General advice 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.

Safety tips to bear in mind when buying or selling via DoneDeal


  • The simplest and safest way to deal on DoneDeal is directly, in person, with the buyer or seller.
  • Payments should ONLY be made in cash or bank draft.
  • Beware of sellers asking for deposits into bank accounts, internet payments, etc.
  • Beware of buyers offering to pay by cheque.
  • The general rule is: always keep it simple. Negotiate and agree the price BEFORE meeting the seller or buyer and also agree on the form of payment: cash or bank draft.

Safety first

  • When you’re meeting anyone and money is being exchanged, safety must be a priority.
  • Never arrange to meet a seller or buyer on your own.
  • Always choose a safe, public location in which to meet.
  • If you’re selling an item from home, arrange to meet during the daytime if possible and don’t give out unnecessary information about your daily routine, family life, etc.
  • This is a business deal, not a social meeting – keep your contact formal.
  • If you’re not open to bargaining on a price, let the buyer or seller know before you meet them. This sets down a clear boundary and avoids embarrassment or discomfort for both parties.
  • If you’re thinking of buying an item, make it clear to the seller that there is no deal unless you’re happy with the item in person. This is especially important if the seller is travelling to meet you and avoids any feelings of being obliged to buy.

Seeing is believing

  • It’s always best to inspect and try out the item you intend to buy BEFORE you pay for it – as you would when buying any item in a shop.
  • Inform the seller that you want view the item personally yourself before you discuss buying it.
  • Take your time with a viewing:  don’t feel rushed or embarrassed to give an item a thorough inspection.
  • Electrical items should be switched on to check they’re in working order, so they need to be viewed in a suitable venue.
  • Items of furniture should be closely examined for faults, excessive wear and tear, woodworm and missing elements – especially if the item has been dismantled.
  • If you’re selling, be aware that buyers might want to check items closely, so give them the space and opportunity to do so.
  • Look for instruction booklets or manuals, if available.
  • Clothing should be checked for correct size and condition – especially higher cost items like Debs dresses or wedding gowns.
  • Buyers might want to try items on, so this could influence where you choose to meet the buyer and you might have specific requests to make, such as to refrain from wearing make-up, etc.
  • Always remember: if you don’t see what you like, or an item doesn’t match up to its online description or photograph, then you are under NO obligation to buy. You always have the right to walk away from an offer.

Do your research

  • Know what you’re buying before you pay for it.
  • A change of mind is NOT the seller’s responsibility and a returns policy does not apply.
  • Read our Stay Safe guides

Common Sense

  • When it comes to buying and selling on DoneDeal, go with your gut feeling.
  • Occasionally a deal might seem too good to be true, so don’t be afraid to ask questions: Why is the item for sale? How old is the item? Did the owner have any problems with the item? Where was the item bought originally? Without staging an inquisition, don’t leave yourself vulnerable to buying a stolen item, or simply a dud item.
  • If you get a bad feeling about a buyer or seller, feel free to walk away.
  • If you have a bad experience with a buyer or seller, make sure to report it to DoneDeal and, if necessary, Gardaí.