Buying on Gumtree
General buyer guide
Gumtree’s top tips for buying on Gumtree:
- Do your research: Dedicate time to researching what’s out there the average price of similar items. The saved searches tool is great if you’re looking for a particular item or brand, as it provides you with an email update whenever a similar item is listed
- Ask questions: When first contacting the seller, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It’s easy to contact a seller via the Gumtree My Messages feature
- How long have you had the item for and why is it for sale?
- Has the item had any faults?
- Where was the item bought?
- Are any receipts or warranties?
- Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to negotiate a price you think is far, but don’t offer an unrealistic amount
- Meet in-person: A transaction should always be made face-to-face, with payment made once the goods have been inspected or the service completed. Never send or wire money to somebody you don’t know. For personal ease and safety, arrange to meet in a public place and take a friend or family member with you.
- Common sense: Use common sense when buying online. If something seems too good to be true, it is probably is!
Adopting / buying a pet
If you are searching for a pet on Gumtree, either via responding to posted ads or by posting your own ‘wanting to adopt/buy’ ad on the site, here are some tips and guidelines:
- Visit the pet seller’s home or place where the animal was bred to see how they raise and care for their animals. If the seller is a breeder and will not allow you to meet at least the mother of a puppy or kitten this is a major warning sign – find another breeder as this means they probably have something to hide.
- Many unethical sellers buy animals from puppy mills and similar sources/or run a puppy mill themselves but pass them off as home-raised. If you’re buying, or responding to a “free to good home” offer from an individual who is not a breeder, ask for as much information as possible about the animal’s history in terms of source, health records, and behaviour information – and also make sure you visit the place where they house the animal to check the living conditions.
- Get references, including other customers and the seller’s veterinarian. Check them out and be vigilant to ensure that the pet is in good health.
- Get all health guarantees and other promises in writing. You should be given veterinary documentation confirming the animal has received a vet health check. If you are interested in a particular breed of dog, be aware that different breeds are predisposed to different inherited diseases. Some dogs have also been bred for a particular ‘look’, resulting in exaggerated features that can lead to serious health problems. See the online RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Guide and RSPCA Smart Kitten and Cat Buyer’s Guide for more details.
- Adopt/buy from sellers who live in your area. Never allow a seller to transport the animal to you – always first visit the seller and make sure the housing conditions are of a high standard. If it’s a puppy or kitten make sure the mother dog/cat is happy and healthy.
- Avoid sellers located outside your local Gumtree city. Never send money outside Australia no matter where the seller says the animal is located.
For further information on how to spot and avoid puppy farms/mills and further tips on finding a good breeder you can also refer to RSPCA’s guide for Smart Puppy buyers here.
Preparing your home for a new arrival… see the RSPCA Australia knowledgebase for tips on preparing for a new pet. If your new pet is a dog, also see the online RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Guide for detailed information about ‘Preparing for a pet dog’ and ‘Caring for your pet dog’.
Moving to a new home may be stressful to your pet. So be patient and understanding and provide lots of affection. Here are some pointers to help you settle in safely and sanely.
Safety - Make your new home safe for all pets by being mindful of hazards that could:
- poison – such as cleansers, insect sprays and pesticides, medications, chocolate, certain plants, and antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
- burn – such as plugged-in appliances, boiling liquids, open flames • electrocute – such as worn lamp cords, or any other cords.
- strangle, choke, or obstruct breathing – such as small balls, sewing thread and needles, pantyhose, and bones
- topple or crush – such as precariously placed appliances, top-heavy filing cabinets, and lamps
- allow escape or theft – such as loose screens and inadequate fences. Never leave your pet unattended on a balcony or chained in a yard.
Cat care essentials
Although your cat may act independent and be litter-trained, he still counts on you to provide him with food, water, safe shelter, regular veterinary care, companionship, and more. Take care of these ten essentials, and you’ll be guaranteed to develop a rewarding relationship with your feline companion.
For the first few days in your new home, it’s smart to confine your cat to one room, while you work on putting the rest of the place in order. Prepare the room with your cat’s bed, litter box, food and water bowls, and safe cat toys.
- Outfit your cat with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address, and telephone number. No matter how careful you are there’s a chance your companion may become lost – an ID tag greatly increases the chance that your cat will be returned home safely. Also make sure they’re microchipped and your contact details are up to date on the microchip register.
- Follow local pet cat laws. Licensing, registration and identification systems administered by some local governments protects both cats and people in the community.
- Provide a housing environment that meets your cat’s physical, social and behavioural needs.
- Containment of cats in an enclosed area (within the owner’s property boundaries) can help to protect cats from disease and injury through fighting and accidents, increase the opportunity for owner-animal interaction and reduce the impact of hunting by cats and disturbance caused to neighbours.Where cats are contained, steps need to be taken by owners to ensure that adequate exercise and environmental enrichment are available. Access to an outdoor escape-proof enclosure is highly recommended as this greatly increases the opportunity for activity and stimulation for contained cats. There are also specialised backyard fences that rotate inwardly thereby keeping cats contained within the owner’s property boundaries while still enabling access to the backyard and the outdoors. Contained cats can also enjoy regular walks outside on a harness and lead with their owners.Ideally, cats should be trained to be contained early. See the RSPCA knowledgebase article: Is it okay to keep my cat contained within my property boundary all of the time? for tips about how to enrich the environment for contained cats.
