woman asked me, by text, to significantly lower the price of tri-fold privacy screen that was not negotiable. I came down in price anyway but not that low. Then she couldn't make any of the pick up times I made available to her, and trust me that there was a very generous range. Then she asked me the dimensions of the item which I'd already listed in the ad. Then she asked me if it would fit in her Barina hatchback, as if I know the dimensions of her car? Then she asked if I could drop it off at her house 20 minutes away. I stupidly compromised by saying my husband could meet her outside his office in her suburb. Then she still couldn't pick a time to meet him after he had already loaded it in his car. I eventually became so sick of her countless text messages that I told her the price had gone back up. She stopped texting me right away and I ended up selling to a person who had their shit together! People like that shouldn't even bother reading this or using Gumtree. There is not hope for her. She's the kind of person who wears sunglasses inside, I just know she is.

7. Don't barter unless the price says negotiable, or if you do barter do it in person, once you have actually seen the item. I had a $500 item posted that was already listed $700 under retail price. I had an email from someone offering me $150 and saying that's all the money they had for it, and appealing to my inner saint. Unfortunately my inner saint was nowhere to be found, and I was left insulted by such a low offer. How very dare you!


8. Don't start off the bartering process by telling the seller their item isn't that nice, and that you saw a nicer one somewhere else. Firstly, it's offensive. Secondly, if you saw a nicer one then you should have bought it and not wasted the seller's time. This makes you a Gumtree Asshole. I had a woman do this when buying my mint-condition bar stools.



9. Don't ask to swap if it's listed for sale - Liz at The Curious Novacastrian wants the person who asked her to swap her Samsung phone for two iphones to know Gumtree is not recess time at school. Welcome to adulthood.

10. Use your words - you're an adult now. If you are selling or buying something on Gumtree please be a good communicator. The best people to deal with are the ones who ask the right questions like "What's your address." Not - "will this go with my pine shoe stand."
They are also the ones who give informed answers "I'm not available then but I could meet you after work hours, say around 6pm," not this "Nope. Not home then." So when are you home?

11. Don't scam people. People are on Gumtree because they don't want to pay full price, or because they can't afford to pay full price. Don't be that woman who texted to say "you should have known better than to buy on Gumtree, you idiot" after she scammed and sold a broken iMac laptop to my friend's buddy, John, who had driven an hour and a half to buy it. What goes around ... She left her Facebook logged in and he had a bit of fun with that, along with deleting all her buy and sell accounts. He then took it to the Mac store and it ended up being an easy fix. Phew.

12. Wipe your electronics before you sell them - I was told this one by Tarnya from Wonder Wanders. She downsized from a Macbook Pro to a laptop when she left Australia, and of course she triple checked and wiped everything off her computer. The woman who sold Tarnya the laptop on Gumtree did not. Everything was on there, we're talking emails and browser history etc... Turns out the previous owner was a working girl; which now makes Tarnya your go-to person should you need to know what the going rate is these days for services rendered.

Now that you have followed this guide your next interaction should look like this lady below ...
My last experience was like this. I know, isn't it amazing. The guy communicated well, showed up when he said he would, and took away my free broken fridge. The happiest part of the whole thing was that he's a beekeeper and he wants to install a warm light and store a vat of honey in it. Nice. Winnie the Pooh would be proud. Something good came out of the $75 we had spent on a fridge (from Gumtree) that had only lasted us 3 months.
Another Happy Gumtree -er (image credit)

*This is not a sponsored post

35 comments:

  1. I'm loving this! This could apply to all those local buy sell pages on fb too- I once listed a brand new clock on there with a link showing the retail price of $99, yet number 7 kicked in I had it up for $25 not negotiable yet the first comment was "sold if you'll take $10". Um. Why would I take less than half of what I'm asking on a non-negotiable item?? And the stuff- around no shows do my head in. Only recently I listed a bunch of knicknacks very cheaply. One lady wrote sold on a $5 item. She made 4 separate times to collect and was full of excuses each time. By the 4th I told her not to bother!

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  2. Great tips. I am about to try gumtree for the first time as I am looking for a vintage typewriter. I used to use eBay but have not bought anything online for ages. Hoping I get it from someone who has read your post lol. Xx

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  3. I am considering using Gumtree again - top advice and I will heed it well.

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  4. You meet some fascinating people buying and selling on gumtree that's for sure! #TeamIBOT

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  5. Oh gumtree, I do not love you! I have only sold, not bought, and let it be said that I am not a fan of "customer service" to begin with, so I give most things away rather than have deal with people, but we gave a working fridge away and the first person who wanted it was a no show - how freaking rude. My husband was all for giving her the benefit of the doubt, leaving her polite messages and insisting that we wait until blah blah o'clock before reposting the ad. I was all - nope, you don't get leeway on a free item. We never heard from her.
    I was selling a pram last year for less than i paid for it a month earlier on facebook (my toddler didn't fit in it) and had a prospective buyer from another state asking all sorts of questions already covered in the ad and then asking if I could send it, and when I countered that it would be very hard to package and would cost about $200 to send, so probably wasn't worth it for him, he suggested that I pay the postage and he would take it! Oh bingo, there's a good solution!
    Sorry, exercising my demons on your post, now that their grave has been disturbed haha. People are truly unreal, and this is i happily give away all of the kids clothes.
    Dani @ sand has no home

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  6. Opps .. that reminds me I should put down my ad now, since I sold my item over the weekend. Thanks, great post!

