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A lot of people aren't into the whole item collection thing. I think it's the whole interacting with strangers part that puts people off. There's always a fear that they'll try to scam you or kill you. In all the years I've been buying and selling on marketplaces, I've never had a *serious* collection incident. I think it's all down to the right communication.

The types of products that you sell will warrant different approaches, but the same basic principles apply to all. Whether it eBay, Gumtree, Shpock, Facebook or somewhere else, collection-only sales, here is some basic etiquette to adhere to, both as a buyer and seller:

 

Sellers

  • State your availability in the listing. If you know you're not around in the daytime on school nights, let it be known in the description. Even better, state specific times when they can collect, and give the first half of your post code. That way, you won't have to faff around when you're organising the collection.
  • Exchange phone numbers. Not everyone can get onto the eBay app when they're out and about.
  • Arrange a collection point that is easy to access. If you live on the 15th floor or a tower block, understand that many won't be comfortable meeting you up there.
  • Give directions. When someone's coming to you, describe your location (what your place looks like, what it's opposite) and give directions, even if sat navs usually find it. Tell him about parking and/or nearest bus/train stations, if you're kind.
  • Agree the payment method upfront. PayPal is safer, but why make the seller suffer? If you can avoid it, do. Paying in cash ensures that the seller doesn't have to pay fees on the transaction, and it might just mean they'll leave you feedback that little bit quicker.
  • Don't miss out details about an item until someone buys it. If you suddenly reveal a fault when the buyer turns up, it's not exactly going to impress them.

 

Buyers

  • Message sellers before you win the listing to clarify a time to collect, if it doesn't say in the description. Don't assume you can collect whenever.
  • Keep things quick. Smooth transaction or no transaction. Allow the person to grab what they want and go. Chat if the other person's open to it, but don't force it. One person brings the item, the other has the money. Cool.
  • Bring exact cash. If you're bid £18.22 on my listing, and you turn up with a £20 note, you can't explicit change off me. You had time to prepare. Come with the right cash, and you won't have to haggle for that £1.88 you should have got back.
  • Call or text when you're nearby. Give an hour warning, just to clarify that things are still on, and you're going to actually turn up (which doesn't always happen).
  • Leave feedback promptly. If you're happy with how things went and there's nothing wrong with the item, be courteous and let them know you appreciate the way the transaction went.
  • Double-check the images and description before you leave the house. Make sure you get all that you were expecting, so we can avoid incidents like the one below.


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- Chiino

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