Helpful Buying Tips

We all love a bargain! But the expression of ‘All that glitters is not gold’ is usually the case, and of course, if the price is unbelievable then likely it is.  So, using common sense and caution is suggested. The following practices are encouraged when you make a purchase:

General Buying Tips

Do your homework before buying, while most folks are genuine, unfortunately, there are always a few that are not.

  • Have a good look through similar items before making a decision and compare the prices.
  • Always ask the seller plenty of questions regarding your chosen item, but remember not to disclose your personal contact details. Communicate through the Celtic Zone’s messaging system, this applies to both parties; unless you are going to arrange a delivery/meeting.
  • Use a secure payment method if not meeting up, such as PayPal, but make sure it is done as a business transaction in case anything goes wrong; you have the safety net of PayPal’s secure system.
  • If the item you are interested in is listed as BuyNow and the seller has provided his PayPal credentials; we highly recommend paying the seller by Paypal and disregarding other payment methods.
  • Never post cash or postal orders.
  • Always pay in cash with face to face transactions and obtain a receipt as proof of purchase for expensive items especially Vehicles.

 Buying a Business or a Franchise

  1. Always check for any judgement or blacklisting against the business in question.
  2. Ask for proof of income, preferably documents such as invoices & tax papers.
  3. Invest in a specialised Lawyer, as expensive as it could be regardless of the investment amount, the right lawyer could save your life-savings.
  4. If you are buying an internet-based business; check the reviews about it, and make sure that the domain name was not previously associated with an undesirable type business, also check that it doesn’t infringe any trademarks, and it doesn’t sound similar to other established websites.
  5. If buying a Franchise, read the user reviews about it, being a well-known brand; doesn’t guarantee a good reputation.
  6. When buying an established shop-based business check the location, in case the business is in an area where anti-social behaviour exists.
  7. Check the competition in the area/business; you will be surprised by the number of businesses being forced out of the market/area due to the arrival of a new competitor with deeper pockets.
  8. Keep an eye on the tricky parts. Even if you are an expert in a business and have good legal support; there are new tricks which appear regularly, and unfortunately, some of them are legal, good research is a great investment in the future of your business. 
  9. Small touches will boost your business dramatically. Such as having a website, name and logo which communicate your unique selling points, and don’t forget to submit your business to the local business directories.
  10. Choose the right company when you are starting a business. Dealing with the wrong/unqualified people will damage your business and reputation. 

Buying Clothing

When buying clothing please don’t make any assumptions, especially regarding the size and the condition. There are many imports coming from Asia and the rest of Europe into the Irish market, and size does matter.

Traditional size conversions do not always apply, the seller should be able to provide information regarding sizes and measurements, so never be afraid to ask.

Buying Cosmetics and Makeup

  • Try before you buy, if you are interested in a makeup which you haven’t used before; it is a good idea to try it first and test it for allergic reactions, as well as colour suitability on your skin.
  • It is not recommended to buy makeup that has been used for hygienic reasons, never be afraid to ask if the item is new and sealed.
  • There are a lot of fake brands around, so check the picture in the ad well for spelling errors on the packaging, if the Logo is the same. Where it is made sometimes doesn’t match the manufacturer’s ads, or an icon may be slightly different from an original design.
  • If it is too cheap it may not be real, especially if it is an expensive brand.
  • Do not buy perfume sprays that are used and without a cap, this could indicate the bottle is a stolen tester.

 Buying Electronics, Phones and Computers

  • Check the pictures of the item well; they will give you clues of any inconstancies with the description.
  • If the price is way lower than it should be; then it could have a fault, or it is a counterfeit item. Please be aware that counterfeit items could explode and cause serious injuries.
  • If you are buying a gadget as a gift and don’t know much about it; ask someone who does, or check the online reviews for it, as it could save you a small fortune.
  • When buying a phone check that everything looks and functions correctly, a branded mobile phone/iPhone wouldn’t be slow, have substandard menus/icons, or have a cheap looking appearance.
  • Buying a laptop or a computer could be very tricky, it’s a good idea to check the following:
    1. When choosing a system, try to buy one with the most recent operating system because they usually require higher specifications, which mean you can use them for longer, and they will be compatible with more hardware and peripherals.
    2. Observe all logos are in place and all matching the brand of the laptop/computer.
    3. Try to open a few programs at the same time to test the memory/processor, and check the system settings to confirm that they correspond to the advertised specifications.
    4. If there is software included; check that it is installed, it is genuine and if there is a backup DVD for it.
    5. Obtain any documents which the seller may have in relation to the laptop/computer including warranty.
    6. Ask for the operating system’s backup DVD’s.
    7. Restart the system a couple of times to check that it restarts smoothly.
    8. Ask for a signed receipt for your money in case of any hidden nasty surprises.   

 Buying Furniture 

  • Always check measurements with the seller if not mentioned.
  • Is it going to fit? Write down and take with you: a tape measure, the measurements of your room, as well as width and height of doorways leading to the room where you are going to place the furniture.
  • Before a viewing decide if you want to make the purchase, and how you are going to move the item from A to B.
  • Do the Sellers deliver?  Or you have a man with a van lined up? ..... See our section for a man with a van under the services section to find one.
  • If you put down a deposit until you return to collect the Item, obtain a signed receipt.
  • Check the condition of the item before you go with the Seller to save a wasted journey.

 Holidays, Travel and Entertainment Tickets 

  • Touts are selling tickets at inflated prices for profit, if you don't buy them these touts will have no business. we cannot control prices on our website, agreements are between seller and buyer, always check it out first. We ask sellers not to advertise extortionately priced tickets on our website.
  • Check expiry dates, ticket type and the terms of sale before making purchases.
  • Flight tickets can often be as expensive to make a name change as buying a new ticket, so check out prices/fees with the Airline before you buy.
  • Read the small print for any inconvenient terms, a minute to read could save you hours/days of hassle.

