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We all love getting a bargain. But what happens when these bargains are not quite what we expected? Buying second hand can mean that you get a great deal, but it can also mean that you are stuck with poor quality, sub standard or even broken items that are no good to you. All without any way of getting your money back.
So, is there anything that you can do to avoid these rip offs? Or are you destined to a life of buying new to protect yourself? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can protect yourself against a second hand rip off.
You may know someone down the pub who can sell you a tablet for a stupidly low price, but there is a very good chance that their offer is going to be too good to be true. This means that you might want to search for your second hand bargains at more reputable places. One great source of bargains, particularly on refurbished tech, has to be eBay. Here, whilst you may still be on the receiving end of a scam, there is a company structure with an official complaints procedure to help you dispute issues and gain your money back if needed. Also stick to vendors with good ratings from other purchasers and a decent track record of successful sales and positive feedback. There’s less risk with fashion items and may bargains can be found on sites like depop.com – again look for vendors with good star ratings as there’s not much chance of a return!
It can be tempting to hand over cash when buying something second hand. But if it is particularly high cost, or is an electrical item, then you might want to pay another way that’s more secure. The majority of people in this day and age have PayPal, so why not make sure that you pay through this? Not only is it a safe and secure way to make payments, but they also offer protection on what you pay out for. Meaning that if the item is not as you expected, or is broken, then you are covered.
Our gut instincts can often guide us in the right direction. This is particularly true if you feel that you might be getting conned. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about what you are buying, then don’t. Ask the vendor to have a little time to think on it, if they are a decent and trustworthy seller then they should be more than happy to wait, and if they make a fuss or try to hustle you, perhaps they are not the right person to be buying from anyway.
Another way to try and minimise your risk of getting conned is to ask the person you are buying from to show you the gadget working. This not only means turning it on and off, but also charging it too. There have been plenty of instances where someone has been sold a gadget that turns on, but won’t charge meaning that it is useless once the battery runs out. Things like Facetime also give you an opportunity to have a virtual try before you buy session.
As you can see, there are some sensible ways that you can be careful with what you buy second hand, as well as still getting a bargain. Why not try some of these out for yourself, as these simple guidelines mean you are much more likely to get a top quality item at a rock bottom price.
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