Buying safely - top tips for buyers

Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.

The vast majority of DoneDeal users are trustworthy and genuine.

Nevertheless, it is very important to have the same common sense and take the same precautions online as you would offline.

The following guidelines will help you stay safe when buying goods through classified ads:

  • Deal with people locally, who you can meet in person (this simple rule helps you avoid 99% of the safety or security issues people face).
  • Arrange a time and place you feel comfortable with.
  • Meet in a well-lit, busy, public place (covered by CCTV if you want to be extra cautious).
  • Don't meet the buyer alone if you are meeting in a public place.
  • Give somebody else the details of whom you're meeting, and where and when you are meeting them.
  • Keep your mobile phone with you.
  • If you are going to the seller's house, be respectful of their privacy.
  • If you're going to see an item for sale at a seller's home, be aware that they may be afraid you're "casing the joint".
  • Beware if the goods are cheaper than normal.
  • Be wary if a seller is putting pressure on you to make a quick decision.
  • Please beware of forgeries e.g. big brand name goods, tickets and multimedia products that are not originals.
  • Try to get a signed proof of purchase.
  • If the seller has a mobile phone number, also ask for a landline number (e.g. home or workplace phone), so you can make contact if there is a problem with the product.
  • Items purchased from private sellers on DoneDeal are purchased "as seen", so it is important that before purchasing you are happy with the working order of the item.
  • Read our buyers guides second hand goods, dogs, cats, a horse or cars.


  • Do not pay in advance for goods.
  • Be careful about how you are carrying cash to pay for goods: or else pay with a bank draft.
  • Ensure you have full access to your purchase before handing over all your money.
  • Use cash or bank drafts when paying for goods.
  • Never pay for goods through Western Union or other similar money transfer services.
  • DoneDeal does not endorse any escrow company i.e. companies that will transfer money on behalf of a buyer. We recommend that DoneDealers meet with a buyer or seller in person.
  • If you decide to pay via PayPal make sure you select that you are paying for goods and services - not to friends and family. This is one of many eligibility criteria for the Paypal Protection for Buyers. Ineligible items include motor vehicles, motorcycles, caravans, aircraft, boats and some industrial machinery.

Buying a vehicle?

  • Check with the Hire Purchase Register (Ph: 01 2600905) that the car is not under a Hire Purchase agreement.
  • Check the car history, there are a number of great Irish online services: MyWheels, Motorcheck, Cartell.
  • Get a trusted mechanic to do a check up on the vehicle before handing over the money.