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  7. I am trying to sell some stuff on gumtree at the moment and am almost pulling my hair out at the stupidity of some people so I totally relate to 1 through 12 right now.

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  8. @Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me How have you gotten away with not using it? It's pretty simple compared to ebay. No shipping of items or waiting for an auction to end. I like that.

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  9. HA!! Was the guilt eating away at you. It is easy to forget, but if you're selling a very popular item you might have some angry texts ...

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  10. YES!!! I love hearing these stories. Next to internet trolls, nothing shows the stupidity of our society better than a buy and sell site! ha! I'm with you - if something is free then don't stuff me around. No leeway! AND the gall of the guy who asked you to pay for shipping. What a complete and utter moron. Grrrrrr. Blood pressure is rising!

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  11. You just donate to Vinnies because you are such an extremely generous person, least that's what I always thought. Now I guess I know it's because it's a stress saver. Always learning from you -Hugs!

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  12. @Bec @ HoP & StLSoP Thank god none of them has tried to hug me yet. That would be a new Gumtree line to cross ...

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  13. Yay! Go forth my child. You have done your training and you are ready! haha

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  14. @Deb @ Inner compass designs Oh what's that for? Decoration? I wanna see pics if it is! Hope you find one, and with a good owner who knows how to communicate well.

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  15. Don't you find you usually end up selling to a normal person for your original price right after you turned away the complicated asshole? I usually do. Those assholes need to pay extra if they want us to put up with their BS

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  16. Not a popular item so no angry texts. I'm also guilty of putting an email address I don't normally check so I would have some inquiries about my item from 4 days ago. So glad its sold now, Gumtree is awesome

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  17. So these made me laugh and I've never used the site before... aside from looking at job advertisements, and even those should be taken down when a position is filled. But when that day comes I'm looking for other things (and not workin girl type things) I'll be calling you.

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  18. I use it frequently and the ultra bargainers drive me up the freaking wall. I had a $120 brand new, unworn shirt marked down to something like $50, so someone emailed me and asked me if I would sell it AND POST IT for $30. I just don't reply to people like that anymore. They annoy me too much. And yet other times I've had massive success with it. Just luck of the draw, sadly!

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  19. Mate, mate, mate! I'm here for you. I've got a couple doors and a mirror that need to go on Gumtree. Just need to take their picture. @Andrea

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  20. It's funny how we feel like the ones who are not being polite to them when they are the ones with their stupid questions and low-ball offers. I want to be more like you. Ignore the the annoying ones. Sometimes I get too desperate to sell, and that's when I let things go too far with a Gumtree asshole @26 Years & Counting

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  21. I have sold a few things on Gumtree and you're right it's completely frustrating! I gave up in the end. I think I'd rather donate to a charity :-)

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  22. Great post and I particularly like #4. Buyers please be prepared to transport what you've bought, and no, I can't lift my washing machine into the back of your car (this happened to me)

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  23. Oh my flippin goodness. This is hysterical! I've never sold anything on Gumtree or Ebay but my Dad has. And every story you've told here is something he's been through. It just seems to bring out the very worst in people. He's had people turn up to buy a large item in a tiny car, he's had to wait for a day for someone to turn up and then they don't, he's had people treat him like he's a shop. And so many other stories. It's totally put me off this type of selling.

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  24. Robyna@theMummyandtheMinxMarch 1, 2015 at 10:13 PM

    Bahahahahha I was looking forward to seeing this post and you nailed it. Hopefully it will make Gumtree a better place!

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  25. This is funny - because it's so true (sadly!). There are no normal people in the world, I've decided, after selling a caravan on Gumtree. We lost hours and hours to tyre kickers and people making ridiculous low ball offers without even seeing the van.
    My personal favourite was the guy who made an offer to buy, but then couldn't tell us when he'd be able to pay for it because he would be paying with the proceeds he was getting from selling his van, which he'd already sold to someone who was going to pay once an insurance claim... ummm no, I'm not going to wait around for some random third parties insurance claim payout to come through. In the end we did have to deliver it, 80 kms away. A point mentioned after price negotiation was already finalised. OH well - at least it's over now. May I never sell on Gumtree again.

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  26. I definitely can relate, Jess! When the would-be buyers are interested, I give them my address and then they don't turn up at all! aarrgghh!
    I always inform twice in the ad and phone-call/email, that 2 strong persons are required for moving whatever furniture I sell... so far so good, people have heeded that suggestion.
    But as you said "no shipping of items or no waiting for an auction to end" with Gumtree... I like that, too.

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  27. @Denise Mooney too bad yard sales aren't easier to host!

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  28. @Pia Why don't they just ask before they show up? Why assume the seller can lift something? Argh!

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  29. @Deb Baker Sounds like your dad could have written this post. HAHA! I'm glad I wrote it because it shows me that I'm not the only one who repeatedly has bad encounters. I'm feeling very validated. haha

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  30. @Robyna@theMummyandtheMinx Thanks for saying so and thanks for your contribution.

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  31. You're shitting me. You delivered it 80 km's away!!! Good grief. People had the most off expectations of private sellers that they would never place on a shop? Imagine how much a caravan place would charge to deliver your caravan to your door? I wonder ...

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  32. I know. Sometimes I just want to be super anal about the whole thing and triple check that they are coming because I just don't trust people anymore after all the bad experiences.
    I just thought "no shipping" was a given with a site like gumtree? If someone wanted to ship wouldn't they say so in their ad?

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  33. I know - right?!?! It's such a strange thing.

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  34. My husband thinks I should negotiate more but I just don't have patience for ridiculously low offers.

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