- Take your cat to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. If you do not have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter or a pet-owning friend for a referral.
- Desex (Spay or neuter your pet). This will keep her healthier and will help to reduce the problem of cat overpopulation.
- Give your cat a nutritionally balanced diet, including constant access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.
- Groom your cat often to keep her coat healthy, soft, and shiny. Although it is especially important to brush long-haired and medium-haired cats to prevent their hair from matting, even short-haired felines need to be groomed to remove as much loose hair as possible. When cats groom themselves, they ingest a great deal of hair, which often leads to hairballs.
- Set aside time to play and interact with your cat. Cats enjoy regular play sessions which provide him with physical exercise and mental stimulation, and it also strengthens the bond you share.
- Cats can be trained with reward-based training methods involving positive reinforcement (the animal is rewarded when the desired behaviour is performed and unwanted behaviour is ignored). It’s the most humane and effective way to train cats. It’s enjoyable for the cat and positively enhances the relationship bond between the cat and handler.
- Be loyal to and patient with your cat. Make sure the expectations you have of your companion are reasonable and remember that the vast majority of behavioural problems can be solved. If you are struggling with your pet’s behaviour, contact your veterinarian or local animal shelter for advice.
For further information on how to care for your cat you can also refer to RSPCA’s knowledgebase here.
Dog care essentials
Ideally, your dog’s introduction to his new home will be with familiar furniture already in place, including his bed, toys, and food and water bowls. If you must be away from home for many hours each day, look into a pet-sitter or consider dog day care or organise for a dog walking session to reduce the time spent alone.
Your dog gives you a lifetime of unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship. In return, she counts on you to provide her with food, water, safe shelter, regular veterinary care, exercise, companionship, and more. Take care of these ten essentials, and you’ll be guaranteed to develop a rewarding relationship with your canine companion.
- Outfit your dog with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address, and telephone number. No matter how careful you are there’s a chance your companion may become lost – an ID tag greatly increases the chance that your pet will be returned home safely. Also make sure they’re microchipped and your contact details are up to date on the microchip register.
- Follow local laws for keeping pet dogs. Check with your local animal shelter or local council for information regarding legal requirements such as registration and where to obtain tags.
- Dogs should be under effective control when in public places. Dogs may be exercised on a leash or off-leash in designated areas where the handler has effective voice control of the dog. Dogs should not be allowed to roam outside of your home or fenced yard. It is best for you, your community, and your dog to keep your pet under control at all times.
- Give your dog proper shelter. Dogs need a clean, comfortable, safe and secure home with adequate shelter to protect them from the weather and plenty of space to move about. Make sure the housing environment meets their physical, behavioural and social needs. If your dog spends time outside ensure the yard is adequately fenced to prevent escape and provide a doghouse; Dogs should never be left outside alone or for extended periods of time. Dogs need and crave companionship and should spend most of their time inside with their family.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. If you do not have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter or a pet owning friend for a referral.
- Desex (Spay or neuter your dog). Dogs that have this routine surgery tend to live longer, be healthier, and have fewer behaviour problems (e.g., biting, running away). By spaying or neutering your dog, you are also doing your part to prevent unplanned/unwanted litters and to reduce the problem of pet overpopulation.
- Give your dog a nutritionally balanced diet, including constant access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.
- Enrol your dog in a training class. Reward-based training methods involving positive reinforcement (the animal is rewarded when the desired behaviour is performed and unwanted behaviour is ignored) is the most humane and effective way to train dogs. It is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship bond between the dog and handler.
- Socialisation. The first 3-17 weeks of a puppy’s life are critical for its social and behavioural development. During this time it is very important to provide it with positive experiences with a variety of people, places, sights and sounds. Experiences during this period can influence a dog’s behaviour throughout its life. Your vet will be able to guide you on where and when it is safe to take your puppy to different places, so you can balance the need to socialise your puppy with protecting its health.Organise puppy school and dog training classes to go to in your area that use reward-based training.
- Give your dog enough daily exercise to keep him physically and mentally healthy (but not exhausted). Most dog owners find that playing with their canine companion, along with walking him once or twice a day, provides sufficient exercise. If you have questions about the level of exercise appropriate for your dog, consult your veterinarian. Set aside time each day to interact and play with your pet dog.
- Be loyal and patient with your faithful companion. Make sure the expectations you have of your dog are reasonable and remember that the vast majority of behavioural problems can be solved. If you are struggling with your pet’s behaviour, contact your veterinarian or local animal shelter for advice.
For more details see the RSPCA Australia knowledgebase.
For further information on how to spot and avoid puppy farms/mills and tips on finding a good breeder you can also refer to RSPCA’s guide for Smart Puppy buyers here. For other tips on caring for your pet RSPCA has great in on their site here.