8 Tips to Sell Successfully on Gumtree

Gumtree has a bad rap sometimes, but it can still be a good way of getting rid of your stuff online.

The critics will tell you that the prices are woeful compared to eBay and Facebook Marketplace (with my recent foray into trying eBay as well, I must admit the fees can be annoying). Not to mention, there’s a lot of rubbish buyers on Gumtree who will, unfortunately, waste your time. Worse still, a simple Google search will show that there are numerous scams on Gumtree (the fact that Gumtree themselves have a ‘Types of Scams on Gumtree‘ page should give you a clue!)

Why use Gumtree?

So if you’re likely to get less money, plus loads of people wasting your time – why bothering using Gumtree at all?

Maintain your privacy

Using Gumtree, you don’t need to give up too much of your private information in order to sell your stuff. I like to maintain my privacy. It’s not mandatory to give out your name or phone number when listing, and communication between buyers and sellers can be done completely within Gumtree Messages (your personal email address isn’t disclosed).

It’s free to use Gumtree

In case you were wondering how much it costs to sell on Gumtree, or whether Gumtree charges fees – rest assured, it’s free! You can list your items for free on Gumtree, and there are no fees incurred when you do sell.

This is a massive benefit compared to using platforms such as eBay. Whilst it can still be worth it to use eBay – the fees charged by eBay can really cut into how much you make from selling your items.

In Gumtree you have the option to pay to ‘upgrade’ your listings (so that they are more visible etc) however there’s no need to use these options.

Gumtree is relatively safe (if you’re sensible)

The thought of scams on Gumtree is definitely a bit scary, but I can safely say I’ve never been caught out by a scammer yet. I attribute this to sticking to a firm set of rules when selling on Gumtree.

How to sell on Gumtree – Tips for Beginners

According to the Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report, 89% of Aussies have unwanted items in their home, and can potentially make $5300 from selling their unwanted goods.

So what are you waiting for? Time to declutter your house, due your bit for the environment, and put some money back in your pocket.

Here are some tips for selling on Gumtree tips to make things easier and less stressful if you’re a beginner.

  1. Make your listing attractive
  2. Be realistic with your pricing
  3. Sell items in bundles
  4. Regularly re-list items
  5. Turn on your ‘recently sold’ history
  6. Don’t waste time on the timewasters
  7. Be prompt and courteous
  8. Be patient

1. Make your listing attractive

When looking at items to buy online, do you instinctively go for the item which has a single dark, blurry photo, and a one liner description?

I wouldn’t. At the very least, it’d be the last listing I’d enquire about (and only if I were desperate. An unappealing listing doesn’t make me want to buy, AT ALL).

Having a listing with no info LITERALLY tells a potential buyer absolutely nothing about your item. Except that perhaps you don’t care too much. Which may say something about how well you’ve cared for the item (whether it’s true or not!)

I KNOW, you’re busy. Spending time putting up a proper listings is the last thing you have time for. Me too! But – put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.

I sell on Gumtree, but I shop there too. Personally, I am far more likely to try and snap up an item which has lots of decent quality photos, and a description that answers all the questions I’m thinking about.

Don’t be lazy, and put in a bit of effort with your listings.


Take as many clear photos as you can, in bright light, from different angles.

  • Make sure the photos are taken in daylight. You’d be surprised how daylight can suddenly highlight a faint stain or fault that you can’t see in artificial lighting.
  • Take photos of things you’re likely to get questions about can be super helpful. For example, if you’re selling a baby car seat, include a photo of the Date of Manufacture sticker – the standard recommendation is that car seats expire 10 years after manufacture, so a lot of people will be looking for that. Or if you’ve indicated that there’s a scratch on the item, take a photo of it – what you think is a small scratch may be considered too large of a fault for someone else.
  • Take photos on a white table or background, if possible.

Item description

Include important details in your listing description – such as measurements, colour, condition (brand new, excellent used condition, good, fair, etc).

Be honest about the condition of the item. Don’t try to hide any faults. That’s just sneaky and rude (and a shoddy thing to do). It’ll help avoid disputes or further haggling later, PLUS it’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

Include as much detail as you can, to help buyers decide if the item is right for them. It’ll hopefully save them from having to email or call you about it. (But I have to tell you – no matter how much you write, some people will still ask the same questions anyway. I don’t know why – people just don’t read).

Don’t go overboard if you’re selling a low-cost item though – you don’t want the amount of effort that you spend on creating your listing to be disproportionate to how much you’re going to get back.

