I’m all for saving money where I can, and I do quite a lot of shopping over the internet.
But it wasn’t until my daughter and her boyfriend bought a camper van, and my son bought a camper trailer from Gumtree that I realised what a great site it is for finding both new and second hand goods locally, and saving yourself lots of money.
In my opinion they were great bargains – see how they’re now living the dream in the photos below! They are definitely ‘Lovin’ Life’ right now!
I knew you could buy second hand furniture on Gumtree, but I hadn’t really thought about anything else. On a closer look I found I could buy anything from cars to houses, garden plants, fitness products, baby items, clothes, jewellery and so much more.
I was hooked, and fascinated to find out that actually Gumtree is a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers in the local community to buy, sell and find almost anything.
For instance – The breakfast table below with 4 chairs was a steal at $40 and really simple to purchase.
My son’s been encouraging me to get onto Gumtree more. He told me that he finds it a great place for people who are serious about selling their unwanted products.
“I buy heaps on Gumtree,” he told me, “and I’ve always found that I’m dealing with genuine buyers and sellers. I’ve had nothing but good experiences.”
Table of Contents
What exactly is Gumtree?
Gumtree was founded in London in 2000 and it’s now one of Australia’s top 20 websites with over 7 million Australians visiting the site each month. It’s an online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers to buy, sell and find just about everything, in many cases without having to travel far to buy it.
How it Works
Just type Gumtree into your browser.
- Click into the search box that allows you to type in keywords for what you want to buy. This box displays the wording “I’m looking for.” Type in what you’re looking for.
- You could also search for a general category such as “home and garden,” which you’ll see as green headings at the top of the site. Click on one of these to widen your search.
- Next just add the location where you live, and *Abracadabra* all the local sellers who have this item for sale in your area will pop up and their distance from you will be displayed. If you’re interested in the item, you can then message the seller for more information, phone them to set up an appointment to view, or put in a bid.
- You’ll find it equally simple to use if you want to set up an account to sell things too.
- Click on the red box in the top right hand corner which displays the wording “Post an Ad.”
- Select the category that your product falls under.
- Follow the easy instructions to create your free advertisement, and add a good quality photograph to show what it looks like.
- Don’t sit back and wait for the offers to roll in but do be prepared to manage your advertisement – perhaps reduce the price if it’s not selling, or give it a bit of a bump up in the rankings by paying a small fee.
I was looking for garden plants and while scrolling through Gumtree advertisers I came across a community garden not for profit nursery run by local volunteers. I found just the plants I was after for our Western Australian garden and saved a heap of money.
Why is Gumtree great?
My daughter said she finds it’s a great site for saving money. “It’s a good medium for people to genuinely buy and sell things that are just occupying spare space in the house, she said.”
“I’ve bought so much and sold so much on Gumtree I don’t see the need to buy anything new again,” my son joked. “You know, some people get things like iPads as gifts and decide they don’t want or need them but would rather have the cash to buy something they really do want. So a lot of people realise they are never going to use these things and put them up for sale on Gumtree at reduced cost, which means you can get some great bargains. Oh, and don’t be scared to bargain. It’s almost expected.”
Gumtree’s sponsored advertisements also pop up with ideas for similar and associated brand new products to those you’re searching for, which means you can either check out new prices to compare second hand ones, or you can buy brand new if you prefer.
I was looking for bedroom items and couldn’t find anything second hand, then an advertisement on Gumtree popped up and I found a factory outlet was advertising just what I wanted for a great price.
Tips and Hints
- Although you can buy new products from local sellers on Gumtree, there are many bargains to be had if you’re purchasing second hand.
- Second hand doesn’t mean second best, but personally, I think that if you’re buying second hand you have to take some responsibility for what you’re buying. Ask questions. Assume the responsibility. There will always be some element of risk. And do your homework on prices – find out what would this item cost new? Is it a good buy?
- I was in the market for storage drawers, saw something I thought was spot on for my needs but decided to message the seller first. This is another handy option which you are able to do anonymously via the Gumtree message system. I asked a couple of questions and realised the item would be too small for my needs. So the message system prevented an unwanted trip in the car to view the product.
“When you’re selling always disclose any defects in products – from scratches, to any small malfunction – people appreciate honesty and you’ll get a good reputation on Gumtree as a seller, which means you’ll be able to sell more things more easily,” my son explained.
I trust his judgement and advice. He’s bought a kite board, iPad, camera, camper trailer, electronic gadgets and a car from Gumtree.
I think Gumtree is the sort of online marketplace which our children embrace first, and then we follow. Or at least that’s how it’s happened in our household!
- Gumtree claims to be the #1 shopping app in Australia, and supplied the following facts and figures.
- There are apparently more than 2.5 million listings across hundreds of categories on Gumtree – including the most popular which is home and garden. But in addition to that you’ll find cars, clothing, jewellery, items for babies and children, electronics and computers, services for hire, sport and fitness products, business services, real estate, and a job board.
- Wow, they say that everyday around 85 thousand new ads are put up each day!
- On average 20% of the items listed in Gumtree’s goods categories are listed as new.
