Five tips to safely and successfully buy and sell on Vinted

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As rising living costs add more pressure on Briton’s finances, many people are turning to second-hand shopping platforms to nab a good deal. However, like with all internet sites, this does come with risks, making it important people know how to manage transactions safely – as well as the things they absolutely shouldn’t do.

Online marketplace Vinted has gone from supporting 1.2 million UK members a couple of years ago to the eight million it hosts today, representing a staggering growth in popularity.

The platform offers a straightforward and protected process to buy and sell goods. Sellers can list items for free, including descriptions and a proposed price, and buyers contact and buy the items – in-app – for a safe and secure transaction.

However, Natacha Blanchard, consumer lead at second-hand shopping platform Vinted warned there is one key thing in particular that people should never do.

She said: “Don’t move your conversation outside of the platform and be cautious of any members trying to do this.”

Trying to take the conversation off-platform could be one way that a potential scammer might target a person with a phishing, spam or spoof email.

These emails are designed to lead users to a bogus site where they might be asked to provide sensitive data, such as logins, and bank or credit card details, or send attachments containing malware.

Ms Blanchard told “Keeping all conversations on the platform allows our Customer Support to investigate should you, or the other member, have an issue later down the line.”

But this is just one of a few crucial tips for buying and selling using the platform, and here are five more.

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Be curious and ask questions

To ensure certainty, Ms Blanchard advises not to hesitate to contact the seller if a person needs more information about the item, whether it be about the material, size, measurement, maintenance of the item, or even possible flaws.

Ms Blanchard said: “You can also ask for additional photos, perhaps you’d like to see a close-up of a feature, or you’d like photos taken in different angles or better lighting. Most people will be happy to provide photos or additional information to ensure a happy buyer.

“Asking questions will not only prevent any surprises with the product itself but can also help to show whether a seller is trustworthy.”

Check the buyer’s or seller’s profile and reviews

This can give a buyer a good indication of the seller’s trustworthiness and how past transactions went.

Ms Blanchard said: “As an example, for each transaction made on Vinted, both the seller and buyer can leave each other a star rating from one to five. Factors such as the quality of the transaction, delivery time and item condition are taken into account to evaluate the reliability of both members.

“On Vinted, you can see if members have verified their contact details too. As a seller, verifying your account adds credibility and makes it more trustworthy, which can boost your sales.”

Ask for proof of authenticity for higher-priced items

While second-hand shopping platforms offer a great space to bag a good deal on expensive brands, it’s not unusual to see people trying to shift inauthentic goods.

To ensure authenticity, Ms Blanchard advises asking the seller to include a receipt or certificate of authenticity. It’s also key for sellers to include this too without being asked, as it can boost the chances of the item being sold.

Ms Blanchard said: “Ask for photo close-ups of details such as the logo, stitching lines, packaging and dust bag, serial number, hardware (zips, clasps etc.) and labels, to check that they are of high quality.”

Keep details private

Most customer-to-customer online platforms have systems in place to keep data private, meaning other members won’t need to ask for personal information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or even home addresses, to finish a transaction.

For safety, Ms Blanchard advised: “You can even have parcels delivered to pick-up points rather than to your home. Scammers typically ask for your contact details, sensitive data or login information by impersonating Vinted or other third-party providers.

“Phishing messages might also contain links to malicious sites or have infected files attached. Don’t open suspicious links or attachments and do not fulfil any of their requests to keep your private data safe.”

Use the platform’s recommended payment system

When trading on Vinted for example, always pay via the ‘Buy Now’ button.

This ensures the person will be covered by the platform’s Buyer Protection and enables safe payment between members, avoiding the need for bank details to be exchanged.

Ms Blanchard said by using the platform’s payment system, “it also helps buyers to open a claim and request a refund should an item not arrive, arrive damaged, or is significantly not as described”.

She added: “There may also be competitive shipping deals, providing members with several options to ship their items easily and at discounted prices.”

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