More tips on creating your listing

  • Place your best photo first. When buyers are looking through lots of listings, they’ll see only the first photo. First impressions count! Make it a good one.
  • Give a descriptive title. Including item details such as condition, colour, and brand can help your listing stand out. Do you think ‘Used baby cot’ would attract as many buyers, if yours could be ‘Boori baby cot – excellent used condition – brand new linen included’? (for those not in the know – Boori is apparently a bit of a flash brand when it comes to nursery furniture). Also, ‘front load’ the details in the listing. That means, place the important details first in the title. Many users use Gumtree on their mobile devices, and on those smaller screens, only the first part of your long title will be visible.
  • It’s all in the details. Other good information to include in the description are things such as:
    • Sale conditions. For example – cash only, PayPal.
    • Pickup information. For example – only available for pickup on weekends, sale by meetup. Maybe you’re even happy to deliver, to a certain distance?
    • Extra info about how you used or cared for the item. For example – perhaps you only used the item for a couple of months, and it’s been in storage recently. If you’ve recently washed and prepped the item in readiness for sale, buyers may be interested to know this too.

Lastly, if you really can’t be bothered with being creative with the wording, at least find the official description of the item (which likely includes details such as measurements etc) and use that as part of your listing. Just include some basic info about the condition of the item – that’s ALWAYS important when selling secondhand goods.

2. Be realistic with your pricing

With high-demand items, you may be still able to get a pretty good price on Gumtree. But sometimes, you may have to consider accepting a lower price for some items.

I think this comes down to a few reasons:

  • Less market reach – Gumtree was always designed for local, face-to-face sales. Despite this, interstate buyers will still contact you and ask for items to be posted . But by nature, advertising primarily to people in your local area means having less people who may be looking your item (compared to selling on eBay, where you can potentially sell internationally too).
  • More hagglers – buyers on Gumtree tend to haggle more. I can’t really blame them too much, everyone loves a bargain (me included!). Since Gumtree is just a modern day local classifieds where you can have a direct discussion with the seller, it opens it up for the opportunity to try and bargain you down.

More tips on pricing

  • Do some quick research.
    • Look online (not just on Gumtree, but also on Facebook Marketplace, eBay) and look at the range of prices that other sellers have listed the same item for. Sold listings on eBay will show you what people have been willing to pay. You can search Australia-wide.
    • On Gumtree, take a look at who else is selling the same item in your area. Concentrate on the 10km radius, but you can try up to 20km – I’ve had plenty of buyers willing to travel that distance.
  • Price according to the market.
    • If yours is the best condition, or there’s little competition in the nearby area, you might be able to price at the higher end of the range.
    • If there’s lots of similar listings online, pricing lower than everyone else might help you stand out, or help achieve a quick sale.
  • Consider initially pricing your item higher. In anticipation that Gumtree buyers will bargain you down, setting it a bit higher (but still within reason) might get the actual price you were hoping for.
  • Set a ‘minimum offer amount’ on your listing. This essentially means that you won’t receive any offers for less than the minimum offer amount specified. Don’t expect this to be too effective though – Gumtree buyers are expert hagglers, so they’ll just contact you via Messages to ask what your best price is.
  • Be flexible. If a serious buyer offers you a price that is a bit shy of your asking price, it might be worth taking it. Get it done, and get rid of it! It’ll save you time from fielding further enquiries, and managing your listing online.

There are a few factors to consider, but it’s highly dependent on the type of item it is, and what your priorities are for selling it. Figure out what’s important to you. Are you set on the price you want, or do you just want to get rid of it ASAP?

3. Sell items in bundles

If you’re finding some smaller or cheaper items are difficult to shift, then bundling similar or related items together in the one listing can help.

As most new parents can probably relate to, I had numerous brand new, unneeded baby gifts that I was trying to sell – blanket, booties, beanie. They didn’t sell when I listed them individually and frankly, nobody enquired about them either. For months. But as soon as I bundled them into the one listing – I sold them all within a week.

Bundling helps the buyer feel like they are getting “more” for their money, particularly if you offer it at a slightly cheaper “package” price.

4. Regularly re-list items

Your posts will only be online for 30 days, after which, they will expire. Gumtree is a free service after all (though you can pay to bump up the profile or visibility of your listings).

You can re-post the listing so it’ll remain online, when it’s due to expire (or even after it’s expired). Just be aware that Gumtree search results will show the newest listings first, so your older listing will start to appear further back in the results (page 2 and beyond). This will be evident as you’ll notice your listing will get less ‘views’ as time goes on.