- Gumtree has more privately listed used cars than anywhere else. There are around 7 thousand new car ads put up each day.
- Each day there are around 60,000 new ads across multiple goods categories.
- Around 2.7k new ads are put up in the jobs category each day.
Here’s the funny thing
Yesterday we bought part of a Tree off Gumtree!
We ordered some firewood which was delivered Sunday morning.
We are currently sitting in front of a toasty log fire eating pizza drinking and sipping a nice glass of red wine!
My overall experience
I’ve had really pleasant experiences buying from Gumtree (I have dabbled at selling items too). I’ve been amazed at the things people sell, and equally amazed at the bargains which are to be found. Now that I’ve seen how much my children use Gumtree to save money, I’ll be heading to the site first before going out to the shops to find what I need.
I think you do need to keep checking in, especially if you don’t find what you’re looking for straight away, and if you’re looking for something specific then you should be prepared to be patient and perhaps widen your search geographically.
I’ve been surprised by the trust that Gumtree invokes both from a buying and selling point of view. It’s ethos is to facilitate successful and safe trade, and you’ll see from the hints and tips that Gumtree provides that they are committed to this.
There are tips for personal safety though, and the main one is that you shouldn’t meet buyers or sellers on your own, but rather have someone with you.
- Do your research.
- Ask questions. While most sellers include key information, you are entitled to contact the seller to ask questions. It’s always worth asking about the condition of the item, why it’s for sale, the dimensions and if there are any receipts or warranties available. It’s easy to contact a seller via the Gumtree ‘My Messages’ feature.
- View the product before you buy it – which will entail meeting the seller in person. Take someone with you.
- Use common sense + report anything that’s amiss.
- Do your research and be desciptive.
- Use high quality photographs.
- Manage your listings – don’t just hope for the best and leave them. Monitor what’s happening. Boost them if necessary. Reduce the price if there’s no interest and take them down when you’ve sold the product, or if you decide not to sell.
- Meet the buyer in person and be honest about your product for sale. Have someone with you.
- Use common sense + report anything that’s amiss.
- Have someone with you when you meet either buyers or sellers.
- Don’t send or wire money to anyone you don’t know.
- Don’t give out your private email. Use Gumtree’s messaging system.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- READ Gumtree’s really helpful hints about keeping safe and avoiding scams, here: Gumtree’s Top Tips.
Tips for saving money by buying on Gumtree.
Do your research.
First set your budget. Then decide what you’re looking for and dedicate some time to pricing the full retail cost of similar items. You’ll then see how much you can save by buying on Gumtree.
Know your budget
If you’re budget is tight, then use Gumtree’s search facility which allows you to filter by price. That way you won’t be tempted to buy something you can’t really afford.
You could re-furnish a whole house if you wanted to, but to do this, plan ahead. Make a comprehensive list of all the things you want, and be patient. Don’t buy the first things you see, but decide on the type of style you want to go for and wait for those items to come up.
When to pay more
Find out which items you could really save money on. My son says it’s better to pay more for the big ticket items or electrical items and remember to bargain. You can saye money on things like soft furnishings and buy second hand – or take your time and wait to find the ones which people are selling because perhaps they were gifts and don’t match their colour scheme.
Can you renovate?
If you’re buying second hand furniture, don’t let a few scratches put you off. How would it look with a new coat of paint? You might save heaps on the second hand item for the cost of a tin of paint and a paintbrush.
Get alerts and notifications
You can opt to receive emails from Gumtree, either immediately, daily or weekly for specific searches that you type in. So if you’re looking for a certain brand, or a specific style of furniture then use the saved searches tool. Each time you save a set keyword and location you’ll receive an email notification whenever a matching item’s listed.
Expand your search
Don’t forget that you can expand your search region. If the product you’re looking can’t be found locally then, as long as you can travel to pick the items up, expand your search to include a wider area and open up a Pandora’s box of products available elsewhere.
One of the best things about Gumtree is that you can negotiate. But don’t overdo this! Make a fair offer.
Inspect the goods
Gumtree encourage people to meet face-to-face, so that the buyer can inspect the goods and the goods can be paid for in-person. But have someone with you for personal safety. You might also ask for receipts or warranties if you want them.
Tips for Selling on Gumtree
Set a fair selling price for the item you want to sell by doing your research first. Do an internet search or go to the shops to see what the brand new version is selling for and adjust the price accordingly.
There’s no point in just using a two or three word description to sell your goods. When I’m looking I want to know everything! Be descriptive and let people know about the features, the colour, how long you’ve had the item, why you’re selling the item and anything unusual about it. Mention if there are receipts or warranties available and be honest if there are scratches or defects.
As always, a picture tells a thousand words. Try and make sure your photos are sharp and show your items in their best light.
Make sure to manage your listings. If potential buyers message you, then answer in a timely fashion. Communicate through the My Messages feature on Gumtree. Download the Gumtree app on your phone so you have it on the go. Don’t give out your personal email address.
Who knows, I might soon save enough money to be able to afford to hire a cleaner. Yay! How about you?
You can also find Gumtree on Facebook
Have you found any great bargains on Gumtree?
Have you sold anything on Gumtree?