I have put a laptop for sale on Gumtree for £180. I have received a Whatsapp message today as below

"I am interested in purchasing your laptop. I will offer you the asking price for the item and £18 for postage royal mail delivery with tracking to me in Liverpool so send me a paypal money request on paypal directly to my paypal account email id which is xxxxxxxxx@outlook.com and I will submit payment to you immediately via paypal. Thanks"

I have read that Paypal payments can be reversed if the buyer pays by credit card and then disputes that the item was not as described or not received. He has asked me to send via tracked delivery but I'm guessing this doesn't necessarily protect me if he claims that the laptop was not as described. Is this too risky?

  • So what does Paypal say about that? – Daniel Aug 1 '18 at 13:52
  • Yes Paypal is more inclined towards saving buyers rather than sellers. But you are using tracked delivery so you may counter. Why don't you ask him to schedule a pickup rather than you delivering him. That should put the onus on him to figure out the delivery portion and you can be safe. – DumbCoder Aug 1 '18 at 13:54
  • Hi Daniel I was unable to find anything on the Paypal website about that specific scenario. DumbCoder I am in Cardiff so doubt he would travel down from Liverpool. I'm starting to think I might not risk it and wait to see if anyone local wants to buy it and meet me in person – Leroy Aug 1 '18 at 13:57
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    @Leroy - by "schedule a pickup" I don't think DumbCoder meant that he should drive down to pick it up from you. I think he means that the buyer should contact a shipper (Royal Mail or DHL or whoever) and make the arrangements himself. – brhans Aug 1 '18 at 17:48

Your £180 laptop isn't anything special, and isn't anything that a buyer on the other side of the country should be interested in. He can find plenty of £180 laptops at home. You can avoid scams on these kinds of sites by dealing in person, cash only.

Another sign that this is a scam: he doesn't even know what you're selling or how much you're selling it for, he just wants to offer you 'full asking price' for 'your item'.

  • Thanks. Yes, I was thinking that about why doesn't he just buy a laptop from where he lives. I'm selling mine fairly cheap I suppose but still nothing special like you said. I think I'll give this one a miss – Leroy Aug 1 '18 at 14:03

I've just received exactly the same WhatsApp message from someone else wanting to buy something from me on GumTree. Definitely a scam.


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