SECOND-HAND BUYERS (HINTS & TIPS) How to buy Second-Hand with Confidence or at least learn how to walk away.

Second-hand selling and buying is on the increase. People still buy brand new products yet with so many ways to buy second-hand we understand the growth; in addition, the savings you receive from used goods. You can visit a Boot Sale or a Charity shop but of recent we are seeing a surge online for second-hand purchases. Universal Levels believe that second-hand buying requires a level of confidence. You must be confident in what you want to buy, what quality you want it to be, what price you are willing to pay and confident to leave an item if it does not meet all your requirements. An old saying “Act in haste and repent in leisure”, signifying if you rush into buying something you may be disappointed when you later inspect your goods. Remember that unless the product is limited edition or rare you could possibly find the item again. Don’t be afraid to wait for what you want; Patience is a virtue.

 

Five things buyers of second-hand goods should consider:

  1. Choose a selling website or app that favours the welfare of buyers and sellers. Universal Levels first choice is EBay as it has a variety of ways to protect you as a buyer. Recently Shpock has made a surge to our screens. We recommend this as our second choice. Users are reviewed and the company operate strict terms and conditions. Whilst searching for what we want, we are also likely to search Facebook and Gumtree. Facebook is slightly personal as people may see what you sell or buy. At least you have a point of contact for the person you are buying from. We have found that some Gumtree Sellers are dishonest. They tend to rush you into buying as their descriptions are inaccurate. Do not rule out any site or app as Universal Levels believe there are honest sellers on every one of these.
  2. Sellers are spread all over the UK. Some are genuine sellers, perhaps a family are selling their furniture which they brought last year; they want to change their décor. Other genuine sellers could be selling their house, emigrating, or downsizing. Universal Levels find that buying from Dealers is risky if you have no trusted reviews. Dealers are people who specialise in buying or obtaining free Second-hand items and reselling them for a profit. Some (not all) sellers who do this as their main form of income are very cunning. They know how to prepare items for your viewing so when you perceive them they match the product description. It is only when you get the items home that you see imperfections, faults or additional wear and tear.
  3. Always contact the seller prior to offering, committing and buying. Ask questions about the item, request extra photos or even a video. We recommend that you do not take what a seller says to you as gospel; nor solely trust their online description. What they describe as ‘Immaculate’ may not be up to your level of an immaculate condition. The measurements and sizes they have specified is something to double check. If you feel to go ahead with the purchase, Universal Levels advise you to view the item first. If you have a good eye for detail you can usually tell the quality of an item. Yet pictures taken of smartphones may not pick up rips, tears or cosmetic markings. Nor will it pick up the sturdiness or construction of the item. Viewings are advised so that you can determine the quality of the item you are buying.
  4. When your viewing is arranged, we recommend you bring someone to assist you. It is unsafe to visit a stranger’s home when you are alone or without someone knowing your whereabouts. Know what you are doing, pre-empt the sale prior to arrival. What are you buying, how much you are paying and if there is anything else needed to complete the transaction. Universal Levels strongly state that if you arrive and the item is not as described or what you want, then speak up. Do not buy something you do not want. Sellers can relist their products, the worst they can do is leave you a bad review; communicate correctly and you may avoid this. You on the other hand cannot sell a faulty item. 
  5. If you want to buy based only on the item description and without viewing, this is risky. We have stated many reasons as to why we don’t suggest this type of sale. Yet if you have an eye for detail the risk might be worth it. Clues to quality of the item you want to buy may lie in the seller’s other items. What do they state the condition is for these items? Does the description match with the photos? Another tip is to look at the appearance of their house. Usually immaculate items come from pristine or well kept houses. Have they taken a photo of their ‘excellent condition’ item, but behind it is a mountain of junk and the carpet is dirty? This is indication that the item could possibly have a fault or not be described accurately. Take a risk it may pay off yet at the same time you could be at a loss.

 

 

Examples of How To Buy with Confidence

 

Do not be victim to a loss

Item for sale is described as immaculate -> The Seller has priced their items based on this description, they feel their item is worth this price ->You arrange a viewing -> At the viewing you find the item is damaged or broken -> You feel pressured to take it and pay the full asking price -> The seller is happy -> You get home and feel ripped off or disappointed with your sale -> You want to buy something else because what you have is not what you want -> You upload your items for sale -> You cannot list it as immaculate as you are aware of the damage and the buyers will also see it-> You will not be able to sell it for the price you paid as it is damaged  -> You lose out

 

 Or you could choose a different outcome to benefit you?

Item for sale is described as immaculate -> The Seller has priced their items based on this description, they feel it is worth this price ->You arrange a viewing -> At the viewing you find the item is damaged or broken -> You still like the items but rather than paying the full asking price, you negotiate a lower price -> Explain to the seller why you are requesting a reduced payment ->The seller may or may not accept -> If accepted, happy days and enjoy your bargain -> If not accepted, then do not feel compelled to buy it. Politely refuse the sale, thank the seller for their time and leave.

 

Or can you have the confidence to handle Seller Rejection?

Item for sale is described as immaculate -> The Seller has priced their items based on this description, they feel it is worth this price ->You arrange a viewing -> At the viewing you find the item is damaged or broken -> You feel that you could buy something better and do not want the item -> Explain to the seller why you are rejecting this sale -> Do not feel compelled to buy it. Politely refuse the sale, thank the seller for their time and leave.

 

Be a Savvy Second-hand Shopper

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