The Perils of Selling Expensive items Online

sponsoredlinkI have a whole rambling post drafted about whether to get a double buggy, swap our pushchair for a single one that works for both a newborn and a toddler, or just make do with our existing pushchair.

I know, exciting stuff.

But I’ll get to that in a later post, for  now I just wanted to write about how the small amount of research I’ve done into selling our Bugaboo Cameleon online has completely freaked me out.

Bugaboo Cameleon in snowBugaboo in the snow when Arlo was a few weeks old.

I have always assumed that the safest and easiest way to sell a bulky and expensive item like a pushchair is to specify ‘collection only’ and get the buyer to pay through Paypal, because your money is protected through Paypal, right? But it seems that scammers have been using Paypal’s great buyer protection policies to their advantage. To quote from this Ebay guide on selling pushchairs:

 “Another scam going is not just for prams but as they are bulky items alot of people will not offer postage/couriers  which is understandable..People pay by paypal on collected items, they get the item home and then later open a case with paypal as they have not received the item.You as the seller cannot prove that the item was collected – paypal need a tracking number in all cases – this you do not have if an item is collected! Once again the buyer wins – Paypal is fine for all the genuine ebayers out there but it benefits the fraudsters and not the sellers in the event of a claim”.

Huh? So if I offer my pushchair for collection only, in the event of a dispute I have no proof that the buyer collected the pushchair. As a result, the Ebay guide advises to accept cash only for any ‘collect in person’ sales. But for a Bugaboo Cameleon we are talking a lot of cash, which not only makes me nervous but would surely make any genuine buyer nervous (I’m sure they’d rather pay through Paypal and know that their purchase is protected, I would!)

The other option is to forget ‘collection only’ sales and allow postage on your listing. Use a reliable courier company like Parcelforce, giving you power over tracking the item and certainty that it has been delivered to the buyer. Mark all parts of your pushchair with one of those UV pens, so that in the event that the buyer claims the item was damaged on arrival, you can request they send back the item and check that they have sent your pushchair back and not a different, damaged model that they are trying to replace for free (Yes, apparently this sort of sneaky activity is happening a lot on Ebay at the moment where selling pushchairs is concerned).

bugaboo cameleon carrycotThe first time he ever fell asleep on his own was in the buggy’s carrycot *sniff* (And there he slept for pretty much all naps until he was eight months old).

We bought our beat-up old Maclaren through Ebay, and the seller gave us a full demonstration when we went to pick it up which I remember thinking was a bit unnecessary. But now I wonder whether she was just trying to cover herself in the event of a claim.

Of course, even by doing everything you can to protect your sale, there is no stopping someone if they decide to completely make up an issue with the item and you could get caught in the Paypal claims process for months before you see any of the money from your sale, even if you know you are in the right. Seeing as we would need this money to pay for our new pushchair, this is time (and money) that we couldn’t afford to lose.

I think at the end of the day, if we decide to sell our Bugaboo, we will have to risk it and hope it all works out. I like to think that after all my years of Ebaying, I would be able to spot a buyer that doesn’t feel right or genuine. I’ve certainly had my fair share of people try to pull scams on Ebay, mess me around with payments, and not follow my strict ‘collection only’ rules. God, I hate Ebay these days.

People have suggested using other sites, pushchair specific sites, Facebook, etc, but as far as I can see, they will all still involve either paying by Paypal or in large amounts of cash and are therefore open to the same possibilities for claim disputes as sales through Ebay.

bugaboo carrycotThis post has now descended into an excuse just to include photos of Arlo when he was teeny tiny.

Honestly, the thought of all this hassle is almost enough to make me want to just stick with our existing pushchair even though I know it’s not best suited to our ‘newborn plus toddler ‘needs.

Would love to know your thoughts on this one.Have you ever sold an expensive item online? Are there any other steps I can take to protect my sale? Am I worrying unnecessarily? ….Does anyone have a double buggy they would like me to review? ; )

About Chloe

Sorry About The Mess documents the life of London blogger and photographer, Chloe, and her young family. Sorry About The Mess is a personal lifestyle and parenting blog.

Comments

  1. I was thinking about selling my icandy Cherry on eBay but have been worried about scammers – I think I will just keep it on top of the wardrobes where it is now in case we have another baby!!

