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Right Click

You can buy and sell anything under the sun online. With the surge of websites promising secondhand deals, here’s what you need to know before you log on

india Updated: Jun 11, 2012 17:20 IST
Amrutha Penumudi

Stuck with an old Maruti 800 no one wants to buy?
Back in the day, you would have had to put an ad in the newspaper classifieds section and hoped someone noticed it. But with the recent surge in ecommerce in India, websites like eBay, Quikr, Locanto and ClickIndia give you a variety of platforms to sell and buy just about anything — from gadgets to home furnishings to jewellery, even old coins and stamps for your collection.

Explaining the trend, Rajiv Dhingra, CEO of WATConsult, a social media marketing strategy firm, says, “The fact that Indians are now more comfortable with online transactions and using their credit cards online has a lot to do with the increasing popularity of these websites. Youngsters, especially, are extremely tech-savvy and prefer using the Internet rather than traditional media to post classifieds and buy things.”

Selling or buying online comes with its own pros and cons. On the plus side, you get instant and targeted responses for any item you are trying to sell. Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Vaaz, who recently sold his father’s old car online says, “The process is hassle-free. You just need to put up an ad and the rest is taken care of. We sold our car within a week.”

On the other hand, especially with a second-hand sale, there is always apprehension about what you are getting in terms of quality. “I have friends who have had bad experiences, so you need to be careful and smart when making a purchase,” says Himanshu Sharma, a media professional, adding, “Avoid buying secondhand electronics or digital ware, because you can never tell what’s wrong with them by just looking at them.”

However, a good way to avoid such situations is to check your seller’s profile thoroughly. “What I like about eBay is that they give you detailed information about the seller. You can see the kind of sales he’s made in the past and then decide for yourself,” says Kalyan Yash, a 32-year-old commercial photographer who often buys camera accessories online.

Frequent users of these websites will also tell you that when you are the seller, it helps to describe your product as clearly as possible. Kalyan recently sold an SLR lens that he had used for two years. “I clearly described the make, the year I bought it, the reason I was selling and quoted my price,” he says, adding, “Think like an advertiser — what would lead to a sale? But also put all the necessary information that is relevant.”