Gumtree Buyer SMS after 10 Months with Laptop Issue

Hi all, I would really appreciate some advice and insight for this situation:

10 months ago I sold two laptops to the same buyer over Gumtree. They were both 6 years old, good physical condition, and sold as "Used - Working" after some basic testing.
Final agreed price was less than identical listings and the buyer paid cash. No contact from them until now, describing a problem with one of the computers preventing it from turning on. I'm not affiliated with any kind of computer repairer and they were sold entirely in a personal context.

I'm don't think I'm obligated even to respond, but that feels extreme if they just want advice. Obviously I am worried they are seeking some kind of reimbursement, which at this point I don't think there is any justification for. I've had bad experiences with abusive gumtree users before and would really like to avoid that right now.

What do you think is most reasonable in this situation?



Thank you everyone that read and responded. I'm not going to worry about it. Have a good weekend all.

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  • +10 votes

    Tell them you're not a retailer and they can take it to their local repair shop.

  • +9 votes

    IMHO, once sold on gumtree or FB markets, the seller is not obligated to fix or repair later. Most of the items that are sold are used and don't come up with any warranty

  • +37 votes

    New number who dis?

  • +18 votes

    Sold as is, no warranty. Not your problem, especially after 10 months.

    • +5 votes

      and 6 years old

  • +5 votes

    Just block the number

  • +2 votes

    Did they pick up from your home? U worried they know your address?

  • +8 votes

    Don't enter into any interactions with the buyer, it'll lead to grief with the buyer demanding either a repair or a refund which you are under no obligation to give.

    It's Gumtree - you pay your money and take your chances.

  • +3 votes

    You've sold on gumtree on an "as is", used basis with no warranty.

    I'm don't think I'm obligated even to respond

    You aren't obligated.

    but that feels extreme if they just want advice

    A computer not turning on sounds like a hardware problem. Probably not much that you can do about it personally other than to say they can take it to a shop for repairs. If you really wish to respond and the conversation turns bad, you can say: sorry, really nothing you can do about it and then block the number.


    you didn't do something like leave a password in the bios?


      Nah, it's some kind of fault.

  • +5 votes

    Two golden rules:

    *cash only
    *meet anywhere other than your residence

    • +1 vote

      buy a disposable sim


        $29 burner phone pays for itself

        • +6 votes

          Agree. I even do this when making exchanges with my mum.

          • +3 votes

            @poboy: You can never be to careful

          • +5 votes

            @poboy: Agree, family are the most important people to not let know where you live or know your real number

          • +1 vote

            @poboy: Don't know why you were negged? Some people have really shitty families :(


      yeah, that only works best for the seller, but what if you are a buyer? I have bought from gumtree before, and always picked up from their home address, gives me a little more confidence [of course no guarantee if something goes wrong, you would get your money back anyway] but if they wanted to meet in a public place, no deal for me. I'm sure there are many buyers with the same thinking.

      Otherwise, just sell on eBay or expect your item to sell slower when you don't want them coming over to pickup.


        yah - cept QLD police explicitly recommend NOT meeting in a private place:

        'Don’t meet up with strangers at night or in secluded or private locations. Your personal safety is your priority when arranging to meet up. Consider meeting in a public area during day light hours where there is plenty of CCTV and people around.'

  • +2 votes

    If the buyer didn't pay extra for FlopsyCare™ at the time of purchase, you aren't liable to provide 24/7 handholding, Christmas Cards or Counselling.

  • +1 vote

    Part of the reason you never accept any returns is because scammers love to pull a switcheroo where they buy an identical product to a broken one they already own. Very unlikely in this case but IMO don't even reply to save yourself the stress.


    Reply saying you cannot fix or help, unless they want to pay for the time and effort at $80/hr plus parts. They should call the manufacturer for help.


    Op don't reply to him/her, just block the number and move on.

    The problem is most likely to do with the motherboard. Likely over heating has damaged the solder between the CPU or you and the motherboard, so the motherboard will need to be replaced, for a nearly 7 year old laptop it's not worth repairing it.

  • +1 vote

    Personally I would reply politely and try to help over the phone, but make it clear youre not responsible in any way and all you can do is just offer your suggestions and tell them to get it looked at professionally if you can't help them. I would imagine after 6 months they would certainly not expect a refund they just want some advice.


      Give them the name and address of a repair person or shop in there area if you can’t help. If you don’t know anyone, say as much or point to the manufacturers website as they have diagnosis and repair services

  • +1 vote

    I wouldn't have worried about it even after 10 days

    Its a well known fact that privately sold used goods don't come with any warranty.
    Its up to the buyer to satisfy themselves as to the condition of the goods.

    And with computers there are so many ways people can stuff them up after they leave your hands.


    You're assuming he wants you to refund his money or pay for repairs?… maybe he just wants to know if you had the same problem before yourself with one of the laptops. btw you never actually said what the fault is.


    simply not your problem you aint a manufacturer of item nor a retailer who must abide by warrenty etc. which also only last 12 months normally.

    Not your problem. if that was me I would say mate device was fine when you bought it and when i sold it, anything after that is not your problem

  • -2 votes

    Don't ignore and block, be kind, come on!

    "Sorry to hear that, maybe try removing the battery and reinserting it, then charge / turn it on. Could be a battery issue maybe, just a guess, as I don't know much about computers. A computer place may know more."


    Tell 'em to get stuffed.