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Selling Advice: Selling privately

Selling Guide

Selling privately


Apart from the haggling, there are some simple steps that you should take to protect yourself and your item when selling privately, especially if it's of a high value.


  • Beware of emails from abroad, offering to buy your item and offering to make over-payments. Also beware of bogus shipping or ESCROW companies recommended by the buyer.
  • If somebody wants to make an appointment, make sure you get a name, address and telephone number. You can then call them back to be certain that they are who they say they are.
  • If you're meeting a potential buyer, try to meet at your address and not at a location where you are vulnerable - write down their vehicle registration if they are driving when the potential buyer arrives and keep it safe. For extra security, it's a good idea if you have a friend or family member with you at all times - even if they know nothing about the item.
  • Let the buyer check and operate the item (within reason) if applicable.
  • Let the buyer inspect any related documents you may have but do not let them make copies or take photos of them. Be aware that mobile phones often contain a camera!
  • If the item is of a high value, don't hand it over until you have been paid. Make sure that funds have cleared and that the money is in your bank account (electronic transfers are the best mechanism). Prepare a simple written sales agreement that both you and the buyer sign and date.
  • If the buyer offers more than advertised price, be wary. Do not accept an overpayment especially where you then have to refund the difference or make a payment via a money transfer company such as Western Union or Moneygram. Be careful when using ESCROW or shipping services as many are bogus and set up by fraudsters. If you do use ESCROW, make sure it's verified by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is based in the UK. See the Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert web pages about money transfer, criminal cashback fraud and bogus ESCROW sites.
  • There are different ways people can pay for an item - cash, cheque, banker's draft or bank transfer. An immediate bank transfer to you can be made using the CHAPS system for a nominal fee, (£20-£30), CHAPS payments are irrevocable. For high value items, consider meeting the buyer at their bank and completing the transaction there. Choose the method that works best for you but be aware of the potential issues. Cash could be counterfeit so double check it. If accepting cash, consider meeting the buyer at your bank and paying the money straight in to your account. Cheques and banker's drafts can be fraudulent or counterfeit and you may not find this out until after your item has gone, even if your bank has told you that the funds have cleared.
  • You should also give all related documents if applicable to the new owner e.g. certificate of authenticity, warranties etc.

ExchangeandMart.co.uk does not work with companies, or endorse any services run by companies, that:


  • offer to put sellers in touch with buyers for a fee; or
  • offer the seller financing products that make funds available to the buyer to purchase the item; or
  • send text messages notifying advertisers that there are offers for their advertised item.

If you are approached by one of these companies, we recommend you proceed with caution and do not give your credit card details over the telephone or in an email, unless you are absolutely sure about the service being offered. We advise that you do not call premium rate numbers unless you know how much the call will cost.


If you have any concerns about a company that is claiming to be working in partnership with ExchangeandMart.co.uk, please contact our Customer Support team at customersupport@ExchangeandMart.co.uk


next: Wording a private ad