17 April 2018

Getting the family outdoors with Gumtree

This post is in collaboration with Gumtree Australia

Growing up, nearly every Saturday morning consisted of It’s a Knockout and Rage on the TV, netball and garage sales, although not necessarily in that order. Mum and Dad would load us all into the car to satisfy their desire to find a bargain and although we absolutely despised their hobby in the beginning, we grew to love it.

That love of seeking out an epic deal is most definitely still a passion of mine today, and maybe even more so as an adult with financial responsibilities like home loans, electricity bills and insurances.
Those early Saturday morning treasure hunts in the car are not at all practical with three young kids, so these days I much prefer looking online for things that I may have previously searched for at a garage sale or op shop.

One of my favourite online marketplaces is Gumtree.

I'm an occasional seller and regular browser and buyer of things like clothing, shoes, home appliances, home decor and now, something fun for the entire family - a trampoline. I've picked up both new and used quality brand name items for a fraction of the original retail cost including a Dyson upright vacuum cleaner for $60 valued at over $900!

With a four year old whose toy obsession seems to change as often as Instagram's algorithm, I'm always on the hunt for new (second-hand) toys or activities to encourage more play and less screen-time. When Ben 10 or Thomas the Tank Engine become so yesterday, I can sell the no-longer-cool goods and replace them with whatever is 'in' (for reference, it's all about Star Wars in this house at the moment.)

Buying and selling are simple on any device with my preference being the Gumtree app. It's super easy to use both as a seller and a buyer, with multiple search and sort options, filters,
a messaging tool and watch list. You can find just about anything (both new and used) on Gumtree from the very popular (like cars, foot spas and treadmills) to the not so common. You can even find events, real estate listings and jobs on the marketplace.

My buying tips:
  • Use the save search feature to be notified when new listings are posted that meet your search criteria. You can select to be notified by email immediately, daily or weekly.
  • Unless an item is an absolute steal, always negotiate with the seller. Most sellers amplify their price as they know there will be some level of negotiation but don’t offend a seller by offering super low.
  • Expand your search region beyond your local suburb or region – most sellers are willing to post or you may be able to get friends of family to collect for you
  • If you’re unsure from the listing if you want the item, inspect before committing to buy.
  • Think of alternative ways that a brand or product could be spelled (incorrectly) – this is something that I learnt years ago when I noticed women selling sequinned dresses as sequence dresses. My dad uses this tip all the time when he is searching for rare car parts and often beats out other buyers only searching the traditional way.
My selling tips:
  • Again, be reasonable about price. We all want as much money as we want but if you list it too high, no one will be interested
  • Be descriptive - detail brand, size, quality, condition etc
  • Take good photos as they can also form part of the description
  • Respond to messages in a timely matter
  • List multiple items at once - often buyers will see what else you have for sale to maybe do a bundle deal or save on postage
Our latest purchase is a Vuly trampoline. I’ve been thinking about getting a trampoline for the family for quite some time now but after researching just how much a new tramp costs, I did a Gumtree search for a second hand option. I located a rarely used, near new trampoline in my region and contacted the buyer via the app. The price was a little higher than I was hoping to pay so through messages, I clarified the condition, brand, location etc and we agreed on a price $60 under the list price and started to make arrangements for collection. I knew hubby wouldn’t want to dismantle, collect and then reassemble a 14ft trampoline so again, I went to the app and within minutes had arranged a gentleman to do the work for me. Again, I negotiated the price. As someone who doesn’t enjoy talking on the phone, not once did I have to talk to anyone and without any hassle, the trampoline was in my yard when I got home from work on Monday afternoon. Winning!

With more than 3 million listings at any one time, you never know what you might find!

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