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Buying safely

Follow these simple steps for a safe and successful buying experience:

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.

Use the 'Reply to ad' button for your safety and privacy. Don't reply to ads with email addresses in the ad or pictures, some scammers have put the contact details in the wrong place, to try and avoid being blocked from Gumtree.  Always use Gumtree Anonymised email.

Never carry large sums of money with you. If you’re looking to buy something expensive, we recommend that you meet with the seller to view the item first. If you are happy to proceed with the purchase, either go to the bank with the seller or arrange to meet somewhere safe to pay. 

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. 

Use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Be aware of our warning signs of top scams, and if in doubt about a seller either contact us for advice or simply don’t proceed and find another seller on Gumtree.

Registered companies.  If you are purchasing goods or services from registered companies (e.g. Insurance companies) please make sure you check the registered status (e.g. FSA) before handing over any monies.

Other tips: 

When buying airline tickets, we suggest you take down the seller's name and ticket number. Check that the ticket exists and quickly ensure you are able to transfer the tickets you’re your name.

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. Some event tickets e.g. Glastonbury Festival may also feature a photograph of the original buyer, which can mean that anyone other than the original buyer may be refused entry to the event.  Our advice is to always independently check the re-sale terms of the event before buying.

When buying bicycles, we suggest you 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, please check that the bike isn't stolen.