    • Sounds like we have the same mindframe. The Bugaboo has been a brilliant pushchair, I wouldn’t mind using it again… just not sure Arlo is ready to be booted out of a buggy permanently!

  2. Yikes, sounds like a proper minefield! Don’t have anything constructive to add – sorry! – but just wanted to say that these photos are unbelievably cute (especially the one of him in his pramsuit, napping!)

  3. Hey! I sold my Microlite on eBay and only got a fraction of what I was expecting to get for it. A friend mentioned to me using Gumtree instead. I have used Gumtree successfully for the last few years to find tenants for my flat and have never had a bad experience. Yet to try it for selling, but am going to next time I have something big to sell, so thought I’d tip you off in case it is a better option for you x

  4. IMO, stick with what you have and get a buggy board for the bugaboo. By the time the baby arrives, Arlo will probably want to walk everywhere.
    However if you decide you want a double buggy, a friend has a baby jogger double, city select I think (not the side by side one) and loves it. If I was getting a new one I’d probably get that one.

    • Problem is, he doesn’t really get on with buggy boards. And he’s not the best walker. Might change soon but right now he can walk a max of 15 mins before he throws a tantrum and wants carrying. If he gets a pre-school place in September it will be a 25 min walk away.

      I did love the idea of the baby jogger city select but went to look at it and it’s massive, even though it’s a tandem it wouldn’t fit through our front door! Ideally I’d want a simple side by side that I can keep in the car (as that won’t fit through our door either!) or a Britax B-dual.

  5. My husband has done a lot of buying and selling of computers and bikes and always does cash on collection (as a buyer and seller) for anything more than a couple of hundred quid. He’s never had a bad experience with anyone not paying – just one slow payer who then withdrew when he admitted he couldn’t actually afford the winning bid price – you report that to Ebay, they refund your fees and you relist so inconvenient but not the end of the world). Local collect limits your audience and the competition for your item so could be worth looking into the cost of sending by courier. The buyer would still pay costs and you’d have insurance cover and protection if it went missing.

  6. Mamabingbang says:

    I sold my if andy on eBay for £650 the woman chose buy now option and when I saw her location was Oxford I thought great non buyer!

    But she messaged me straight away and arranged to collect within ten miles of my collection point, I think you get a feel for things if they are dodgy buyers – luckily for me she left feed back straight away so there was no chance of her being able to change her mind or claim she hadn’t revived.

    It was weird though, meeting someone on a service station and her handing me all that cash!

  7. I purchased a computer on kijiji that was five hundred dollars. Met the guy at a Starbucks and paid cash. I guess people didn’t really know I had the money until I gave it to him, and he was very close to a bank so had the option of going right away to deposit the money. It’s a tough one though and you do have to be careful of scammers too. I would like to hope someone buying a baby item wouldn’t scam a mother to be, but there are idiots all over the place.

  8. I have heard about these kind of things but I figure it’s not so widespread that we should all be terrified of it. I have sold 2 diamond rings on Ebay recently, 1 was mine, 1 was a friends. In both cases I posted the ring and received the payment through Paypal. I was quite astonished that both went through perfectly with no hassle. I’ve had more trouble over a used baby bjorn I sold for £10!

    On the bulky item issue, I bought our pushchair via Gumtree and sent my husband over to pay on collection. If you’re worried about Paypal I’d do this as it means the person can see the item, give you the cash and then walk away with it. It simplifies the whole things, AND you don’t have to pay the fees.

    I hope you manage to sort something out x

  9. Hey.. I noticed u used ur cameleon buggy in the snow.. How good was that?.. I’m taking my LO along on a skiing trip n was wondering how good the cameleon 2 would be? Any advice? Thanks

  10. Do I need to change the wheels for that?

    Oh n sorry for commenting on a different subject but I came across ur blog randomly n thought u might be able to help.. Thnx again

    • Hello! It was quite a while ago that I used the cameleon in the snow, so my memory is a little foggy… but I think it did OK. It wasn’t very deep snow though, only a couple of inches. You can get snow wheels for the cameleon, I think – I was just using the normal wheels but the snow wheels might be a good bet if you are going skiing.

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