SELLING on second-hand clothing apps like Vinted can be a great side hustle to earn some cash when clearing your closet.
And for thrifty shoppers they offer a way to find fashion bargains without having to trawl charity shop rails.
Vinted and rival Depop have amassed millions of users in the UK, with the cost-of-living crisis only increasing their popularity.
These pressures saw sales of second-hand goods jump by 15 per cent to £21billion last year, according to a new poll this week. One in six people now say they buy used items, according to research commissioned by review site Trustpilot.
But there are risks too, as shoppers don’t have the same protections that come when buying brand new.
And sellers can struggle with payment problems and other gripes.
READ MORE ON VINTED
I’m a Vinted superseller – & got £1k in 3 months… my tips so YOU can make money
I looked like I was four & in my dad’s jacket when I tried on my new Vinted coat
In recent months, Sun Money has received a flurry of emails from Vinted users who have had problems buying or selling on the app.
Here Laura Purkess explains some of the complaints we’ve seen and your rights when things go wrong . . .
‘I’ve been ignored for months, it’s taken an extreme toll on my mental health’
AFTER decluttering her wardrobe, Emma Jones was delighted to have made £160 from a few items she no longer wore.
But in April, when Emma tried to withdraw the money from her online account, it bounced back to Vinted from her current account due to a banking glitch.
Most read in Money
Thousands of households have just days left to apply for free £200
BANK ON IT
Thousands of customers will see their bank accounts closed for good
Full list of 17 bank branches disappearing for good within just days
Full list of banks giving out free cash worth £225 before Xmas – how to claim
Despite showing proof from her bank that the money had gone back to Vinted she was left out of pocket and offered no help.
“I’ve been ignored for months and it’s taken an extreme toll on my mental health. This is a big sum of money for me, I was just desperate to get it back.”
Emma’s money has now been returned after Sun Money stepped in.
But fellow seller, Josh Taylor is still missing his £85 after selling a pair of Yeezy trainers on the app earlier this month.
The 21-year-old student from Nottingham, received a photo showing the parcel being delivered on September 2.
But his buyer claimed the trainers never actually arrived.
Josh clicked a button on the app that said “resolve the issue”, but this automatically refunded the seller, when all he wanted was to speak to Vinted for help.
Josh says: “Vinted customer support even admitted they can see the customer has received their item by using the tracking number but still nothing could be done.”
It still refuses to cover the loss and says after the first button, Josh would have clicked a comfirmation which warned the buyer would be refunded
‘I emailed many times. It was frustrating. I don’t understand what I paid extra for’
AISHA FURTADO thought she had found a real steal when she spotted a COS dress for £35 on Vinted.
But when the 37-year-old opened her parcel, she found it contained a pair of old hair straighteners instead.
The communications executive, pictured, from Mitcham, Surrey, was charged an extra £2 for Vinted’s “buyer protection” so she thought it would be a breeze to get her problem sorted.
The cover was meant to refund her if the item was not delivered or wasn’t “as described”.
But after waiting two months’ she only got her cash back after we got involved. Aisha says: “I messaged Vinted so many times but just got back automated replies. It was frustrating. I don’t understand what I paid extra for.”
Jacky Catling, 56, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, bought two gold bracelets from Vinted in March for £102.
But when they were checked by a jeweller, she was told they were gold-plated and only worth £25. Jacky returned the bracelets, but the seller claimed a locket was missing.
When Jacky complained, Vinted held on to her money for four months before siding with the seller. She says: “I feel like a victim — the seller now has both bracelets and my money. Surely that isn’t right.”
Vinted refunded Jacky her £102 after we contacted them.
YOUR RIGHTS ONLINE
CONSUMER expert Martyn James says apps such as Vinted aren’t classed as retailers in the same way as other online shops as they don’t sell directly to the public.
They are platforms which act as a kind of middleman allowing private sellers to trade with one another.
Although the sites have their dispute resolution services, these are hit and miss as our readers have found.
“The platform is effectively judge, jury and executioner,” he says.
“While the apps aren’t obliged to refund you — if you’ve paid extra for buyer protection then they have to do what’s promised.”
Try using a free tool like Resolver to help with the complaint process.
Vinted says its team works hard to help settle disputes between users.
It says that while selling on the site is free, it charges a fee called “buyer protection” to help make the process safer than if buyers’ and sellers were exchanging bank details.
Payments are held for two days with an external provider so that buyers can confirm all is well before money is released to the seller.
Pensioners pay for credit error
PENSION Credit applicants have been warned to double check their details after one 75-year-old was hit with a £22,096 bill.
Robert Vincent, from Porthcawl in South Wales, will be paying back the debt until he’s 86 after an error on his application in 2017 was spotted this year.
The benefit tops-up state pension income for hard-up retirees. Single pensioners get a minimum of £201.05 a week and couples receive £306.85.
It’s underclaimed as Government figures show almost a million who are eligible miss out on a collective £1.7billion a year. You must apply by filling out a form online, over the phone or by post.
If the Department for Work and Pensions later finds any of it was wrong, it can demand overpaid money back. Robert, a retired highway engineer, applied for Pension Credit in 2017 after struggling to manage his bills, and the DWP confirmed he was eligible for it.
However, a few weeks ago he received a letter demanding he repay £22,096 after the DWP had discovered an error – more than six years later.
It said his private pension income was higher than the amount he had stated. But Robert hadn’t completed the form himself – he’d only signed it after it was filled in by a support worker.
Robert said: “I completely accept I need to pay the money back if I wasn’t entitled to it, even though it was a genuine mistake. But I really can’t afford the huge repayments.”
Since finding out his credit would be cut, Robert’s rent has risen from £54 to £419, and as he also lost his housing benefit, he has to pay £73 a month in council tax.
“I’ve had to cancel all my insurance policies just to afford food,” he said.
Robert has to pay back £258.72 every four weeks until February 2030, when the amounts should reduce to £105.17 until the debt has gone.
He is paying the money back from his state pension, which currently gives him £770 every four weeks – slashing his monthly income by a third.
In recernt years thousands of households on benefits have been asked to pay back money they were awarded in error.
Deven Ghelani, director of benefits research centre Policy in Practice, said: “Application processes need to be made simpler, and the DWP needs to improve its checks at the time of application so people know what they can claim.”
READ MORE SUN STORIES
Martin Lewis reveals check to get £3k tax refund – even if you’ve been rejected
Tom Parker’s widow Kelsey opens up about relationship with boyfriend Sean
A DWP spokesperson said: “We carefully balance our duty to the taxpayer to recover overpayments and safeguards are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, including payment plans.”
If you’ve been asked to repay benefits but think it’s a mistake, call the Pension Service helpline on 0800 731 0469.
Source: Read Full Article