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Gumtree is basically a classified advertising site. People place an advert on there for free. Buyers can call them if sellers provide a phone number or email them through the site
Unlike ebay it is not an auction. There is no bidding, sellers just provide a price or open to offers. There is also no feedback system and no ecommerce so you can't pay for items through the site. It is just like looking through classified adverts, as you may do in a newspaper and then contacting sellers to make an arrangement to view or collect.
The advantage over ebay is that some items are often advertised cheaper than you would expect to pay on final auction on ebay. The disadvantage is that even if you see the advert first, you really need to be avaible to drop everything at a mimutes notice to go and see or collect the item. This partciularly applies with popular items. I am not sure what they may be in other fields but I've found this to be the case with cars, chesterfield suites and antiques.
Because there is no policing as to the integrity of anyone buying and selling on the site, there is no way of telling the type of person you are dealing with in both cases, a huge disadvantage.
If you have ever used Loot, it really is just a similiar site but uses a TV advertising campaign to raise awareness.
The site is easy to use and navigate. You can search by key word and by nearest item to your location. There is an ability to provide photos though many don't and the photos that most do provide, are nowhere near as detailed as you may find on ebay.
Now, I hope that explains Gumtree for those who commented that I had only written a complaint letter and not explained what is was about. The reason I have written about my experience with gumtree is because a review is about a persons experience of a product or service, good and bad.
I don't have any good experience of Gumtree though, just the bad unfortunately which is what follows
My husband and I recntly decided to buy a chesterfield suite and having seen the recent TV campaign, decided to give Gumtree a go.
The first suite we found for £200. I quickly rung the seller who was 100 miles away. She agreed to hold it until we got there and we promised faithfully we would arrive with the cash in a little under 2 hours.
We drove 75 miles when she phoned to say she had sold it to someone else. ( we assumed for more money )
A week later we rang about another. This was 2 piece for £175. She agreed to hold it as we definitely wanted it. I said I'd phone back in 5 minutes after I'd checked the Gps to see what time we could arrive. I assured her we were 100% genuine and coming for it but I needed to give her a time as she was 50 miles away. She assured us she would not even answer the phone to anyone else.
10 minutes later I phoned back and she said we couldn't come as she'd just promised it to someone else who'd offered £30 more
Next time the suite was £225 but 150 miles away. I explained to this buyer all I had gone through and she was so sympathetic. She would definitely definitely save it. ! My brother had his van available that morning and so while we had chance we got him to take away our old suite and take it to the tip. We were now sitting on the floor. But this woman had sounded so genuine. Due to work we had promised to go at 8.am in the morning. We took the morning off and the next day at 7a.m got a text message saying don't bother they had sold the suite to someone else.
Now sitting on the floor we were getting desperate. So they next person ( £250 ) I totally poured my heart out and gave her the whole story. I insisted on paying a deposit even though she provided no photographs and very little description. This was the only thing I felt I could do to secure the suite. I paid a deposit of £50.
And gosh was she sympathetic. " How awful " she claimed " How could anyone do that " and "How can people be so greedy "
The next day I got a text from her. She had sold the suite for an extra £50 to someone else.
I now give up, and I will happily buy from ebay for the extra £200. The problem with gumtree lies with greedy sellers who are happy to make promises they don't keep for an extra few quid. Unfortunately these days no one has the hoonour to stand by their word. The second fault lies with unscrupulous buyers who insist on hounding a seller to disclose the time the item will be picked up, so they can get there faster and pip the genuine buyer to the post. But the biggest fault lies with gumtree
They desperately need a buy system which takes the advert off sale provided the buyer pays immediately buy pay pal. And a feedback system to stop the greedy ones
E bay can do it, why can't they? They may not want to be ebay, and be a different type of site but can They not use all their safety measures, without the auction.
Until this came into play I would not use this site again. It has cost me time, money, left me sitting on a floor and completely disillusioned with people and their integrity
I'm completely frustrated and would not reccomend this site to anyone.