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Is it Really Better to Sell Privately?

This is a response to a rather misguided (but well intended) BBC report on how a consumers would allegedly benefit more from selling privately than using a recycler/trading website. The article can be found here - Which? suggests websites 'undervalue old laptops'  

When it's time to sell unwanted items, the seller usually has two choices, privately or through a company depending on the item. eBay, Gumtree and Auto Trader are the popular sites in the UK that allow private sales straight to other people, the companies usually take a commission and the seller carriers a higher responsibility. Companies such as We Buy Any Car take most of the responsibility when selling your car to them, but will usually offer a lower price. 

The majority of people prefer private sales, simply because you will usually get more for the item sold as it is going straight to someone else. Recently several horror stories have come from sites such as eBay. Customers have taken advantage of their, 'buyer protection' and attempted to commit fraud which is having an impact on innocent sellers. An example hit the news this year, Vishal Vora sold an iPhone for £160, however the seller claimed they did not receive a phone just an empty box. Vishal kept a receipt which clearly displayed a weight corresponding with the iPhones weight, eBay didn't even ask to see this information.  They chose not to investigate and took £17 from his PayPal account. In a protest of his innocence he refused to pay which lead to having debt collectors chasing him. Only when Vishal took this issue to the press, eBay backed down and paid him the back in full for the cost of the iPhone and court fees. (More on this case can be found here - When eBay goes wrong, who pays the price?)

This is a clear worst case scenario for sellers on eBay however cases like this are becoming common because of the 'buyer protection' policies in place. eBay horror stories are appearing frequently on forums where sellers are asking for advice because they too have been scammed. 

Selling directly to companies also has its negatives, frequently customers have complained stating original offers have been rapidly reduced due to minor imperfections. This method however, requires very little effort from the buyer, and the transaction is completed quickly. 

Phones are popular sellers on eBay, however (here comes the sales pitch) Bozowi, offer payment within 24 hours something that can be very difficult to achieve from private sales. Sellers have the freedom to list their phones privately however we remove all forms of risk, ensuring customers feel safe and receive payment in full. It might be financially beneficial for sellers to list privately, however based on many reports they may not even see the money owed to them.  

 

 


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