I recently bought a few things from OLX and Quickr and would like to share my experience about the whole process. I am sure there will be something to learn for newbie buyers to learn from the same.
The basics myths with used stuff
1. Value for Money
2. An asset at a lesser cost
3. You get really good deals
4. Potential Savings compared to spending a big chunk on a new stuff
and the foolish thought process continues.
The reality (My experience and opinion)
1. People sell off their old stuff mainly due to a few reasons
- They have some sort of repair/trouble which they dont want to fix
- A liability - continous bills and maintenance issues
2. Sites like OLX & Quickr are not showrooms, but digital junkyards where many sellers can go to any extent just to sell a crap item and make a 1000rupees extra profit.
3. No matter how cheap the deal is, it is ultimately the condition and life of the item that decides whether the product is VFM
or not. I will narrate my experience which I had yesterday, you will understand what I am talking about. Few Tips for buyers:
-Never buy from a stranger at a common point, prefer to meet at the seller's house. This way you can always trace him back when there is an issue with the item purchased.
-Always discuss clearly with the seller that you might return the item if any serious issues faced within next 24hrs or so. When you pull up this statement most of the cheaters back out.
-There are a list of things you should never buy second hand (IMHO) - laptop, mobile, tablet, most electronic stuff, more than 10yr old cars, less driven but very old vehicles, lot of kms driven & very young vehicles, washing machines, LCD/LED TV's
- Always collect a acknowledgement from the seller, stating that he owned the item all this while and that he is responsible for any circumstances arising out of its usage prior to today. Few Tips for sellers:
Assuming that you are selling a genuine thing.
- Never meet the buyer alone, whether at home or outside.
- Never have any valuable item left in the room that you both meet
- Except for electronics, for selling anything else, prefer not to bring the visitor into home
- Insist the buyer to bring a mechanic along, so that he can verify everything. As a lot of damage can happen overnight if the buyer is new to driving.
- Always collect a delivery note, with buyers sign and one id proof (even for mobiles) My recent bitter experience::
I share my desktop with my 2nieces at home and I work in night shifts in a BPO. So when they want to use the computer, they end up waking me up. If I shift the computer to their room, I cant use computer at night. Hence the need for a laptop was born.
Browsed Flipkart and realised that most of the good laptops start from 23K onwards. The lesser ones are not worth the money you pay. Hence checked on OLX and found an ad. Spoke to the seller and he was clear in saying that USB ports dont work and battery back up is less than 5mins. I was that they guy was genuine enough to quote the reason for selling it and hence bargained the deal from 6.5K to 5K. We met up at a chai point and used the laptop (connected to charger) for about 5mins and everything except the USB was fine. He had formatted the laptop and installed fresh Windows 7 (the usual non genuine version). Happy with the deal, offered him a cup of tea and left the spot. Reached home and laptop just wont start. The guy is not picking up calls now and replied to text showing absolute disinterest in any further communication. I just sent him a text saying that - I now realise that you are not a honest man, I pray that you change into a better person. Always remember that money earned like this only brings bad luck. I forgive you. Good bye.
I dont want to get into any cheap arguments/muscle flexing with low lying people for a few grands, although it is a hard earned money that's at stake.
I expected this kind of situation and hence I had already kept aside 3K for repair of laptop, even if it had no immediate issues. Moral: I got Conned (nothing new). Yet another unlucky experience::
One of my friends bought a used Swift (Again from OLX)
After a lot of hunt, we finally found a good looking, good condition car, 2006 black, petrol, vxi, single owner, accident free, good interiors with zero issues in sight. Test drive was done for more than 8kms and the seller was all goodie goodie. The guy had also done wheel alignment just few days back. Name transfer done and everything was fine. Now after 300kms of usage, I found the vehicle to be dragging to left slowly when going on a straight line. Hence we checked with a mechanic and got the following things done
Wheel alignment, rear brake shoes were worn out (so changed them), brake cylinders inside drum were good, front brake pads changed, wheel rotation done, nitrogen filled. Guess what the left side pull comes back again after 300 to 400kms of usage. The mechanic now says that the issue is probably due to the front left hub being bent/strut itself has this issue. We tried alignment again and things were good for another 250kms. This time checked with a different mechanic and he checked every bit of steering related components and reports that its in good health and no clear reason as to why the left side pull is in place. MASS guys advised to change all tyres once and then come back if issue persist for full front suspension overhaul (and still they are not confident about the solution). The end result:
A good looking car that has left my friend with a pain in left hand, which he is now used to. The problem magnifies on highways when you have to maintain the pressure on steering wheel throughout the journey. Moral: A hidden issue even in the most surest of situations. COMMONLY SOLD USED ITEMS & THE MOST COMMON ISSUES IN THEM.
