NT Bought Car on Gumtree - Can't Get Deposit Back

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7 September 2014
Hi, I recently tried to buy a car of the website gumtree. I met with the owner and test drove the car, then decided I'll buy the car for $6000. I payed $3000 deposit internet transfer to owner. One week later, I returned as agreed to finalise the purchase, but instead got bad news from the owner saying he had changed he's mind and did not want to sell the car anymore. So I asked for my $3000 deposit back and in reply was told no from the owner and there's nothing I can do legally to get my deposit back? Do I have anyway legally to get my money back under Australian Consumer Law?


Well-Known Member
19 April 2014
Hi @Alexander1990
  1. Do you have anything in writing? (including emails and texts)
  2. How did you make the internet transfer? (PayPal, bank account?)
  3. Have you reported this to the Gumtree Customer Safety Team - Gumtree have a help page “What do I do if I have been defrauded?” which confirms that Gumtree will assist the police and provide any information about the ad and user to the police.

Have a look at these previous LawAnswers threads helping people in a similar situation with Gumtree:


Well-Known Member
11 July 2014
How about reversing the question, on what legal grounds can he cancel the agreement without any reason and retain your half payment? What rubbish!

From your summary, it seems he is acting fraudulently, and will do what he can to keep your money and make your life difficult to recover it

The ACCC provides a ScamWatch service which directs users to various organisations to contact depending on the nature of their query. For fraud, it says see the police

Your answers to CathL's questions will be relevant in making an effective complaint