This doesn’t make it impossible to sell, just maybe a little bit harder, due to reduced visibility.

So every few months, if I haven’t sold it yet, I sometimes will delete the old listing and create it as a brand new one, so it starts to appear first in search results.

I’ll especially do this for items that I think are relatively high-demand, or items that are seasonal (e.g. a halloween costume in October). I’m just aiming to get the listing seen by more people.

More tips on renewing your listings

  • Delete the old listing, before posting the new one. If you don’t, Gumtree will detect that there’s a duplicate ad, and will automatically delete the new ad straight away.
  • Save your listing details beforehand. It can help to keep a simple spreadsheet with your listing details (title, description, price) and the resized photos on hand, so you can easily re-create the new listing. I have accidentally deleted an old listing without copying the details first – argh!
  • You can give the Gumtree app a go, which may speed things up (full disclosure: I’ve not tried it yet).

It sounds like a lot more effort but really if you have a system for it, it’s pretty easy. 

5. Turn on your ‘Recently sold’ history

Displaying the items that you’ve recently sold on Gumtree can show you’re a genuine seller with lots of successful transactions, and may help to attract serious buyers.

Just as there are a lot of timewaster buyers, there are just as many timewaster sellers (sadly I’ll admit it’s probably part and parcel of the anonymity that the platform provides).

So give some ‘proof’ that you’re a serious and responsible seller, who’s active in the Gumtree community.

How to mark item as sold on Gumtree

It’s a good idea to promptly mark something as sold on Gumtree, once you do sell it. It’s just a bit of common courtesy, and to not waste the time of others who are interested in your item – there’s nothing like being disappointed to find out that the item was sold long ago, and to find that the seller couldn’t be bothered to delete their listing!

To mark an item as sold, you’ll do this by selecting ‘Delete’ on the listing. Once you select this, Gumtree will ask if why it’s being deleted (whether it sold or not) and gives you the option to let other buyers know that this item is no longer available.

How to mark an item as sold on Gumtree
To mark a Gumtree listing as sold, simply Delete the listing

6. Don’t waste time on the timewasters

One of the reasons that Gumtree gets a bad rap is because of all the timewasters to weed through.

If I had a dollar for each time I have been contacted, only to never hear from them again.. Well, I probably would be rich enough to not be selling secondhand items online! 😉

Or, the people who will give you SUCH a low-ball offer that you will wonder if it’s even worth responding. “Ah, it’s listed for $250 – so um no, I’m not real interested in selling it for $50…” Thanks (but no thanks?)

But in all seriousness, my advice here is to not sweat it. It’s going to happen, so don’t worry about it, and don’t take it personally. Getting annoyed, is just a waste of your own time, so there’s little point in getting bent out of shape over it.

Just setup your Gumtree profile with only an email address (no phone number) so that you can respond to these enquiries as painlessly as possible, in your own time. This would help to avoid nuisance phone calls.

7. Be prompt and courteous

Try to respond to enquiries quickly. If you’re slow to respond, the buyer may move on elsewhere and boom, you’ve lost a sale.

Please be polite when communicating with buyers. This is really just basic decency (and even still, I’m listing it here as a ‘tip’ so that says something about the ruthlessness of Gumtree!).

I stay anonymous for my Gumtree sales and purchases, but that’s no excuse to act like an imbecile – even if you are responding to a timewaster. Let’s try to make the internet a bit better, and the world a little more decent!

In any case – your ‘Reply rate’ and ‘Average response time’ are affected by whether you reply, and how quickly you do so. Again, helps to show you’re a serious seller!

Gumtree also allows buyers and sellers to ‘rate’ each other, so it makes sense to be polite and show some integrity when communicating with potential buyers – your rating gets displayed on your public profile!

8. Be patient

If you’ve made it this far and you’re still with me (even with Gumtree’s downsides) then remember that sometimes you’ll need to be patient when selling on Gumtree.

It’s free to sell on Gumtree, so I think it’s reasonably fair to expect some sales to take some time.

Again, this will mainly come down to what you’re selling, whether it’s in-demand, and how much you’re willing to sell it for.

If you need some convincing why you should start selling stuff online, check out my article – Secondhand Shopping – Good for Your Wallet, Great for the Planet.

Remember – if you’re careful, it is quite safe to sell on Gumtree. If you’re an absolute Gumtree beginner and you’re still worried, then there’s more to learn about keeping safe selling on Gumtree.

And lastly, if you have any other pro tips for selling your stuff online, I would love to hear them! Give us a shout below, and leave a message.

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