Experts share top online second-hand shopping tips for 2024

Online marketplaces where you can shop directly from other people are very popular for a number of reasons. It’s fun, sustainable, and also often much more affordable than buying brand new, as you can find some fantastic deals. These platforms also make it easy to sell things you no longer need, whether you’re clearing up old clothes or changing up your living room with new furniture. However, there are a few things that everyone should look out for when using online marketplaces – not just to get the best deals, but to protect themselves from scams.

Online marketplace jog it on have put together a list of top tips when it comes to finding just what you’re looking for, and getting the most out of this kind of platform.

Richard Howarth, Commercial Director at jog it on comments:

“We’ve put together these hints and tips to help shoppers get the most out of online marketplaces. At jog it on, we’re very passionate about giving items a second lease of life by selling them on second-hand, so we wanted to give people some words of advice about getting into buying preloved and vintage. If you see something online you’d like to buy, but you don’t know if it’s in the condition you’d like, don’t feel shy about politely reaching out to the seller and asking!”

Second-hand shopping online 

When it comes to finding what you’re looking for, jog it on advised that you should try a variety of different search terms in order to find the item that you want. Try using the item’s colour, size, original manufacturer and other features in different combinations to see what comes up in the results.

Another tip is to enter bids that are not a round number – lots of people will default to bidding either in a full pound or in 50 p increments, so bidding just above your maximum bid by a few pennies might make all the difference.

When it comes to looking out for online scammers, jog it on highlighted a red flag that shoppers should look out for. Someone who asks you to leave the platform you’re on, either to continue the discussion or to pay on a different platform, might be trying to either steal your personal information or to get you to pay using a method that doesn’t offer buyer protection. Also, if you see counterfeit goods on an online marketplace, most platforms do not allow their sale – check the terms and conditions, and report the item and the person who posted the ad so they do not trick others into wasting their money.

Jog it on also encouraged shoppers to consider buying second-hand, explaining that items sold in this category might be almost new, only used a few times or taken out of their original packaging.

Selling your stuff 

The platform encouraged sellers to take the best photos they can of their items: including different angles, minimising clutter in the background, and ensuring the picture is well-lit.

People who make a sale were also advised to help protect their items from damage in transit by using a small container when possible, to avoid it rattling around. Alternatively, you can use ‘void fill’ materials such as eco-friendly honeycomb paper, which is just as effective as bubble wrap (with the added benefit of being recyclable).

Tips for everyone

Jog it on highlighted that everyone who uses online marketplaces should research how much items usually sell for, across different platforms. Whether you’re looking to make a purchase or having a clear out, it’s in your best interest to know what it’s worth.

Also, when it comes to building a great community, it helps when everyone leaves positive feedback on the people they have interacted with. Platforms where you deal directly with other people rely on trust, and we all want to know the person we’re dealing with is trustworthy. Leaving a note to say you enjoyed buying something from someone and you’re happy with the item will help other shoppers know they can trust them. It’s also a friendly gesture that might well make them smile.

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