 Buying Jewellery 

  • Purchases of stones can be very complex, especially nowadays. There are so many stimulated diamonds around. So, it is wise to proceed with caution before purchasing.
  • If considering an expensive item over 1000 Euro; ask the owner if they have purchased a valuation certificate on official headed paper, this is usually done for insurance purposes.
  • If there is no certificate available and you would like to purchase the item, it is advisable to go to a nearby Jeweller with the Seller and check the value of the Item, even if you must pay a fee, it may well be worth it in the long run.
  • If making a purchase through PayPal, take the item to a Jeweller within a few days of receiving it to verify the value should the item not be as sold, and then a dispute can be opened with Paypal if the Seller does not want to reverse the transaction.
  • Plated silver and gold jewellery do tarnish and colour can come off. Perfume sprays contain alcohol which can cause discolouration very rapidly, so it is advisable to take care and spray perfume away from electroplated jewellery.
  • Gold and silver should be stamped so do check the item. Sometimes if rings have been resized the hallmark is lost.

 Buying Motors 

Purchasing a vehicle is probably one of the biggest decisions we make from time to time, it could be your best asset or your worst nightmare. We would suggest the following practices when you purchase a vehicle:

  1. Check the vehicle during the daylight and preferably on a dry day to spot any issues including large dents/scratches which may be covered by raindrops.
  2. Invest in a mechanic’s inspection; spending 25-40 Euros could save you thousands, in a past experiment we found that 3 out of 6 vehicles had serious issues which were only spotted by a professional, and 2 of the remaining vehicles had minor issues. 
  3. Spend a few Euros to check the history of the vehicle, there are a few companies in Ireland, we suggest using MotorCheck.   
  4. Think about the total cost compared to your circumstances, you may love the look but is it affordable to run.
  5. Compare the Brand VS Age & Mileage, some cars would run fine with 150K miles on the odometer; while others are a great business module for the mechanic.
  6. Think colour, some vehicles require regular washing due to their colours, this can be costly and time-consuming.
  7. Interior is important, on average people spend 1.5 hours a day commuting, if it is not comfortable (even if it looks good) it could affect your performance at work, also you need to know if your comfort lies with leather or fabric interiors.
  8. Some little touches could save you money or provide a more pleasant experience. for example: having a window visor and opening the window on a rainy day will save you money, otherwise your engine will work harder with the air conditioning to clear the screen; which means consuming more petrol, another plus point is if armrests are built into the driver’s door and/or behind the gearbox this can make a long drive more comfortable.
  9. If you are living in a rural area you will need fog lights, most of the latest vehicles have them built in, but if you are buying an older vehicle you will need to keep the cost of fitting them in mind.
  10. Pets: Apart from checking the space in the vehicle; you also need a durable and a none-dust/hair attractant interior. Leather interiors are not the answer as your pet, or their cage will likely damage the seating. It’s good to inspect the interior for any pet hair (if the seller has a pet) and notice the smell inside, it shouldn’t smell of pet odour.

 Buying or Renting a Property  

  • Never purchase a property without viewing it first, even if it is overseas.
  • Always consult a Lawyer before purchase and make a legal contract.
  • Always obtain receipts for any deposits paid.
  • Before deciding to buy; visit the property more than once always during daylight hours.
  • Check the local property register and do your research, check the area is suitable for your needs. for example: Schooling, hospitals, shops and transportation. An important factor to also consider is to check that the property is not at risk of flooding/landslide.
  • If buying a property abroad, apart from doing the usual research; always hire a lawyer from day one to accompany you in every step. Make sure that the current owner had the planning permission when the house was built; as many illegal houses are built even in Europe and run the risk of being demolished. Make more than one survey and always ask questions. 
  • Check the type of neighbourhood and ask who lives next door, try to visit at night while the neighbours are in their homes and see how the area appears.
  • If renting check the person you are dealing with is the right person, particularly to avoid subletting situations. It can happen.... You think you are dealing with the owner when in fact it is a Tenant who might not give the landlord the rent. This is a higher risk with room renting. Ask if they are living in the house, also when they purchased it etc. If renting a room always request proof of payment.
  • Purchasing land to build a property will also need permission, it may be the landowner already has the plans. But if not check the situation before committing. Check surrounding land areas in case of any plans for other building work nearby such as major roads, train tracks or even a sewerage plant plans, these are just are a few examples.

Further information for Landlords and Tenants can be found at the Citizen Advice Bureau.

 Remote Buying Tips 

  • Always obtain the seller’s contact information before making a purchase.
  • Always pay with a traceable method, use PayPal service to pay for goods and never give your Credit/Debit Card information to a seller. Paying with MoneyGram, Western Union, etc. should never be considered, as you cannot obtain a refund from those sources should there be an issue with your purchase.
  • If you are buying goods from the UK, your best option is to register a free account with AddressPal to obtain a UK address (keep in mind the Addresspal fee), and ask the seller to provide you with proof of postage (preferably using a registered postal service).
  • Never pay remotely for any Boats, Caravans, Vehicles or expensive items without inspecting them in person.
  • When purchasing an expensive item; always ask for a signed receipt.


We have listed Members Safety Guidelines for further details Here.

Finally, we are working hard to maintain the safety of the Celtic Zone community members, and will keep adding more buying tips, which we hope you will find helpful.

Important note:  If you see or suspect any items listed on this website to be stolen, illegal, or if you are sure an item is stolen from you; please contact the Garda immediately and let us know........ we take these breaches very seriously and will take the appropriate action.



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