1.[B] Scooters - bent chassy, mileage issues, piston ring wear & tear causing excess oil consumption, bumpy ride. Items that usually need change - Wheel bearings, the rubber Vbelt, brake shoes, clutch in some cases, most cables need change if you need a smoother ride.
- Needless to say, we all know about it. So I wont type much here. Just a few points though, for any car that is more than 10yrs old you will have to change the following items - Rear Coils and dampers, wheel brake cylinders, battery, atleast 2tyres, seat covers - most used cars need these repairs (still depends on condition of vehicle in question). So if you buy a very old car, be ready to spend about 20K in less than 6months.
- Compressor pumping issues or physical damage while transportation, door hinges falling off. This is one such item that can last over 2decades without repairs, as long as it was not moved around much. One of the safest buys.
Most laptop batteries dont have their original back up capacity after 2yrs of usage, used batteries are of 2 types - original and compatible chinese stuff. If a laptop was ever given to chip level servicing you will find a sticker on almost all the parts like battery, HDD, charger, ram etc. If its a black laptop, check the condition of the black screw behind the panel. When you buy a laptop, be prepared to accept things like heating issues and 0 battery back up. Better never buy a used laptop.
The most common issues are hard disk failures, constant rebooting after a certain time of usage, Ram compatibility issues, SMPS failures, VGA chip burnt, driver signing issues etc. LCD monitors are almost use and throw kind. Repairing them costs a bomb and used ones cost more than 50% of the new ones price. CRT monitors are way more reliable. If you happen to see lines in a used monitor, stay away. Never believe the bluff by the seller that the VGA cable needs to be changed to sort it out.
6. Tyres & batteries for cars:
Many a times, we need to replace just the stepney and we look for a 500/- deal on OLX and we forget that the stepney needs to have atleast 50% life for it to serve in those emergency times. You dont need a almost bald tyre to replace the punctured one. Battery shops manage to sell 1used battery for every 5new ones they sell. These used batteries need not be fully refurbished as they claim, it can be just a distilled water top up that lasts 2weeks. You cant check the actual condition of battery unless you use it for a week or two. These dont come with any warranty.
7. Furniture: Termites -
if you dont check what's underneath the sofa you are getting into your home, you are more likely to bring in termites and other rodents which not only eat up your sofa, but also every other wooden item in your house. My cousin purchased a california style (that's what they call it) super comfortable sofa with the 3 +1 +1 configuration from a IT couple for just 8K. New one costs 35K (leather upholstery). 6months later they found a lot of termite activity in home and wooden crumbs in underneath every sofa and wooden shelf.
8. RENTING A HOUSE
: [IN DETAIL] Dont go by the awesome pics of well lit rooms, fresh air balaconies, ample parking, 1800sqft/superbuilt area etc. First visit the place and do your homework. Do give a second visit and check with neighbours to know more about the owner, actual status of water supply, maintenance support, previous tenants and if the tenants keep changing very often, if yes the reason for the same. Some houses might be haunted, strange cases of extreme loses to inmates after they rent the house (like losing job/huge financial lose/accidents etc).
None of these things would be mentioned in the ad. Also prefer to avoid homes that are very close to temple/mosque/church/any religious place. You are sure to have a peaceful sleep in a house that's next to a graveyard than a one next to a religious one. Also check in the internet for any articles that predict arrival metro/road widening in the coming months of years in that area, you might end up renting a place right in the heart of dust and chaos. Last thing, if you have ladies staying with you, better avoid areas which have too many bars/ playground/ chai points/ local theatres etc. These places usually attract the unemployed and spoilt youngsters smoking pot etc.
I have jorted down all this so that the readers are aware of certain things before they jump into any deal on OLX/QuickR or similar site. Many of us already know these things, so think that I typed it on your behalf
Please feel free to add more points and your views.
I do not mean to generalise anyone/any community. No offence meant to anyone living/dead. THE ENLIGHTMENT PART
Fed up of getting conned so many times, I have decided not to buy anything used going forward. Save money go for a new one.